Anpassning eller autonomi - utvärderingspraktik inom civilsamhällets organisationer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


International studies on civil society organizations (CSOs) highlight how CSO's relation to the public sector is central to the characteristics of organizational change. This article contributes to this line of research in two ways. Firstly it explores how Swedish CSOs, involved with social services, are affected by proximity to and dependence on the public sector for their strategies of organizational evaluation. Based on a survey we investigate whether organizations' evaluation practices can be understood as the result of institutional pressure defined by a dominating public sector. The focus on evaluation practices is motivated by assumptions that evaluation principles based on public institutional logic, i.e. cost-effectiveness, evidence-based practice and competition, may threaten the integrity of organizations; by adapting evaluation standards defined by the public sector, particular characteristics and independence of CSOs are put at risks.
Secondly, the study contributes to scholarly debates concerning theoretical assumptions that resource dependence, contract-based and legislation-based coercive relations affect the evaluation strategies employed by CSOs. The analysis confirms the assumption that producing services in policy areas with legislation affects evaluation practice, but rejects assumptions that suggest similar influence based on resource dependence (except for regional funding) and contractual-based relations. The results lead us to examine how relations between CSOs and the public sector are ideally understood as encompassing both instrumental and intrinsic values. This knowledge is valuable for our understanding of the Swedish context. The fact that some of the study's assumptions are not supported, can be interpreted as an expression of a relationship between CSOs and the public sector that is characterized by mutual understanding, rather than power asymmetry that follows resource-dependency and contractual relationships. The study also contributes to scholarly debates on the impact of institutional pressure on CSOs, as it encourages a more detailed picture of the dimensions of institutional pressure as including historical as well as legislative and time-based contractual relationships.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


Original languageSwedish
Pages (from-to)113-136
Number of pages24
JournalSocialvetenskaplig tidskrift
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 8
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Stig Linde, Malin Arvidson & Roberto Scaramuzzino, 2018 Jun 14, 61 p. (Research Reports in Social Work; vol. 2018, no. 5)

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Malin Arvidson & Stig Linde, 2017, Socialt arbete i civilsamhället - aktörer, former och funktioner. Linde, S. & Scaramuzzino, R. (eds.). Studentlitteratur AB, p. 101-121 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

View all (3)

Related projects

Stig Linde, Malin Arvidson & Roberto Scaramuzzino

Crafoord Foundation, Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society


Project: Research

View all (1)

Related activities

Linde, S. (Presenter), Arvidson, M. (Presenter)
2017 Nov 24

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation

Linde, S. (Lecturer), Arvidson, M. (Lecturer)
2017 Nov 9

Activity: Talk or presentationPublic lecture/debate/seminar

View all (6)