I marknadens namn : mångtydiga reformer i svenska kommuner

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


This dissertation reports on a study of reform processes in public organisations. It describes how two municipalities planned and attempted the introduction of the purchaser-supplier model. This type of reform reflects one important contemporary idea - that of the market as an all-encompassing institution. The study focuses on the very process of reforming, with the aim of providing an alternative, i.e. non-normative presentation of this process. This is done within the framework of institutional organisation theory.

In order to account for the fact that changes are not only deliberate, but also adaptive and unpredictable, the reforms are interpreted as processes of translation. The concept of translation makes it possible to grasp the ambiguity, dynamism and complexity of the reforming process.

The notion of translation allows a theoretical link to be constructed between stability and change. The study shows that while change is brought about and reflected in a change of language, the established images of the organisation are reproduced in this process. It was possible to discern a conflict between the explicit desire to be specific and thus distinguish oneself from others, and the fear that the process might lead to a situation were municipalities become more like other organisations. This conflict is interpreted as a tension between the creation of a particular and a universal identity. Thus, it is argued that an important outcome of reforms is not only that they create new activities but that reforms create new identities. It is shown how reforms reshape the actors', i.e. the individuals' and organisations', opinions of themselves and, accordingly, their opinion of the appropriate way to act.

The plurality of meaning explains the fact that an organisation can have multiple identities. Plurality of meaning thus creates an ambiguity that extends the range of action, since actors can choose an appropriate identity to act upon. The emerging organisational identity influences the kind of translations that will be carried out in the future. Interpreting reforms as identity-transforming processes moves the focus of attention from the short-term to the long-term consequences of change.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Företagsekonomi


Tilldelande institution
Handledare/Biträdande handledare
  • [unknown], [unknown], handledare, Extern person
Tilldelningsdatum1996 apr 19
  • Nerenius & Santérus
Tryckta ISBN91-88384-83-7
StatusPublished - 1996