THE COMPLEX RELATIONAL DYNAMICS IN PUBLIC SECTOR REFORMS

  • Ilpo Laitinen Dr. Sc. Director of Administration
  • Inga Nyholm
  • Jari Stenvall
  • Jari Kaivo-oja

Abstract

Even though public sector reforms have become nearly every day-business in many countries, the implementation of the reforms is often a challenge for change management. This is the case also in Finland. Nationwide local government reform aiming to create a thriving municipal structure was launched in 2011 and gained a lot attention and criticism. We aim to analyze what kind of diverse views occurred in the implementation phase of this particular reform and how those affected the reform process. Thus we aim to analyse the reform as a complex social process by using the figuration theory of Elias’. According to our analysis it seems that there is a dominant discourse that includes actors with different goals. We also identified counter discourse, arisen as a reaction to the dominant discourse. In the reforms there also seems to be some structural diversity due to actors who look at things from various perspectives. Thus the implementation of reforms is not only a question of the policy goals but also a question of different actors competing with each others. This underlines the fact that managing public sector reforms should focus more on building long-term processes of co-operation and not only on institutional or rationally explained changes.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.eis.0.9.12795

Published
2015-11-04
Section
Social evolution of Europe