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Portfolio management of development projects in Danish municipalities

Jan Stentoft Arlbjørn (Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Denmark)
Per Vagn Freytag (Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Denmark)
Lisa Thoms (Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Denmark)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Danish municipalities are undergoing continuous changes. An important part of these changes are the introduction and implementation of a wide range of development projects. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the challenges of initiation and implementation of development projects in municipalities.

Design/methodology/approach

The focus is on development projects, which are defined as projects undertaken to improve the workflow and processes of administrative functions in municipalities. The empirical component is based on two pilot interviews in two municipalities and a quantitative questionnaire distributed to all Danish municipalities.

Findings

Extant literature contains limited contributions regarding the overall management of development projects in municipalities. There seems to be an awareness of the importance of developing working procedures to ensure greater efficiency in Danish municipalities, but this development is often not prioritised relative to operational tasks. The absence of prioritisation is an indication of the potential for improving the portfolio management of development projects.

Research limitations/implications

The response to the quantitative questionnaire is provided by one employee in a municipality. As such, the research may reveal the views of one individual in particular and not those of the municipality in general.

Practical implications

The paper provides empirical evidence of the ambidextrous challenges in the context of public sector management. At a more generic level, the paper highlights the importance of improving portfolio management of development projects.

Originality/value

This paper is the first that one to focus on the orchestration of development projects in the public sector (here analysed through Danish municipalities). Management and control of such projects is much more sensitive to political decision processes than are similar tasks in the private sector.

Keywords

Citation

Stentoft Arlbjørn, J., Freytag, P.V. and Thoms, L. (2015), "Portfolio management of development projects in Danish municipalities", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 11-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-03-2014-0047

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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