Search results

1 – 10 of 74
Article
Publication date: 11 March 2021

Matteo Bocchino and Emanuele Padovani

Inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) has been increasingly adopted worldwide to tackle issues of size and cost reduction in the provision of public services. Although the…

Abstract

Purpose

Inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) has been increasingly adopted worldwide to tackle issues of size and cost reduction in the provision of public services. Although the determinants of cooperation among municipalities have been widely investigated in the prior literature, little is known about the link between a municipality's financial health and that of the supra-municipal entity formed under IMC. The purpose of this study is to fill this research gap by analyzing the case of municipal unions (MUs) in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach has been used, applying OLS and quantile regression on financial information and other variables of municipalities and their MUs.

Findings

The study finds that the most important condition of operation for IMC, that is, financial sustainability, is directly linked to the financial health of member municipalities and the functional integration reached with the supra-municipal entity.

Originality/value

The study analyses all MUs in Italy, focusing on the factors affecting their financial sustainability. In doing so, it sheds light on the factors that influence the financial sustainability of second-tier governments, which rely on external funding.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Nora Johanne Klungseth

This paper aims to give an overview of the alternatives that Norwegian municipalities have regarding organisational models for their facility management (FM) and cleaning…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to give an overview of the alternatives that Norwegian municipalities have regarding organisational models for their facility management (FM) and cleaning organisations, and to investigate what organisational models they apply, if building category or size of municipality influences their use of organisational models and whether their FM and cleaning organisations are organised similarly within identical municipalities.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a national survey conducted during year 2010. All Norwegian municipalities were invited to respond. The survey asked the head of the FM departments (or the chief executive officer [CEO] if the first could not answer) what organisational models they used for their FM and cleaning organisations and what changes they planned for the organisation in the future. All questions were asked according to different building categories to determine whether building category had any influence on their choices.

Findings

Limited research has been published regarding the structure of the FM organisations in Norwegian municipalities and even less regarding their cleaning organisations. The results show that Norwegian municipalities prefer integrated models and also purchasing services from the private sector prior to applying decoupled models as inter-municipal alternatives and Municipal Limited Companies. The results do also indicate that Norwegian municipalities’ interest in such models is rising and that they seem to be moving away from traditional and integrated alternatives.

Research limitations/implications

Although all municipalities were invited to the survey, only one-third responded.

Originality/value

The article may represent a first thorough overview of what organisational models and what combinations of models Norwegian municipalities use for their FM and cleaning organisations. Compared to former studies, this article explores a greater variety in organisational models and a greater variety in researched building categories.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Davide Giacomini, Alessandro Sancino and Anna Simonetto

The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of mandatory inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) in small Italian municipalities. Data from 280 small Italian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of mandatory inter-municipal cooperation (IMC) in small Italian municipalities. Data from 280 small Italian municipalities on the effects of IMC in terms of higher efficiency, better effectiveness of local public services, and greater institutional legitimacy of the small municipalities participating in IMC have been investigated against four variables: size, geographical area, type of inter-municipal integration, and IMC membership (the presence in the IMC of a bigger municipality, the so-called big brother).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from a mail survey that was sent to a random sample of 1,360 chief financial officers acting in municipalities of under 5,000 inhabitants, stratified by size (0-1,000 and 1,001-5,000) and geographic area (North, Center, and South) criteria. To analyze the dependency relationships between the three potential effects of participating in IMC and possible explanatory variables, the authors used a logistic regression model as the benefits were binarily categorized (presence or absence of benefits).

Findings

The findings show that in more than two-thirds of the municipalities participating in IMC, there were benefits in terms of costs reduction and better public services, whereas greater institutional legitimacy was detected in about half of the cases. The statistical analysis with logistic regression highlighted that IMC type is particularly critical for explaining successful IMC. In particular, the positive effects of IMC were mainly detected in those small municipalities that promoted a service delivery organization rather than participating in service delivery agreements or opting for mixed arrangements of joint public services delivery.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on small municipalities where studies are usually scant. The analysis highlighted that the organizational setting is particularly critical for explaining a successful IMC.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Maddalena Sorrentino and Massimo Simonetta

The purpose of this paper is to assess, from an organisational perspective, the internal efficacy of public policies designed to stimulate voluntary inter‐municipal

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess, from an organisational perspective, the internal efficacy of public policies designed to stimulate voluntary inter‐municipal partnerships. In particular, it sets out to assess the capacity of such incentive‐based policies to push the councils in the direction desired by the legislator, i.e. service sharing and joint policymaking.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach (exploratory case study) has been adopted. Primary data from semi‐structured interviews with administrators and public managers were collected and analysed along with secondary data on the inter‐municipal partnerships established in the important Italian region of Lombardy. The critical contingencies and conditions that shape local voluntary collaborations are compared with the assumptions of a model developed by Montjoy and O'Toole.

Findings

The paper questions the assumption that access to additional resources is enough to induce the councils to collaborate in service sharing and joint policymaking. While, on the one side, the councils' organisational and managerial limitations condition their willingness and capacity to forge long‐term relationships, on the other, the pressure on councils tasked with partnership implementation (especially the aggregation leaders) and the effort to ensure the orchestration of the activities and joint decision making lead them to opt for the less structured forms of cooperation (e.g. bilateral agreements). The most binding and ambitious collaborative forms are also those exposed to risks, including stagnation and goal displacement.

Originality/value

Unlike the mainstream studies on local partnerships, this paper addresses the policies that incentivise the setting up and development of such initiatives. The paper further develops the use of a model that policymakers will find a valuable aid in predicting agency responses to external mandates and in identifying the different types of potential implementation pitfalls.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Maddalena Sorrentino and Massimo Simonetta

The purpose of this paper is to assess, from an organisational perspective, the internal efficacy of public policies designed to stimulate voluntary inter‐municipal

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess, from an organisational perspective, the internal efficacy of public policies designed to stimulate voluntary inter‐municipal partnerships. In particular, it sets out to assess the capacity of such incentive‐based policies to push the councils in the direction desired by the legislator, i.e. service sharing and joint policymaking.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach (exploratory case study) has been adopted. Primary data from semi‐structured interviews with administrators and public managers were collected and analysed along with secondary data on the inter‐municipal partnerships established in the important Italian region of Lombardy. The critical contingencies and conditions that shape local voluntary collaborations are compared with the assumptions of a model developed by Montjoy and O'Toole.

Findings

The paper questions the assumption that access to additional resources is enough to induce the councils to collaborate in service sharing and joint policymaking. While, on the one side, the councils' organisational and managerial limitations condition their willingness and capacity to forge long‐term relationships, on the other, the pressure on councils tasked with partnership implementation (especially the aggregation leaders) and the effort to ensure the orchestration of the activities and joint decision making lead them to opt for the less structured forms of cooperation (e.g. bilateral agreements). The most binding and ambitious collaborative forms are also those exposed to risks, including stagnation and goal displacement.

Originality/value

Unlike the mainstream studies on local partnerships, the paper addresses the policies that incentivise the setting up and development of such initiatives. The paper further develops the use of a model that policymakers will find a valuable aid in predicting agency responses to external mandates and in identifying the different types of potential implementation pitfalls.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 April 2022

Pekka Valkama, Harald Torsteinsen and Pekka Kettunen

The study examines how introducing joint municipal arm's length bodies (ALBs) into municipal waste management has influenced the preconditions of democratic governance.

Abstract

Purpose

The study examines how introducing joint municipal arm's length bodies (ALBs) into municipal waste management has influenced the preconditions of democratic governance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors describe and explain the democratic implications of joint municipal agencification by reviewing the perspectives of representative and participative democracy. Through this approach, the authors apply the exit–voice framework developed by Albert Hirschman to highlight the potential roles and rights of citizens. This research includes country case studies of Finland and Norway. The authors analyse and systematize Finnish and Norwegian waste and organizational policies by reviewing national regulatory documents, commentaries and guidance materials to identify the fundamental missions and institutional traditions of the alternative organizational forms of joint ALBs.

Findings

The study findings highlight that joint agencification has an adverse effect on the democratic governance of waste management policy and services even though these are public monopoly services. They also demonstrate that all joint municipal ALBs limit the classic elements of representative democracy in general, and that private-law ALBs limit residents' rights to influence and participate.

Originality/value

This study contributes to local public management studies by applying Hirschman's theory to comparative reviews of joint agencification and ALBs. It revealed the similarities and differences between the different organizational forms of joint ALBs applied in Finland and Norway. It also demonstrated how the democratic rights of residents depend on how municipalities collaborate.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2021

Åge Johnsen

This paper analyses the deregulation of the municipal audit market in Norway, in particular how organization of the service affected audit costs.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses the deregulation of the municipal audit market in Norway, in particular how organization of the service affected audit costs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses multiple regression analysis of administrative as well as survey data of organizational structure and audit costs from 312 municipalities in Norway in 2012.

Findings

The introduction of contracting out in the municipal audit market in Norway in 2004 contributed to a reduction in audit fees eight years after the deregulation, compared to the situation four years before the deregulation. The type of audit, mixing inter-municipal co-operation and contracting private auditors, was related to lower costs.

Research limitations/implications

The data does not include audit quality and are restricted to one country.

Practical implications

The municipalities that combined inter-municipal co-operation and contracting a private auditor achieved the lowest costs. Hence, neither pure in-house production (“make”) nor outsourcing (“buy”) but mixing several governance forms (hybrid organization) was related to low costs.

Social implications

Contracting out is a core element of new public management (NPM) but has often been a contested tool in public policy. This paper provides empirical evidence on the effects of a reform of a professional service, which is relevant for many services in the public sector.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by filling some of the gaps in the public sector accounting and public management reform literature by studying the organization and costs of the municipal audit, specifically by including transaction costs, addressing plural governance forms in addition to pure in-house production, inter-organizational co-operation and market contracting and by studying long-term effects.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2010

Bjoern Niehaves and Andreas Krause

The paper seeks to investigate into the shared services phenomenon in the context of government reforms. It especially aims to address the emergence and shaping of shared…

1732

Abstract

Purpose

The paper seeks to investigate into the shared services phenomenon in the context of government reforms. It especially aims to address the emergence and shaping of shared services. The paper seeks to develop the notion of shared service centres (SSCs) and shared service networks (SSNs).

Design/methodology/approach

An interview‐ and document analysis‐based multiple case study was conducted in Germany. The qualitative analysis covered two shared service projects on the local government level.

Findings

Important preconditions for shared service emergence are identified, including cost pressure as motive, the existence of key actors as well as the existence of prior cooperation. Moreover, the paper provides evidence that the structure of previous cooperation exerts influence on if shared services are organized in a centralised (SSC) or decentralised format (SSN).

Research limitations/implications

The case selection is a possible limitation of the presented study. The selected cases give an insight into the topic of shared service configuration. The findings derived constitute indicators of possible patterns, which have to be approved by further research in order to identify reliable causal relationships and improve generalisablity of the results presented here.

Originality/value

An insight into conditions of adaptation and shaping of shared services is given, suggesting causal relationships for further theory testing and development.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2016

Kanerva Kuokkanen

This chapter concentrates on metropolitan governance, the use of projects (or ‘projectification’) in public administration and the development of metropolitan forms of…

Abstract

This chapter concentrates on metropolitan governance, the use of projects (or ‘projectification’) in public administration and the development of metropolitan forms of citizen participation. The analysis is based on a case study from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area – a multi-actor policy programme called the Urban Programme, which included a specific participatory project named Citizen Channel. According to the analysis, the Urban Programme was a way to create consensus and collaboration between the municipalities of the area, whereas the Citizen Channel project created a ‘toolbox’ for metropolitan citizen participation. However, the relation between programme- and project-based development and municipal administration, especially the implementation of the results of short-term projects in permanent administration proved difficult. From the perspective of metropolitan ruralities, four kinds of conclusions are emphasised: the complexity and conflictuality of the issue of metropolitan governance; the use of relatively similar programmes and projects as policy tools both in urban and rural contexts; the ‘metropolitan dimension of everyday life’ of the inhabitants and its relation to municipal administrative cultures as well as the birth and strengthening of new actors such as local NGOs in projects. The originality of this chapter is to combine the frameworks of metropolitan governance, projectification and the development of citizen participation in an empirical study and to reflect them to the ‘metropolitan ruralities’ research.

Details

Metropolitan Ruralities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-796-7

Keywords

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

1 – 10 of 74