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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2019

Sanna Tuurnas, Jari Stenvall, Petri Juhani Virtanen, Elias Pekkola and Kaisa Kurkela

This paper approaches collaborative governance reform as an empirical phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to gain insights about the systemic and grassroots level…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper approaches collaborative governance reform as an empirical phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to gain insights about the systemic and grassroots level conditions for collaboration, observed from the viewpoint of organisational culture. In this paper, the authors ask what constitutes collaborative development culture in local government organisations?

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is founded on secondary use of quantitative data; a survey targeted to Finnish local government organisations (n=172). The authors analyse what factors the different groups, managers, professionals and politicians consider important for collaborative development culture and how they assess their local government organisations in this regard.

Findings

According to the results, enabling and supporting management, local government personnel’s input and ability to seek external partners are essential for creating a collaborative development culture. Interestingly, despite the recognition of deterring factors by the respondents the results highlight that the supporting and driving factors are more important for creation of collaborative culture, giving an optimistic message to actors trying to enhance collaborative development culture in local government organisations.

Originality/value

The authors examine the collaborative governance reform in a critical way, from the viewpoint of organisational culture. Through the study, it is possible to better understand the reality and readiness for collaboration of local governments in this respect. This is a valuable aspect for increasing both theoretical and practical understanding of the so-called collaborative governance.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Petri Virtanen and Jari Stenvall

Based on the concept of “intelligent public organisation” as a new theoretical trajectory for New Public Management (NPM) theory, this paper brings together the recent…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the concept of “intelligent public organisation” as a new theoretical trajectory for New Public Management (NPM) theory, this paper brings together the recent critical discussion on NPM as it relates to public services and service science while specifically pinpointing the nature of public sector intelligence, evaluation, as well as management and leadership of public services. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper highlights the ongoing discussion on service-dominant logic and reflects the major innovations in service research, innovation studies, organisational learning, development methods, and evaluation from the public services’ perspective.

Findings

It is argued that contemporary public management theories and practices – and theories reflecting the role of public services – should make more use of that body of literature focusing on substantive service-dominant theories found in marketing and business studies. The paper concludes that the academic discourse on NPM and New Public Governance (NPG) has been rich in content, but to date rather biased from a public services perspective.

Practical implications

It is argued that public services are arenas for interaction, co-operation, and co-creation, orchestrated by the networks of organisations providing these services. The essence of “service user” has also changed in recent decades. This development has practical implications for developing leadership practices in public services.

Originality/value

Doctrines of NPM and NPG have been missing an appreciation of the comprehensive role played by public services and the role of evaluation of public services has also been largely ignored. In this light and in regards to public services in particular, the new wave of public policy evaluation paradigms could usefully be integrated with NPG.

Details

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9886

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Jari Petri Stenvall, Inga Nyholm and Pasi-Heikki Rannisto

The middle manager's role in an organization is important. The purpose of this paper is to determine how middle managers understand their roles in managing changes from…

Abstract

Purpose

The middle manager's role in an organization is important. The purpose of this paper is to determine how middle managers understand their roles in managing changes from the perspective of polyphonous leadership. Polyphonous leadership can be described as something that inspires decisions by listening to multiple voices within the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data were collected from focus groups in the City of Tampere. Participants were middle managers (n=5) at an organization providing services for young narcotic/alcoholic families and pregnant mothers. The interviewees were selected due to their assumed ability to discuss management issues and their awareness concerning the factors affecting their workers’ capacities. The second focus group was organized for May 2010 (n=5) and the third later on in May 2010 (n=7).

Findings

In the Finnish context, middle managers understand polyphonous leadership as a process with a beginning and an end. The authors call this process the dominant narrative of polyphonous leadership, because there is a strong consensus amongst middle managers regarding it. In the first step, middle managers have to work as leaders of interaction. Second, they work as utilizers of diversity. In the third step, they act as decision makers and interpreters of polyphony. The final step gives them a role as conciliators of operating plans and personnel operations.

Originality/value

There is not much discussion in the extant literature of how middle managers try to act as linking persons in public services infrastructures. The model of the dominant narrative on polyphonous leadership is new in the literature.

Details

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9886

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Natalie Cameron

332

Abstract

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Petri Virtanen and Jari Kaivo-oja

The purpose of this paper is to address questions related to public service delivery. Specifically, the authors note that existing research relating to public services is…

1068

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address questions related to public service delivery. Specifically, the authors note that existing research relating to public services is usually based on a number of oversimplifications, and that a novel conceptual understanding of change management practices related to public services is necessary. As such, the authors base the argument on the observation that the notion of public services has evolved into one of service systems, which call for new kinds of conceptual and theoretical approaches in order to understand this transformational shift.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is intended to be inherently interdisciplinary – meaning that the authors discuss systemic governance challenges in a specific context (public service) relating this notion to a body of literature that is relevant to this context, though one which has not previously been used in this way (e.g. Modern Systems Theory, New Public Management and New Public Governance). This paper highlights the ongoing discussion on service-dominant logic and links these discussions to the framework of public services. The notion of public services is inherently under-theorised in the service science literature and thus presents a unique and important area for future inquiry.

Findings

The paper provides three main conclusions. The first concerns the new understanding of public services as an embedded part of the service economy when looking at service delivery from the organisational viewpoint – and also from the viewpoint of service users. Public service systems operate in a world of open systems which are more or less difficult to govern and manage. Second, the emergent systemic governance changes will be both pervasive and profound. These changes cannot, however, be understood only in economic terms; only by adopting a wider societal standpoint can they be fully appreciated. Such changes include, for instance, gene technology, robotics, informatics and nanotechnology and they cover various technological fields. Third, systemic adaptability requires new leadership and management styles. Future governance, leadership and management models must therefore be agile and adaptive to complex changes.

Practical implications

Based on this paper, potential future research topics include, analysing the role of public services as a delivery mechanism for public policies from the perspective of the coherence of public policies, to leadership models, forecasting methods and decision-making in service systems, the capacity of public service systems to adapt to systemic governance challenges, co-ordination in service organisations and service systems, service delivery mechanisms adopted at the service organisation level, touch-points between service staff and service users and the accountability functions of public service systems.

Originality/value

Public service systems clearly face new challenges, challenges that are not adequately addressed by the currently dominant paradigmatic approaches such as NPM and New Public Governance. The connection between the challenges posed by systemic governance and their impact on public service systems has not been adequately analysed thus far, either theoretically or empirically.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

Keywords

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