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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 September 2023

Kaisa Kurkela, Anna–Aurora Kork, Anni Jäntti and Henna Paananen

This study observes the organisational environment of fostering citizen participation in the context of local government. Creating systems of influential citizen participation…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study observes the organisational environment of fostering citizen participation in the context of local government. Creating systems of influential citizen participation requires the consideration of organisational prerequisites. This study asks which organisational elements contribute to successful citizen participation in local government.

Design/methodology/approach

The data consist of interviews with 14 key actors who work for the city of Helsinki. The interview content was subjected to abductive content analysis and reflected in the analytical framework based on previous literature on citizen participation. The analysis complements and adds insights to the existing literature.

Findings

This study illuminates three crucial elements of influential citizen participation: organisational structures, organisational culture and adequate resources. Additionally, the results revealed management to be a crucial enabling element. The findings highlight the importance of seeing citizen participation as an issue of governance and as a systemic part of the administration requiring intentional management efforts.

Originality/value

The study illustrates the key elements (structures, culture and resources) that should be considered when creating an influential citizen participation system. Additionally, the empirical analysis highlights the importance of management, which has been understudied in previous studies concerning citizen participation.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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 conditions…

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

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 February 2023

Meri Pulkkinen, Lotta-Maria Sinervo and Kaisa Kurkela

In this paper, the authors focus on participatory budgeting (PB) as an organizational issue in local government. The aim of this study is to analyze the premises of PB becoming…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors focus on participatory budgeting (PB) as an organizational issue in local government. The aim of this study is to analyze the premises of PB becoming institutionalized in local governance by scrutinizing the factors that enable or disable PB as a collaborative innovation process, and that in turn build innovative capacity. The authors study how the collaborative innovation process constructs the innovation capacity of local government and further how this enables PB to institutionalize in local government. With this study, the authors deepen the understanding of PB as a collaborative innovation process that may encounter obstacles and hindrances, but also enablers and drivers for creating and transforming sustainable collaborative practices in local government.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors present a case study from one Finnish local government, the city of Lahti. The authors employ multifaced empirical data collected from the city of Lahti in two PB rounds between 2019 and 2022. Data include surveys for citizens and employees and municipal councilors and altogether 24 interviews with employees and councilors. The authors also gathered data by observing the PB process in Lahti, taking parts in workshops and meetings between 2019 and 2022. Municipal documents were likewise used as data in this study.

Findings

The institutionalization of PB in a local government organization requires organizational innovation capacity, not only individuals who are keen, motived and committed to work on PB. However, the Lahti case shows that successful PB results from the citizens' viewpoint can on one hand be reached while simultaneously the sustainability of PB needs more organizational commitment and support that materializes into managerial activities. The authors found that adequate resourcing is a key question in the institutionalization of PB.

Originality/value

In the present study, the authors approach the often-neglected topic of PB from the professional viewpoint in public administration. The originality of the empirical setting is the multifaced data collection during the first two rounds of PB in Lahti. It is highly relevant to analyze PB in its early stages as the organizational difficulties and resistance are at the time at their highest. This study offers a unique perspective on to the initialization of a novel participatory method in a city where no such efforts on this scale have been implemented before.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

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