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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Mikko Pakarinen and Petri Juhani Virtanen

The purpose of this paper is to review the empirical research on matrix organizations and cross-functional teams (CFTs) in the public sector, focussing on typical application…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the empirical research on matrix organizations and cross-functional teams (CFTs) in the public sector, focussing on typical application areas and settings and on motivation for deployment and evidence of utility.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a systematic literature review compiled from several electronic databases. Data cover the period from 1990 to 2015 and are confined to academic articles written in English.

Findings

Applications of the matrix approach in public sector organizations are found in human resource management and performance management, service development and public procurement, and creation of new organizations or organization reform and network organizations. While the proven utility of matrix organization is often unclear, especially CFTs are linked to better organizational performance, improved coordination, internal collaboration and development of cross-boundary tasks.

Research limitations/implications

Methodological limitations relate to excluded data due to non-accessible articles.

Practical implications

The findings have practical implications for public sector organizations in adapting to a changing environment.

Originality/value

This is the first systematic literature review of matrix management in public sector organizations.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 3
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…

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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: 14 November 2016

Mikko Pakarinen and Petri Virtanen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the matrix organisation in one municipality. It focusses on whether decisions can be based on shared understanding, as well as identifying…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the matrix organisation in one municipality. It focusses on whether decisions can be based on shared understanding, as well as identifying conflicts and proposed solutions between central administration and the line divisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study is founded on empirical data from city of Turku, Finland. The data are based on two surveys and participant observation data (employees’ meetings and workshops during 2013-2015).

Findings

Conflicts were categorised based on structure, processes, resources, people, and rewards. Conflicts emerged on an individual level, such as role conflict, role ambiguity, and role overload. Administrative procedures, personnel resources, scheduling, and personality issues emerged on an organisational level. Conflicts were greater in the line organisation than in central administration, but they did not differ much. Proposed solutions were few, but jointly determined. The value of the matrix was in the creation of a coherent vision. Cross-dimensional steering groups offered fora for identifying problems and solving conflicts, but the ability to realise change was limited, mainly because of a lack of decision-making power.

Research limitations/implications

Methodological limitations relate to the generalisation of the findings.

Practical implications

The study findings call for developing network-based communication models, as well as public management styles adjusted to matrix-type organisations.

Originality/value

The conflicts raised are similar in public-sector organisations and private companies. However, the proposed solutions may vary because of the limited possibilities for a municipal organisation to rectify the problems that emerged.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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 critical…

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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: 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 usually…

1135

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

Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Gábor Petri

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on the paper titled “The Zone of Parental Control, The ‘Gilded Cage’ and The Deprivation of a Child’s Liberty: Getting Around…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on the paper titled “The Zone of Parental Control, The ‘Gilded Cage’ and The Deprivation of a Child’s Liberty: Getting Around Article 5”.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the original article as a jumping off point to assess what aids advocacy organisations and human rights instruments can give to children with learning disabilities who enter legal procedures.

Findings

Existing human rights laws such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provide innovative principles to reviewing existing policies, but little practical guidance is given to real implementation. Disability advocacy is ambiguous towards the question of representation of children with learning disabilities.

Originality/value

Literature on self-advocacy and especially on the self-advocacy and self-representation of children with learning disabilities is very limited. Access to justice for children with learning disabilities is similarly under-researched and is rarely addressed in disability advocacy.

Details

Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 January 2022

Raushan Aman, Petri Ahokangas, Maria Elo and Xiaotian Zhang

Although entrepreneurial capacity building is a keenly debated topic in migration and diaspora research, the concept of female entrepreneurial capacity and the framing of highly…

Abstract

Although entrepreneurial capacity building is a keenly debated topic in migration and diaspora research, the concept of female entrepreneurial capacity and the framing of highly skilled migrant women has remained underexamined. This chapter, therefore, addresses knowledge gaps related to migrant women entrepreneurs (MWEs) by focusing on the entrepreneurial experiences of highly skilled female migrants from both developed and developing countries. Specifically, we turn the ‘disadvantage’ lens towards migrant women’s inherent entrepreneurial dimension, an issue that deserves greater research attention, linking migrant women and their entrepreneurship to the entrepreneurial host context and business environment. Building on rich qualitative data collected via six semi-structured interviews with MWEs based in Finland, we also make practical suggestions for how MWEs can best engage with their entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as suggestions to policy-makers regarding how to improve gender awareness and migrant inclusivity aspects of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Details

Disadvantaged Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-450-2

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 the…

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

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2007

Erja Wiili‐Peltola, Mika Kivimäki, Marko Elovainio and Marianna Virtanen

The purpose to clarify what kind of managerial challenges employees experience regarding organisational justice in hospitals.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose to clarify what kind of managerial challenges employees experience regarding organisational justice in hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study of 8,971 employees working in 14 hospitals and examines the concept of organisational justice in management with qualitative and quantitative methods.

Findings

An inductive content analysis of the comments revealed five integrative frames describing challenges in hospital management at respondents' workplaces. These frames should be regarded as major managerial challenges in hospitals. These findings illustrate important antecedents of organisational justice and suggest that work units tend to share the same perceptions of justice. They also reveal that individually produced comments reflect collective experiences in organisational justice. Further, the results indicate that problems in management and policies are often experienced in a complex way, and people making justice judgements do not separate procedural and interactional factors.

Research limitations/implications

Although the commentators producing qualitative data represented many organisational hierarchy levels, the results should not be generalised to apply to horizontal, informal social relationships.

Practical implications

This paper gives useful information regarding challenges in human resources management in hospitals.

Originality/value

The paper suggests that people making fairness judgements do not make a distinction between procedural and interpersonal factors. Instead, they use any information available to judge the righteousness of the management events. This paper serves to guide hospital managers towards a better understanding of the importance of organisational justice and its collective nature.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 September 2022

Margarita Peonides, Verena Knoll, Nina Gerstner, Raffael Heiss, Markus Frischhut and Nikhil Gokani

This review explores the phenomenon of front-of-pack nutrition labels (FoPNLs) in the European Union (EU). FoPNLs highlight the nutritional quality of food and non-alcoholic…

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Abstract

Purpose

This review explores the phenomenon of front-of-pack nutrition labels (FoPNLs) in the European Union (EU). FoPNLs highlight the nutritional quality of food and non-alcoholic beverages and help consumers to make healthier choices. The review explores different types of FoPNLs and evaluates their effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

A policy analysis was conducted, relying on extant academic literature, grey literature and policy documents. The use of current FoPNLs is interpreted in light of national and economic interests.

Findings

Our review identifies and describes seven government endorsed FoPNLs that are currently used in the EU. Five are positive endorsement labels (Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Slovenia and Sweden), which only provide a positive indication on more healthy products. The Keyhole is used in three EU countries (Denmark, Lithuania and Sweden), while the others are used in one country each. The Nutri-Score represents a summary label, which provides an overall grade of how healthy a product is. It is used in six countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg). Finally, the Nutrinform battery is a nutrient-specific non-interpretive scheme, indicating the content of nutrients in a portion of a food product. All identified labels are only used on a voluntary basis, encouraging selective use.

Originality/value

This review contributes to a significant discussion about food labeling in the EU. It summarizes existing approaches and evaluates them in terms of their effectiveness. The current schemes in use reflect regional clustering. The most common scheme is the Nutri-Score. This is predominantly found in western EU states. Another major label is the Keyhole, with summary endorsement schemes being prevalent in northern EU states. The least common is Nutrinform, which has some support in southern EU states. The Nutri-score is most effective although economic interests are pushing for the Nutrinform battery in a small number of states. Finally, the review suggests that all existing FoPNLs are voluntary, these labels fail to provide consumers with adequate information about nutrition quality of food products. The EU needs to mobilize support to agree on a single one.

Details

International Journal of Health Governance, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-4631

Keywords

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