Perspectives on post-NPM: Four studies on managing in a complex public sector

Doctoral student: Nils Kvilvang

Recognition of the complexity of contemporary public sector management is abundant. Contradictory demands, notions of hybridity from vastly different logics, ever-increasing globalization and so on is evidently sources of influence. New Public Governance, Public Value, and Public Service-Dominant Approach are but three of the approaches to public sector management emerging from the decades of New Public Management.
 
This project approaches the notion of a post-NPM public sector through complexity theory, building four images of how public sector management plays out in a large city. It discusses issues of sensemaking and framing, trust and control, value co-creation and valuation processes.

Controlling for school performance

Doctoral student: Anton Borell

One institutionalized idea among societies is the one of mass schooling, as we have given it a legitimate status in organising our life. Parents entrust it for taking care of their children while leaving off for work; pupils spend years through the system for attaining knowledge and skills that are considered important; citizens want it in order to make a better future society, and so forth. Due to its institutionalized status within societies, we typically hear arguments that supports its own existence, as we believe that these organizations are able to a) socialize our children into democratic citizens, b) legitimatize distribution of status and work in society and c) to do so on equal and meritocratic basis. In other words, whilst it is more common to hear arguments about more or better schooling, it is rather rear to hear that we need less schooling. 
 
It is perhaps due to the prominent status in our society that schools are sites where contradictions of performance occur, because there are multiple ideas upon what performance is or how to achieve it. For instance, what jobs are going to be important for our economy in the next 10, 20 or 30 years? Is schooling only about to allocate jobs in the marketplace, or ensuring inner cultivation? Should we allow religious schools in a secularized society, or are we right to exercise our beliefs in a democratic system? If we want an equal school for everyone, what aspects do we mean by that? Should we organize it by trusting the professionals or should we trust choice for the individuals? These are only a few out of many questions that are up for concerns in relation to how to manage schooling. Thus, it is evident that schools are faced with different conceptions of how to control and organize for performance. 
 
This project aims to grasp upon how accounting (i.e. performance evaluation/measurement and budgeting) are interrelated with different conceptions of control, and how these in turn leads to contradictions, compromises, resistance and reproduction of social orders (e.g. the constructed decision-makers, the appropriate organizing methods, values and beliefs) among those who work in the school setting. The study is situated mainly within the school- and municipality level and draws upon interviews, document analysis and participant observations. The project started in September 2016 and aims to be completed in 2021. 

Ledning, styrning och digitalisering i och av skolan

Den svenska skolan är utsatt för ett påtagligt förändringstryck. Reformerna duggar tätt samtidigt som förutsättningarna förändras som en följd förändrade elevsammansättningar, förväntningar om digitalisering samt ett tydligt fokus på resultat.

För att öka kunskapen om detta har vi formerat en forskargrupp kring två doktorandprojekt där doktorand Johan Klassen studerar digitaliseringen och doktorand Anton Borell studerar kontroll och prestationsmätning i skolan.

Som forskningsledare och handledare för dessa projekt medverkar docent Roland Almqvist, professor Jan Löwstedt och ekon dr. Fredrik Svärdsten Nymans