Bargains and Management by Objectives

by Rainer Korkiamäki

Institution: Stockholm University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Social Sciences; Economics and Business; Business Administration; Samhällsvetenskap; Ekonomi och näringsliv; Företagsekonomi
Record ID: 1328972
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114933


<strong>Title:</strong> Bargains and Management by Objectives: On political steering, civil servant influence and public procurement in the City of Stockholm. <strong>Background: </strong>Much research on NPM has been devoted to understanding and explaining the worldwide diffusion of NPM reforms. Less attention has been directed towards analysing the impact of NPM reforms on the internal logic of the public administration or its relationship with its political masters. Using the concept of PSB as a theoretical framework enables an additional interpretation of the relation.<strong></strong> <strong>Research Question: </strong>How does bargains between politicians and civil servants, working with procurement, affect Management by Objectives? <strong>Aim:</strong> The aim of this study is to shed light on how the relationship between politicians and civil servants, working with public procurement, affects MBO. The concept of NPM, which has influenced public management in Sweden, is based on a principal-agent assumption but in this study we investigate if the concept of PSB may offer a more nuanced way to interpret and understand the relationship. <strong>Method: </strong>A qualitative case study performed through eleven semi-structured interviews with ten civil servants and one politician in the City of Stockholm. <strong>Conclusion: </strong>The PSB concept (Hood, 2000b) nuances the perspectives and the use of formal managerial tools in a principal-agent relation, highlighting instead the cooperation and bargains between politicians and civil servants. Through sharing competence and loyalty, the civil servants are able to substantially influence political decision-making, thus in practice relaxing the strong principal-agent assumption.     <strong> </strong> <strong>Keywords:</strong> PSB, Public Service Bargains, NPM, Procurement, Public Administration