How to Transform a Public Organisation - A Study of the Head Office of Region Västra Götaland

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Examensarbete på kandidatnivå
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2021
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Acklund, Jennifer
Davidsson, Elvira
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Historically, different theories of public sector management have evolved. New Public Management has dominated but over the last decades new trends have emerged as a reaction to its shortcomings. The core of the new theories is to consider the user as a co-producer of value. In 2016 the Swedish Government assigned Tillitsdelegationen to investigate how the management of the public sector could be improved, and specifically to support the implementation of Trust Based Governance. This thesis focuses on Region Västra Götaland, a public political organisation currently on the journey towards a cohesive organisation and a culture built on trust. In the upcoming years they will encounter challenges demanding a shift in organisation and governance. The Head Office is the link between the political decision makers and the citizens, supporting the political entities and the different organisations within the region. This thesis first explores the current state and identifies areas to focus on in the transformation. Subsequently, it immerses into transformation stories of other public organisations to give rise to ideas on how the transformation can proceed. Through a qualitative approach, this thesis used a case study design mainly built on interviews with employees at the Head Office and representatives from a number of other public organisations. This was complemented with a literature review focused on public management theories and change management. The study identified some aspects of New Public Management to still remain in the organisation, but also possibilities to embark on the journey towards Trust Based Governance. By studying other organisations, ideas of how to transform were developed. Prevalent in these findings was that culture is strongly intertwined with leadership, hence prioritisation of leaders makes up a big part of the conclusion. Also, to ensure alignment between different parts of the organisation was found important to guide behaviour and create the desired culture characterised by openness, collaboration and with the user in centre.
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