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Conceptualizing local development practitioners: creators, coordinators or inside lobbyists?
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Statsvetenskap. Linköpings universitet, Filosofiska fakulteten. Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för kultur och samhälle, Centrum för kommunstrategiska studier.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-6723-8388
Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5246-1605
2021 (Engelska)Ingår i: Urban Governance, ISSN 2664-3286, Vol. 1, nr 1, s. 30-37Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Local development practitioners in local government administration play a significant role in the governance of local development. This category of public officials – development officers, managers, strategists, secretaries, etc. – have received some attention in the local development literature. However, the directions in the literature are just as varied as the descriptions of the different aspects of local development governance they are taking part in. That means that the overarching understanding of what local development practitioners actually do is blurred, and is left to detailed case studies with very little or no conceptual ambition. Against this backdrop, the ambition of this article is to grasp what the local development practitioner role consists of at a conceptual level.

This article offers a better understanding of what local development practitioner roles in particular consist of and how these roles relate to existing theories of governance and public administration. In order to do so, we first clarify and refine what the literature has stressed about local development practitioners’ roles and functions, and cluster the findings into three theoretically separated roles: the coordinator, the creator and the inside lobbyist. Second, we bridge these roles with recent trends in public administration research. Finally, we discuss how this conceptualization informs us about governance modes of local development, as well as ‘new and modern’ public official roles in local government administration.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Elsevier , 2021. Vol. 1, nr 1, s. 30-37
Nationell ämneskategori
Studier av offentlig förvaltning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-181945DOI: 10.1016/j.ugj.2021.10.002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-181945DiVA, id: diva2:1621772
Tillgänglig från: 2021-12-20 Skapad: 2021-12-20 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-09-28Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Entreprenöriell förvaltning: Om den lokala utvecklingspolitikens förvaltningslogik
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Entreprenöriell förvaltning: Om den lokala utvecklingspolitikens förvaltningslogik
2022 (Svenska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Alternativ titel[en]
Entrepreneurial Administration : The Administrative Logic of Local Development Politics
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to deepen the understanding of entrepreneurship as an ideal and practice in local government administration. Organization, practices and the roles of civil servants in public administration are all grounded in certain ideals of what a modern public administration should look like. In order to capture the relationship between ideals and practices in local government administration, this introductory essay takes its point of departure in an institutional logic perspective.

Entrepreneurial practices are well documented in a public administration context. Both civil servants and organizations can be more or less creative, alert and energetic, in other words more or less entrepreneurial. However, practices such as these are often understood to derive from the motives, driving forces and extraordinary characteristics of the specific actor. By contrast, this thesis aims to contribute to the literature on public administrative trends and reforms, by discussing entrepreneurship in terms of institutionalized ideals and patterns of action, i.e., institutional logics.

The analysis is based on empirical studies of local development work in ten Swedish municipalities. The research design is grounded in an interpretative ethnographic approach and the development projects in each of the municipalities were closely followed for three years. Local development work is studied as a policy field where entrepreneurial ideals and practices are likely to arise, making it a suitable subject for studies that aim to deepen the theoretical understanding of entrepreneurship in a public administration context.

The thesis demonstrates how an entrepreneurial logic is institutionalized in local government development work and embedded in governance and administrative practices as a natural consequence of certain contemporary reforms and trends in local policy and administration.Through ethnographic studies of local development work, the ideals and practices of the entrepreneurial logic are made visible. The entrepreneurial logic is contrasted to the still prevalent and institutionalized bureaucratic- rational administrative logic. These two logics are in many respects the logical opposite of one another and provide different answers to the question of which administrative practices are appropriate.

The thesis makes three contributions to different theoretical discussions. First, the clarification of the entrepreneurial logic helps both researchers and practitioners make sense of and bring conceptual order to the messy practices of local development work.

Second, the entrepreneurial logic expands the concept of entrepreneurship in a public sector context by viewing entrepreneurship as an institutional phenomenon rather than a phenomenon that represents a break from traditional institutions.

Third, the entrepreneurial logic sheds light on institutionalized administrative ideals and practices that potentially imply major changes in public administration legitimacy, values and norms.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2022. s. 82
Serie
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 828
Nyckelord
Political/public entrepreneurship, Local government, Public administration, Local development politics, Politiskt/offentligt entreprenörskap, Kommunal styrning, Offentlig förvaltning, Lokal utvecklingspolitik
Nationell ämneskategori
Studier av offentlig förvaltning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-181894 (URN)10.3384/9789179291532 (DOI)9789179291525 (ISBN)9789179291532 (ISBN)
Disputation
2022-01-28, ACAS, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2021-12-20 Skapad: 2021-12-20 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-01-07Bibliografiskt granskad

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