Managing quality in education in a multi-level governance system – strategies, constraints and innovations
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
When new forms of governance as New Public Management, user choices and competition in public services are becoming the normal praxis in Scandinavian public welfare services provided by municipalities and regions there are increasing demands for quality management. There is a basic need to follow up quality in services in particular when there are several providers of public services. The uses of quality management in private sectors are not completely applicable on these public services and thus the growing use of quality management in public services has to be addressed. In this paper the quality management in primary education is in focus both to focus on how these processes are arranged and what we can learn as more terms for quality management in public services.
In addition it is far from clear what quality is in these new organizational settings of mixed public-private contexts and actors. The mix of actors are not just public and private, there are also several different organizational levels that interplay here. In spite of the local focus and provision of these services there is a lot of interaction, comparison and structures framed on national and even international levels.
In this paper we will elaborate on the meanings of quality in education as a public service by analyzing the strategies, constraints and innovative responses in local schools as well as in municipal administration and policy-making processes. Case studies in five municipalities in Sweden is included, varying in size and thereby also by numbers of schools and structures of quality management. Based on this study we draw three types of more general conclusions and discuss three implications. First, we can notice that there is a need to clarify the roles and obligations of the different levels and actors in the education sectors. Second, there is a need to support and develop roles for mediating actors that can translate meanings of quality into public settings. Thirdly, there is need to elaborate on the meanings of quality management in public settings and also open up the meanings of quality in relation to education in particular and public services in general.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
quality management, schools, multi-level governance
Public Administration Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123216OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-123216DiVA: diva2:877761