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  • 1.
    Bergh, Andreas
    et al.
    Lunds universitet, Sweden.
    Erlingsson, Gissur Ó
    Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies – CKS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Gustafsson, Anders
    Jönköping Business School and The Ratio Institute, Sweden.
    Wittberg, Emanuel
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Municipally Owned Enterprises as Danger Zones for Corruption?: How Politicians Having Feet in Two Camps May Undermine Conditions for Accountabilit2019In: Public Integrity, ISSN 1099-9922, E-ISSN 1558-0989, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 320-352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The market-inspired reforms of New Public Management have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Notably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory gives rise to the hypothesis that the massive introduction of MOEs has impacted negatively on the conditions for accountability in Swedish local government. To study this, social network analysis was employed in mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 732 politicians. The analysis reveals substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the ultimate stakeholders, citizens) and agents (the boards of the MOEs). Hence, corporatization of public services seems to imply worrisome entanglements between the politicians who are set to steer, govern, and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs may therefore have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of Swedish local government.

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