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Strategic Management in Finnish and Norwegian Government Agencies

Author

Listed:
  • Jan-Erik Johanson

    () (Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland)

  • Åge Johnsen

    () (Oslo Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University, PO Box 4 St. Olavs Plass, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway
    The Norwegian Defence University College, PO Box 1550 Sentrum, NO-0015 Oslo, Norway)

  • Elias Pekkola

    () (Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, FI-33014 Tampere, Finland)

  • Stephen Affleck Reid

    () (NLA University College Oslo, PO Box 7153 St. Olavs plass, NO-0130 Oslo, Norway
    The Open University Business School, PO Box 197, Milton Keynes MK7 6BJ, UK)

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyse the design and implementation of strategic planning and performance management in governmental agencies in two Nordic countries, Finland and Norway. Nordic countries are an interesting study from a comparative perspective because while they are commonly assumed to have been high-intensity new public management reformers, they are also commonly assumed to have a distinct public management tradition. Moreover, these two countries are interesting to study because within the Nordic public management tradition, Finland and Norway specifically represent two different public management traditions. Finland belongs to the Eastern Nordic public management tradition, with an emphasis on decentralisation and agency autonomy, while Norway belongs to the Western Nordic public management tradition, with an emphasis on hierarchical governance, and hence, much performance management and reporting. Therefore, we expected to find more decentralised strategic management and an emphasis on evaluation in Finland, and more central, planning-like strategic management and reporting in Norway. Our comparison shows that both countries had mandatory strategic planning and utilised decentralised strategic planning in government agencies. The stronger legal orientation in the public administration in Finland, however, made strategic changes more complicated in Finland than in Norway.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan-Erik Johanson & Åge Johnsen & Elias Pekkola & Stephen Affleck Reid, 2019. "Strategic Management in Finnish and Norwegian Government Agencies," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-20, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jadmsc:v:9:y:2019:i:4:p:80-:d:276179
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Alford & Carsten Greve, 2017. "Strategy in the Public and Private Sectors: Similarities, Differences and Changes," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-17, September.
    2. Bert George & Sebastian Desmidt & Eva Cools & Anita Prinzie, 2018. "Cognitive styles, user acceptance and commitment to strategic plans in public organizations: an empirical analysis," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, March.
    3. Edoardo Ongaro & Ewan Ferlie, 2019. "Exploring Strategy-Making in ‘Non-New Public Management’ Public Services Settings: The Case of European Union Agencies," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. Jordan Tama, 2018. "How an agency’s responsibilities and political context shape government strategic planning: evidence from US Federal agency quadrennial reviews," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 377-396, March.
    5. Jonathan Boston & June Pallot, 1997. "Linking strategy and performance: Developments in the New Zealand public sector," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 382-404.
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