Medarbejdere i teknik- og miljøforvaltningerne udfordres af at skulle skabe nye løsninger sammen med borgerne

Maria Cathrine Nielsen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The project looks at the challenges employees in the Department of Technique- and Environmental at Rudersdal municipality experience when co-creating welfare with the citizens. The project takes its starting point in the discussion on the shift towards the New Public Governance (NPG) regime from the previous bureaucratic and New Public Management regimes. The political paradigm on creating public welfare has shifted and they now expect citizens to contribute actively to the solution of the welfare problems. In this project, I look at the challenges this creates for frontline workers at the municipality level, who under the earlier bureaucratic regime held the needed knowledge to take decisions in their work processes. They now have to develop the ability to integrate knowledge from citizens and colleagues to be able to reach solutions. As Head of the Nature, Parks and Environmental department in Rudersdal municipality, through the last years I have been working towards introducing this change in my department. In this process, it has sometimes puzzled me why introducing this new regime – or even just testing it – was met with reluctance. This became the basis for selecting this subject as the basis for this project. My analysis shows that developing the abilities to perform successfully in the NPG regime requires an enormous change, as the front line worker need to:Create new knowledge about both the political and economic framework of the municipality and about the needs of weaker groups in the society, which do not have the power to participate in the co-creation processes.  Develop a new mental understanding of the idea of co-creation and simultaneously change their work process, so that they are able to work creatively and co-govern, co-manage or co-produce solutions together with citizens. The two learning processes are closely intertwined and cannot develop in isolation.  Accommodation of the work processes can be learnt only by trial and testing. Expectation towards ability to master the changed approach and individual motivation are significant to ensure a successful outcome  The project concludes that it is possible to view the process in steps, where the development in the mental and work processes is achieved incrementally. The leadership responses to support the steps also unfolded.  It is clear from the analysis that it is a very energy consuming process to make the required shift for the employees. This indicates that it is necessary for the leader to have continuous dialogs with employees about the implication of the shift to support the new mental understanding as well as continuously challenge the work processes. These talks are different from the normal day-to-day leader-employee talk, as they have to be more value based. The 15 cases, which this project is built on, provide the leader with inspiration and good examples for this continuous dialog.  The project concludes that it is possible to view the process in steps, where the development in the mental and work processes is incrementally achieved. The leadership responses to support the steps also unfolded.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages78