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Kristina Witt Vejle

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The pressure on the Danish welfare system is increasing. That is also the case in the municipality of Copenhagen (KK). KL - Local Government Denmark has decided a new strategy for procurement and The Danish Business Authority as well has announced an executive order that will oblige public procurement to a higher degree of e-commerce. Both with the intend to support actions which can help release the abovementioned pressure. In the municipality of Copenhagen, where I work as head of an office involved in the conclusion of contracts and e-commerce a high target (95%) has been decided in relation to how much should be e-traded. This was unanimously adopted at both high political and administrative levels because it is assumed to release both money and time for more welfare. Despite the decision, we are both in KK generally and in my case-study, which is a selected unit in the Social Administration (SOF), far from reaching the target. In order to find ways to optimize the present situation in the future, I have analyzed the selected unit using two theories, chosen as I found they could provide me with both an understanding of what can be the reason of poor support for an unanimously adopted decision and how the decision and e-commerce are experienced by the respondents in my study. Meyer & Rowan argue that all the ceremonial requirements that surround an organization, and which it must adopt as institutionalized structures to keep legitimacy, often are conflicting requirements. This bears the consequence that organizations resolve the conflict by decoupling. Apparently, they accept decisions and new structures but in the performance of their daily activities they decouple. In my specific study, my analysis with Meyer & Rowan revealed, that it is likely that decoupling is taking place at a fairly high administrative level of the SOF. This is further supported by a couple of statements in my interviews. Analyzing my interviews with the seven properties of sensemaking introduced by Weick, has furthermore led me to the conclusion that the decoupling has had an impact in the elements plausibility and focus on extracted cues. There is a high degree of lack of knowledge of purchasing in general, objectives and places to get help and assistance. This has implications for the sensemaking of procurement and Kvantum (e-commerce). No formal or informal room for dialogue or sensemaking of Kvantum has been created, and therefore sensemaking is primarily based on how the respondents previously have experienced interference from the central administration and on the basis of their professional identity, and identity as a private purchaser, which has the implication that respondents primarily use Kvantum when they sense an obligation. This also means that they quickly resort alternative purchasing methods if they find Kvantum difficult. The interviews and subsequent reflections have given rise to several actions that can subsequently be initiated by both me and my colleagues working with procurement and e-commerce. New communication plan, networking, creation of stories, which can support the sensemaking are some of these actions.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages39
SupervisorsThomas Lopdrup-Hjorth