Strukturreformen og kommunikationscentrene: Forandringer og konsekvenser

Per Nielsen & Agnete Selvejer

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The purpose of this masters’ thesis is to analyze and elucidate a number of managerial implications of the changes that have occurred at Danish communication centres after the recent structural reform of the municipalities. At the structural reform authority and financial responsibility for the tasks of the communication (special education and special assistive devices) were transferred from the counties to the municipalities. Since 2007 the structural reform’s focus on rational operation and market inspired separation of purchase and supply of public services has led communication centres in many parts of the country to facing competition, visitation power to be transferred to the municipal authorities, and the influx of citizens for special education and special assistive devices services to be adjusted by management technologies such as the PS (purchaser/supplier) model or by other technologies, which enable monitoring of expenditure. In a constructivist inspired approach, we use new institutional theory as explanatory framework for the consequences of structural changes, partly in relation to financial and organizational management of communications centres, and partly in relation to maintaining professional skills and quality. With perspectives from new institutional economic theory, we analyze what market orientation means for the communication centres’ capacity in the relationship between purchasers and suppliers. With perspectives from sociological institutional theory, we analyze what communications centres must do to establish and preserve legitimacy to exist in relation to the municipalities. In a radical perspective, we analyze how the PS model as a management technology creates identities, roles and relationships that affect the organization's capacity for action and gives constraints related to professional skills and quality in the task performance of the communications centres. Derived from the analysis, we establish a number of overlapping elements to a comprehensive strategy for the future of the communications centres where survival and development are consistent with the maintenance of professionalism and quality. Identifies, among other things, are: • Centres should strengthen their authority in accepting change and contributing constructively to the reorganization of the institutions, so they function optimally under the new management conditions. • Centres should strengthen their capacity by having a focus on productivity, efficiency, and transparency of services and pricing. • Centres should enhance their legitimacy by incorporating new rules and standards equivalent to the requirements of the new institutional settings and be aware of the risk of decoupling from the current task by adhering to previous workflow. • Centres should give priority to retain their specialized professional skills, since these in particular hold the key to the survival and, in the long term, the indispensability of the centres. • Centres and municipalities should jointly cooperate on a more appropriate organizing of the communication centres’ tasks. For example, such an organization could be mandatory municipal collaboration with common ownership of communications centres to cover specific geographic areas with population base and critical mass sufficient to maintain the necessary capacity and specialization. Finally, we indicate a number of alternative, but not improbable, models for organization of the field, which we believe hold the risk of reduced professional sustainability, geographical bias, unsteady capacity flow and impaired quality.

EducationsMaster of Public Administration, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages127