Borgerinddragelse på plejecenterområdet, et uudnyttet potentiale

Marina Wichmand Nielsen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


New Public Governance consists of three overarching components: collaboration, partnerships and civic engagement. Civic engagement can contribute to innovation and improvement of services. In relation to care homes in Guldborgsund Municipality, the potential inherent in civic engagement appears to have been untapped. This master’s project has focused on the managerial aspect of the development of civic engagement, the aim being not only to improve the quality of the services we are required to provide but also to prevent undignified conditions from arising. In the area of care homes, there are multiple management tools that each serve a different purpose, but they are often characterised by the notion of control. This hierarchical management model not only applies to managers and employees, but also citizens who are both users of the care homes while also among those being managed. With a view to answering the primary research question of this project, the citizens’ perception of the most important factors of everyday life in the care homes was examined. The scientific theoretical perspective is based on the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur’s theory of interpretation, which in turn is based on a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. This study is qualitative in nature with a research design based on a case study with three focus group interviews. Prior to their moving-in to a care home, the citizens in the study have all experienced a decline in functions while also being forced to leave their homes; a two-fold loss. Over time, the citizens appear to experience a sense of belonging to the care home. A crucial element in this regard is a sense of feeling safe and secure. This sense of belonging appears to become stronger if the citizens’ perception of feeling safe and secure is echoed in the sentiments of their family members. A sense of belonging and sense of safety accordingly appear to go hand-in-hand. A sense of safety can be supported or suppressed by the social context. To the citizens in this study, being active holds value. They have not only an inherent motivation to stay active, but also to help others stay active. At the same time, they maintain their functional ability and competences, further strengthening their sense of autonomy and belonging. In many ways, the citizens have a good insight into the everyday goings-on at a care home and possess knowledge that can contribute to reflection and development, not only in relation to the services we must provide but also in relation to generally creating value in their everyday lives. Civic engagement can contribute to ‘managing their management’ while also helping them stay active. However, the purpose of civic engagement is to support the needs that the citizens have. Accordingly, it will be important to ensure that the citizens are involved in a process to determine how civic engagement in the care home should work in practice.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages44