FOA og den danske model: En analyse af FOA’s strategier fra trepart til overenskomst

Birgitte Munck Eriksen, Karen Hansen & Karin Mette Thomsen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


Throughout our Master of Public Administration study, we have been engaged with the theme on state and nongovernmental organizations and the development of the relation between union nongovernmental organizations and the state. Moreover, we have addressed the possibilities for union nongovernmental organizations to seek influence on the political decision making process, and how these possibilities have evolved and changed. The present dissertation, prepared as part of the Master of Public Administration study at Copen-hagen Business School, in the autumn of 2008, focus sharply on the different roles and acting of FOA’s (Trade and Work Union) to gain influence on the political process, which was launched with the tripartite-talks on the quality-reform agreement in 2006 and ended with the collective bar-gaining agreement in 2008. The dissertation takes its empiric point of departure on FOA, as FOA was the main originator of the tripartite-talks on the quality-reform process, and because of their actions were blamed for putting pressure on the institutional framework – The Danish Model – and perhaps even blamed for the breakdown of The Danish Model. FOA had a significant role and positioned itself in the media during the lengthy collective bargaining conflict in 2008. Together with its members, FOA managed to set new trendsetting standards and with their control of the agenda, FOA could be seen as an exponent for a new and more dynamic way for union nongovernmental organizations to act in the political and negotiation processes. With a descriptive diagnosis of the political- and negotiations structure in Denmark, the Danish Model, we wish to highlight the structure that FOA acted in, and which role FOA had in the politi-cal- and negotiations process. Furthermore, we wish to illustrate how FOA’s different positions and perspectives had significant importance in their choosing of strategies. In other words, it is our ambition to disclose, what made FOA act as the organization did, which power relations took place, and which challenges in terms of legitimacy has evolved from FOA’s conduct. With the abovementioned focus, the dissertation poses one main question: ”How did FOA exert influence on the political decision-making process through the tripartite-talks on the quality-reform process in 2007 and on the collective bargaining process in 2008, and which consequences did FOA’s act have on FOA’s power and legitimacy?” main question is explored through five subordinate questions: 1. Which direct and indirect strategies did FOA make use of to seek influence on the tripar-tite-talks on the quality-reform process and on the collective bargaining in 2007-08? 2. Which acts, interaction and roles have been played in the process that was launched with the tripartite-talks on the quality-reform process in 2007 and ended with on the collective bargaining agreement in 2008? 3. How did FOA exert its power, and which powerbases evolved from this definition? 4. In what way did FOA create legitimacy in the political space, in the negotiations space and in the public space during the tripartite-talks on the quality-reform process and on the col-lective bargaining process in 2007-08? 5. In which context did FOA gain legitimacy, and which legitimacy challenges is FOA facing? A common denominator for all five analyses are, that they all contributed to an better understand-ing of FOA’s change of strategies, the different roles and mutual relations. The analyses, brought different suggestions to the cause of FOA’s actions, and collectively each analysis brought an un-derstanding of the richly faceted process surrounding the case of the thesis. It is the conclusion of the dissertation that FOA sought for and obtained influence on both the tri-partite-talks on the quality-reform process as well as the collective bargaining process in 2008 by challenging and expanding the institutional framework, and fundamental principle of the Danish Model, as put forward in the descriptive diagnosis. By means of power theory, we concluded that both direct, indirect, control of consciousness and structural power were used. FOA now appears to be an actor, who uses power to seek influence on political processes by performing forceful and more confrontational, rather than seeking com-promise. By way of legitimacy theory, we uncovered FOA’s legitimacy gains and challenges, and directions for action are identified that may establish and re-establish the legitimacy of FOA and thus change the illegitimacy the FOA’s leadership in some areas also acquire. As a consequence of FOA’s actions, we concluded, that there have been considerably changes in the dynamics surrounding the process for union nongovernmental organization to seek influence on the political negotiation process and thus bringing possible change in future negotiations processes. On the other hand, our chosen perspectives do not offer any evidence of fracture or disintegration of the Danish Model, caused by FOA’s actions.

EducationsMaster of Public Administration, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages126