Fra politisk vision til materialiseret praksis: Om en politisk visions rejse gennem organisationen og betydningen af dette for de medarbejdere, der skal udleve visionen i praksis

Helle Saabye Pedersen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The ambition of this project is to show coherence between the translation of a strategy and the motivation of employees. I want to prove, that there is a connection between translation and motivation, through a case, that involves a political decision from the Municipality Council, of altering the leadership of the Psychological Counseling (PPR) from one political center to another, at the same time, as a cut in the budget for this group was decided. The purpose of this decision is to ensure that more pupils with special needs can stay in the common school instead of being excluded to more specialized schools. The decision involved the local headmasters at all the schools, as they were told and made their own translation of the decision, saying that the employees at PPR would be under their leadership. This caused a great deal of uncertainty for the employees at PPR. The thesis statement of this project is: “What are the consequences of the translation of the political strategy, which proclaims that more pupils have to be included in the common school system”? And the underlying questions for this thesis are: How is the political strategy translated, throughout a hierarchical chain of politicians, the bureaucracy at the municipality and the local headmasters? How does the translation of the strategy and the budget cut effect the motivation of the psychologists at PPR? Which factors have influence on the translation (economy, relations between the actors etc.)? As a theoretical frame, I have chosen Kjell Arne Røvik’s theory of translation, as he speaks of the skills that an actor needs to possess to translate correctly, and the circumstances that need to be taken into consideration to make a translation that people can relate to. Røvik does not deal with the implications of a badly or poor translation regarding the motivation of employees. Therefore I have found Public Service Motivation Theory (PSM) and Motivation Crowding Theory to be relevant theories, since the group of employees in my case; the psychologists are thought to be a group of professionals with high PSM and therefor likely to crowd out on intrinsic motivation because they see the strategy as controlling and not recognizing their professional skills. My empiric studies, which have been conducted as interviews with different members of the hierarchic chain and studying the political strategy and budget agreement, shows a clear connection between translation and motivation of employees. So the overall answer to my thesis is; that the consequences of the translation of the political strategy is a decrease in PSM for the psychologists and, that it is possible to read an crowding out 2 effect in intrinsic motivation. The cause of this can be subscribed to the fact, that the strategy was translated in so many ways, that it caused uncertainty with both the psychologists and the headmasters, causing a lot of frustration. The fact that a political strategy was chained to a cut in budget only made matters worse, because it became a main issue in the debate. Another fact, which had an impact on the motivation for the psychologists, was that the relationship wasn’t built on trust. There was a discourse of them and us from both sides, that wasn’t helpful regarding the intention of the strategy, namely to include more pupils in the common schools, among other things, with the professional skills of the psychologists

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages49
SupervisorsSøren Obed Madsen