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PROFESJON-Forskningskompetanse for utvalgte profesjonsutdanninger

Improving trust-based management in Nordic urban governance and management education

Alternative title: Tillitsbasert styring og ledelse i nordiske storbyer og ledelsesutdanning

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

The idea of trust-based management stems from reforms in Copenhagen and has spread to the public sector in Norway and Sweden. This model is allegedly a management innovation, sometimes called the new Nordic model of governance, challenging traditional steering and accounting systems. This project explores how ongoing management reforms are conceptualised and put into practice in two Nordic cities. The project has three main aims: 1) to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the new trust-based governance models in the public sector, and how these relate to older theories of trust-based management; 2) to investigate how large, complex organizations such as cities conceive of and implement trust-based management, deriving "best practices" and "promising practices" for use by stakeholders such as politicians, managers, and employees; and 3) to ensure that management education is aligned with and also actively influencing the new trust-based management reforms in the public sector, enabling the education of future managers who can better navigate and facilitate complex management challenges and opportunities. To achieve these aims, we conduct interviews, surveys, information audits, and case study research in the educational and home care sectors in particular of management by objectives and self-governed teams, to determine how trust-based management functions in large municipal organizations. We will also observe lectures and analyse course curricula and develop questionnaires and experiments, to examine how current bachelor programmes within management and public administration - as well as professional programmes for teachers and nurses - facilitate (or not) trust-based management and common understanding and collaboration, given the intersection of these professions in many public sector organizations. The project is an inter-disciplinary collaboration between Oslo Metropolitan University, Aarhus University, Oslo Municipality, and Aarhus Municipality.

In this project, we will explore how the emerging trust reforms in Oslo and Copenhagen, sometimes called the new Nordic model of governance, are constituted and put into practice in the educational and elder care sectors, and disseminate this knowledge to/in collaboration with researchers, practitioners, and educators. We have three main aims: 1) to develop a conceptual framework for understanding new models of trust-based management in the public sector, and how these relate to older models and theories of trust-based management; 2) to investigate how large, complex organizations such as cities conceive of and implement trust-based management, deriving ‘best practices’ and ‘promising practices’ for use by stakeholders (politicians, managers, employees) as well as researchers, educators, and students; and 3) to ensure that management education is not just aligned with, but also actively shaping and influencing, the new trust-based management reforms in public sector organizations, enabling management programmes to educate future managers who can better navigate and facilitate complex management challenges and opportunities. To achieve these aims, we will conduct case study research, surveys, information audits, and interviews to determine how trust-based management functions in large municipal organizations in Oslo and Denmark. We will also develop questionnaires and experiments, observe lectures, and analyse course curricula in accounting and audit to examine how current bachelor programmes within management and public administration – as well as professional programmes in education and healthcare, given the intersection of these professions in public sector organizations – facilitate (or not) trust-based management and inter-sectoral understanding and collaboration. The project is an inter-disciplinary collaboration between Oslo Metropolitan University, Aarhus University, Oslo municipality, and municipal partners in Denmark (confirmation pending).

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PROFESJON-Forskningskompetanse for utvalgte profesjonsutdanninger