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Reconstructing trust through a transformation process: The case of the Swedish Public Employment Service
Örebro University.
Mälaralen University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2308-2187
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics. Stockholm university. (Centre for Management Accounting Research (CMAR) and Academy of Management Accounting and Control in Central Government (AES))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7889-2331
2018 (English)In: XXII IRSPM Annual Conference 2018, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A strategic transformation process of a Swedish agency, i.e. the Swedish Public Employment Service, is discussed from a trust framework. Lately, the agency has been heavily criticized internally (by managers and employees) and externally (by different stakeholders) for failing in fulfilling its goals and deliver inadequate services. In 2014, the agency launched a new strategy – to become trustworthy and to deliver better services to its customers. It was the agency’s attempt to move away from the old authoritarian bureaucratic management style towards introducing trust-based management control. The old and the new way of managing the agency creates tensions that are difficult to overcome and where mistrust at different levels within the organization is a major obstacle affecting the ongoing transformation process. The aim of this paper is to shed light on how trust is reconstructed in vertical and horizontal relationships within a public service delivery agency that experiences an extensive transformation process. Drawing upon a processual case study approach, we have conducted 65 interviews, observations and document studies. The results show how the agency have suffered from low levels of trust in both vertical and horizontal relationships and that low levels of trust in vertical relationships seem to have negative impact on horizontal collaborations within the agency. The paper contributes to previous research in the following ways. First, the reconstruction of trust is discussed from a time perspective, pointing at the importance of discussing the development of trust in terms of a past, a present and a future. Second, within the paper, trust is discussed in both vertical relationships (i.e. relationships between employees/managers) as well as horizontal relationships (i.e. relationships between co-workers) within the same analytical framework, which enables a discussion about the impact of trust development in vertical relationships on the development of trust in horizontal relationships and vice versa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
trust, change, vertical relationships, horizontal relationships, case study
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration; Economy, Ledarskap, entreprenörskap och organisation; Economy, Ekonomistyrning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-73140OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-73140DiVA, id: diva2:1199566
Conference
XXII IRSPM Annual Conference, Edingburgh, 11th-14th April 2018
Available from: 2018-04-20 Created: 2018-04-20 Last updated: 2018-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Mårtensson, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf