The Demise of an Agency Director – A Puzzling Saga of Political Control and Professional Autonomy.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonInternational Journal of Public Administration. 2021, 44 (3), 250-261 10.1080/01900692.2019.1707224
This article aims at addressing the relationship between expertise and politics by examining a reorganization process of Statistics Norway. The puzzle is why a minor reorganization with low political salience, in a consensus-oriented political administrative setting with high level of trust between ministries and agencies, and high autonomy for agencies ended up as a major conflict resulting in the resignation of the agency director. Based on an instrumental, a cultural and a symbolic perspective the article examines the internal and external dynamics ensuing from conflicting views regarding the balance between political control and professional autonomy, and from reorganization proposals that represented a break with the cultural path the organization had followed. It adds insights into the tensions between different types of institutional logics, resulting in institutional hybridity.