Tjenestemannsorganisasjoner og nasjonal forvaltningspolitikk: Modernisering med en hånd på rattet og en fot på bremsen?
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This study is inspired by an international school of research that is theoreticallyinformed and empirical oriented, combining political science and organization theory.The theme of the study is the relationship between the state employees` unionsand administrative policy in Norway 1980 – 2004. The unions studied are theNorwegian Federation of State Employees` Unions (Statstjenestemannskartellet, LOStat), the bargaining cartel for state employees in the Confederation of VocationalUnions (Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund – Seksjon stat, YS-S), and theConfederation of Academic and Professional Unions (AkademikernesFellesorganisasjon, AF) representing people with higher education.Two questions are discussed: First, the extent to witch the unions responded toand had an impact on administrative policymaking through organized attention,participation and institutional talk. Secondly, the extent to which the results ofadministrative policymaking affected the unions themselves. The main focus is on theresponses and activities of these organizations, which are viewed as institutions. Theresearch questions whether the responses implied that the organizations were eitheractive and aggressive, passive and reactive, or fellow player or opponent.The essential observation is that it would be inadequate to understand andexplain the development, institutionalization and consequences of the administrativepolicy in the 1980s and 1990s without taking the responses of the unions intoconsideration. These organizations have actively affected the organizational frame,content and result of administrative policy along three dimensions, even if thepolitical reality also were constructed through political diffusion, authorization andacceptance as a consequence of the passive responses of the unions.First, the unions have brought in a frame of interpretation that focuses on thepolitical-democratic state in the political discourse, and emphasize politicalcooperation as one of several considerations. Secondly, all the unions contributed tothe shaping of new and very important regulatory frames and guidelines for handlingthe restructuring of the state. This also included the establishment of the NorwegianAssociation of Public-Owned Enterprises (Arbeidsgiverforeningen NAVO). Thirdly,these organizations had a lasting focus on structural devolution. These dimensionswere important in the construction of the political reality.The administrative policy also affected the unions themselves, constructing aturning point in the tension between stability and change in the new millennium. Therelationship between the unions and this area of politics followed three very differentlanes. LO Stat seems to be robust and stable, but might be exposed for privatisationfrom the inside. YS-S was dramatically changed as a result of the relationship. AFwas partly wound up because of the encounter between the historical heritage,routines and inner life of that organization and properties of the policy area.Thus, the study shows great variations, both between the unions and acrosstime. This count for the degree of impact and which dimensions they influenced, andalso to what degree the administrative policy affected the unions. These variations, thevisibility, degree of passiveness and active response have been discussed andexplained through four varieties of institutional theory. These varieties are a routineperspective, an obligation perspective, an interpretation perspective and a strategicperspective. AF was perceived as the most passive organization, through its narrowself-understanding and routines for wage negotiations. YS-S is seen as the mostobligation-oriented party, with increasing ambition as to be an important politicalactor. LO Stat, in turn, is viewed as the only of these organizations with strongtraditions for being a political actor with access to an important political network.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
CopyrightDag Runar F. Jacobsen
The publication is protected by Norwegian copyright law, with all rights reserved.