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Making sense of complexity in governance: the case of local public management in the City of Stockholm
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School. Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9833-1064
2019 (English)In: Policy Studies, ISSN 0144-2872, E-ISSN 1470-1006Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study found that the problem-solving capacity of a public organization can be understood in terms of the legitimacy of the formulated problems and solutions. Increasing the problem-solving capacity depends on not only the acceptance of problems and how to solve them but also on formal structures and processes. Sensemaking and framing are important keys to unlocking how legitimacy is built, and consequently, how problem-solving capacity is built in a complex organization. We contend that although governance theory recognizes complexity through concepts such as networks and multi-levelness, empirical research tends to downplay what complexity can entail, thus limiting the theoretical development and practical usability of governance theory. Using complexity as a sensemaking framework, we analyze how the top-tier managers of a capital understand the challenges and solutions of coping with rapid growth. We argue that although complexity theory is no panacea to unlocking the difficulties of public sector challenges, it can be a valuable guide to future research on governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Governance, public sector, complexity, legitimacy, problem-solving capacity, sensemaking, framing
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178225DOI: 10.1080/01442872.2019.1577372OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178225DiVA, id: diva2:1387260
Available from: 2020-01-21 Created: 2020-01-21 Last updated: 2020-02-17Bibliographically approved

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