Promoting and Protecting Values through Leadership Agency: Experiences from Disaggregation and Autonomisation of Waste Management
Disaggregation and autonomisation of public service procurement have been at the cutting edge for the last two to three decades, not least due to the importance that reform programmes inspired by New Public Management (NPM) have acquired. This development has led to widespread corporatisation and increasing emphasis on leadership and managerial freedom. In this article, we explore the role of leadership in the transformation of municipal waste management in a Norwegian municipality from an entity tightly integrated in the hierarchical system of local government to a separate, private law corporation, though still under the full ownership of the municipality. The trajectory has been influenced by developments in international waste markets and by changes in EU and national law, and it includes conspicuous technological innovations, some developed locally and others adopted from the wider waste management industry. What appears especially interesting in the case we have studied is the relatively successful and rapid transition from an identity as a municipal organisation to that of a new corporate organisation. Our focus on the “how” and “why” issues of this transition favours a design based on a single case study. When approaching the “how” issues we draw on an analytical framework laid down by Ibarra et al. (2010). However, when it comes to the important “why” issues, we find Selznick’s notion of institutional leadership (1957/1984) remains beneficial.
Published version. Source at http://ojs.ub.gu.se/ojs/index.php/sjpa/article/view/3198