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Logics and mechanisms of board appointment in hybrid organizations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The relevance of the paper to the panel topic 

The management and governance of hybrid organizations involve a range of challenges and critical issues. One such issue concerns the people that embody the hybrid and their capabilities to represent and handle the complex missions and potential value conflicts at stake in a hybrid organization. Looking closer at processes of recruitment and nomination of key actors such as CFOs, managers and board members is relevant as it sheds light on high held ideals for hybrid management and governance and the human resources seen fit to handle complex hybrid missions.

The significance of the research (why it is distinctive and its contribution to the field)

Our case gives a micro illustration of the governance challenges involved in attempts to design the nomination process to reflect a wider range of goals and values. We also wish to briefly discuss how this shift in appointment logics – from “political discretion” (PA), over “professionalism as in efficiency and economization” (NPM) to “political correctness” (NPG) may affect the boards and management of the SOEs.

The research question(s) and method

The Swedish state has an outspoken aim to be an “active and professional” owner by generating economic value in its 49 state-owned enterprises. At the same time, there is a political ambition for these firms to be seen as national and international “role models”, in the forefront of gender equality and sustainability. In addition, for about 25 SOEs, there are specifically Government commissioned social “public policy assignments” to be taken into consideration. The aim of this paper is to analyse the logics (political vs. professional) in the Swedish Government offices concerning the mechanisms of appointment of board members of Swedish State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) with Government commissioned social public policy assignments.

Findings are based on qualitative analyses of documents, observations and interviews with key actors. Focusing foremost on the daily work of civil servants responsible for board nomination in the Ministry of Commerce and Innovation the study also acknowledges the role of external head hunters and executive search firms, politically appointed civil servants, politicians and board chairs and members in the nomination process.

The theoretical/conceptual foundations for the research

The backdrop to our case story is the historical transition from traditional Public Administration (PA), over new public management (NPM) regimes to the emerging post-NPM era of “New Public Governance” (Osborne, 2010; Almqvist et al., 2003; Ivarsson Westernberg, 2017), their dominant institutional logics and the effects on the appointment of public representatives, such as board members of SOEs.

The results to be reported

Our claim is that in the emerging NPG era, the previously dominating professional (and typically economical) logic of NPM-inspired governance of State-owned enterprises is challenged. Public appointment officials now face increasing external pressure to demonstrate that the multiple social values at stake for the hybrid organizations are reflected in the nomination of their board members, without compromising business efficiency, public accountability and the public income derived from SOEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163035DiVA, id: diva2:1269889
Conference
The 22nd Annual IRSPM Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 11-13, 2018
Available from: 2018-12-11 Created: 2018-12-11 Last updated: 2018-12-13Bibliographically approved

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