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FSD1190 Changing Municipalities 1990

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Authors

  • Granqvist, Nina (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)
  • Pikkala, Sari (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)
  • Ståhlberg, Krister (Åbo Akademi University. Department of Public Administration)

Keywords

free municipalities, local authorities, local government, management, municipal administration, municipal managers, municipal planning, municipalities, public administration

Abstract

The survey charted the situation and range of activities of Finnish municipalities. Respondents were asked to evaluate the economic situation of their municipality. They also rated the importance of problems pertaining to local politics, municipal administration, municipal economy, local circumstances and relations with central government. Respondents were asked what the biggest problem in the municipality was. Opinions on the obstacles to solving that problem and different solution strategies were charted. The survey also studied whether certain actions had been taken in municipalities, for example, combining and abolishing municipal committees, organising in-house job-related training or attempts to increase citizen participation.

Respondents were asked about the Free Municipality/Administrative Experiments. They also rated the importance of the experiment's goals, such as discovering new working methods, learning from experience, breaking old habits and cutting expenditure. Respondents indicated to what extent they agreed with statements relating to issues raised in public discussion, such as reforms made in municipalities and the relationship between local authorities and the State. Respondents were also asked whether their municipality buys services from private companies (outsourcing) and whether it supports voluntary work. The impact of outsourcing the services and supporting voluntary work were assessed.

Municipal and city managers (local government Chief Executive Officers) were asked how much time they spend taking care of certain duties and how often they communicate with different bodies (e.g. the media, residents and other municipalities). Managers assessed which tasks take most of their time and whether their time management was appropriate. Lastly, they rated the importance of different aspects of Chief Executive Officer's work, such as promoting cooperation between sectors, informing employees, creating new routines, controlling the budget, coordinating actions, and finding out about the views of residents.

Background variables included municipality, type of municipality, province, respondent's year of birth, level of education. Respondents were also asked about their career development and years in present position.

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