Room for action? How service managers in three Scandinavian cities experience their possibilities to develop their services : Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

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Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The Journal of Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues


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Room for action? How service managers in three Scandinavian cities experience their possibilities to develop their services

1The Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF) Center for Alcohol & Drug Research (KORFOR)

2Stavanger municipality

© by Ole Næss. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Volume 31, Issue 3, Pages 289–307, ISSN (Online) 1458-6126, DOI: 10.2478/nsad-2014-0023, June 2014

Publication History

Received:
2014-01-27
Accepted:
2014-05-05
Published Online:
2014-06-17

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND - The study is based on the ongoing public debate concerning a limited scope for local service development in alcohol and drug treatment-related services - and that the main cause of local “paralysis” is to be found in health policy micromanagement of these services. It is argued that business management models place too much emphasis on financial control and performance measurement and that this leads to less interest in quality improvement in the provision of services. DESIGN - 23 interviews with service managers in three Nordic urban municipalities, Stavanger, Umeå and Aarhus. RESULTS - The article documents comprehensive local service development, demonstrating that the main conditions for innovation are management commitment and interdisciplinary co-operation in the practice field. CONCLUSIONS - In all three municipalities the services develop in a hybrid innovation model that combines New Public Management-inspired solutions with technical co-operation in horizontal networks. Results show that NPM-inspired solutions to alcohol and drug treatment services do not necessarily hinder the consideration of local professionalism and flexibility in the development.

KEYWORDS: service development; alcohol and drug treatment services; innovation; co-operation; quality improvement

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