Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The Journal of Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.768

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.321
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.485
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.618

Open Access
See all formats and pricing


Select Volume and Issue


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

Researcher Ole Næss
  • The Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF) Center for Alcohol & Drug Research (KORFOR)
  • :
/ Public health coordinator Ståle Opedal
  • Stavanger municipality
  • :
/ PhD Sverre M. Nesvåg
  • The Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research (SERAF) Center for Alcohol & Drug Research (KORFOR)
  • :
Published Online: 2014-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/nsad-2014-0023


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


  • Alm Andreassen, T. (2011). Innovasjoner som kjempes fram: Fra politisk nytenkning til institusjonell nyskaping [Fought for innovations: From new political approaches to institutional innovation]. In H. Johnsen, C., G. & Ø. r. Pålshaugen (Eds.), Hva er innovasjon? Perspektiver i norsk innovasjonsforskning: Bind 1: system og institusjon. Kristiandsand: Høyskoleforlaget.

  • Ankarloo, D. (2012). Du följer väl avtalet lille vän? [My little friend, you do follow our agreement?]. Tiden, 1, 38-41.

  • Bason, C. (2010). Leading public sector innovation: Co-creating for a better society.

  • Bristol: Policy Press.

  • Blomqvist, J. (2013). Åt var och en vad hon behöver? Om möjligheter att utveckla den lokala missbruks- och beroendevården [What everyone needs they get? About opportunities to develop local substance abuse treatment]. Paper presented at the Mot en bättre missbruks- och beroedevård - kan den lokala missbrukarvården bli en lärande organisation?, Stockholm. http:// www.rfma.se/genomforda.htm Boyd, A. (2010). The politics of selfgovernance, by Eva Sorensen and Peter Triantafillou (Eds.). International Journal of Public Administration, 33(11), 549-550. doi: 10.1080/01900692.2010.506090 [Crossref]

  • Christensen, T. (2010). Forvaltning og politikk [Administration and policy]. Oslo: Universitetsforl.

  • Christensen, T., Lægreid, P., Roness, P. G., & Røvik, K. A. (2009). Organisasjonsteori for offentlig sektor [Organizational theory for the public sector]. Oslo: Universitetsforl.

  • Christensen, T., & Lægreid, P. (2007). The whole-of-government approach to public sector reform. Public Administration Review, 67(6), 1059-1066. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2007.00797.x Dellgran, P., & Höjer, S. (2005). Mellan offentligt och privat, politik och profession - en introduktion [Between public and private, politics and profession - an introduction]. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, (2-3), 98-107. [Crossref]

  • Edman, J., & Stenius, K. (2007). On the margins. Helsinki: Nordic Council for Alcohol and Drug Research.

  • Farsund, A. A., & Leknes, E. (2010). Norske byregioner: utviklingstrekk og styringsutfordringer [Norwegian city regions: trends and governance challenges]. Kristiansand: Høyskoleforl.

  • Godø, H. (2009). Innovasjon i offentlig sektor - utfordringer og muligheter [Innovation in the public sector: challenges and opportunities]. NIFU STEP-rapport Grabher, G. (2004). Temporary architectures of learning: Knowledge governance in project ecologies. Organization Studies, 25(9), 1491-1514.

  • Hipp, C., & Grupp, H. (2005). Innovation in the service sector: The demand for servicespecific innovation measurement concepts and typologies. Research Policy, 34(4), 517-535. [Crossref]

  • Holmen, A., K., T. (2011). Styring gjennom nettverk. Koordinering, ansvarliggjøring og institusjonalisering av styringsnettverk i norske byregioner [Network governance; coordination, accountability and institutionalization of governance networks in the Norwegian city regions]. PhD dissertation.Bergen: University of Bergen.

  • Hovlin, K., Arvidsson, S., Hjort, M., & Ljung, A. (2011). Tjenesteinnovasjon i offentlig sektor [Service innovation in the public sector]. Vinnova-Rapport 2011/12.

  • Indenrigsministeriet, Ø. o. (2013). Evaluering af kommunalreformen [Evaluation of municipal reform]. København: Økonomiog Indenrigsministeriet.

  • Jacobsen, D. I. (2012). Organisasjonsendringer og endringsledelse [Organizational change and change management]. Bergen: Fagbokforl.

  • Koch, P., & Hauknes, J. (2005). Om innovasjon i offentlig sektor [Public sector innovation]. Report No. D20. NIFU STEP.

  • Lyons, R. K., Chatman, J. A., & Joyce, C. K. (2007). Innovation in services: Corporate culture and investment banking. California Management Review, 50(1), 174-191. [Crossref]

  • Lægreid, P., Opedal, H., & Stigen, I., M. (2005). The Norwegian hospital reform: Balancing political control and enterprise autonomy. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 30(6), 37.

  • Nesvåg, S. (2012). Organizational “common factors” in treatment of substance use disorders. Paper presented at the KBS seminar in Stavanger 2012.

  • Nesvåg, S., & Lie, T. (2010). The Norwegian substance treatment reform - Between New Public Management and conditions for good practice. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 27(6), 655-666.

  • Opedal, S. (2013). Helseforetaksstyrene mellom stat og kommune - brobyggere eller «missing links»? [Health corporate boards between government and municipalities - bridging the gap or “missing link”]. Paper presented at the Nasjonal konferanse i statsvitenskap, Bodø.

  • Opedal, S., & Stigen, I., M. (2005). Helse-Norge i støpeskjeen: søkelys på sykehusreformen. Bergen: Fagbokforl.

  • Potts, J., & Kastelle, T. (2010). Public sector innovative research: What’s next? Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, 12(2), 122-137.

  • Rice, K., Zwarenstein, M., Conn, L. G., Kenaszchuk, C., Russell, A., & Reeves, S. (2010). An intervention to improve interprofessional collaboration and communications: A comparative qualitative study. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 24(4), 350-361. doi: 10.3109/13561820903550713 [Crossref] [PubMed]

  • Robertson, M., Scarbrough, H., & Swan, J. (2003). Knowledge creation in professional service firms: Institutional effects. Organization Studies, 24(6), 831-857. [Crossref]

  • Røiseland, A., & Vabo, S. I. (2012). Styring og samstyring: governance på norsk [Leadership and governance; The Norwegian way]. Bergen: Fagbokforl.

  • Sarvary, M. (1999). Knowledge management and competition in the consulting industry. California Management Review, 41(2), 831-857.

  • Skjølsvik, T., Løwendahl, B. R., Kvålshaugen, R., & Fosstenløkken, S. M. (2007). Choosing to learn and learning to choose: Strategies for client co-production and knowledge development. California Management Review, 49(3), 110-128. [Crossref]

  • Starbuck, W. (1992). Learning by knowledgeintensive firms. Journal of Management Studies, 29(6), 713-740. [Crossref]

  • Stenius, K. (2011). Market forces do not solve the problems. Addiction, 106(12), 2070-2071. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03633.x Sørensen, E., & Triantafillou, P. (Eds.). (2009). The politics of self-governance. Farnham, England: Ashgate Pub. [Crossref]

  • Toivonen, M., & Tuominen, T. (2009). Emergence of innovations in services. Service Industries Journal, 29(7). doi: 10.1080/02642060902749492 [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • Twaddle, A. (2004). How medical care systems become social problems. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), Handbook of social problems: A comparative international perspective (pp. 298-316). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412973526.n18

  • Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Received: 2014-01-27

Accepted: 2014-05-05

Published Online: 2014-06-17

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

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

© 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)

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.