Project Details


The TOPNORDIC project analyze the governance system of Nordic local government with a focus on the Nordic municipal CEO. Through the focus on the municipal CEO the project aims to uncover basic features of the career system, the governance networks and the leadership styles characterizing Nordic local government.
The project is firmly rooted in the two traditions of organization studies and public administration. Municipalities are seen as both democratic institutions, organizations, parts of a welfare state and local communities responsible for delivering services within a territory with varying regional dynamics. Municipal CEOs are seen as both civil servants and leaders operating within a democratic governance system characterized by different often competing paradigms causing paradoxes, dilemmas or at least tensions to the leadership of municipal CEOs, who operates in the grey area between politics and administration.
The Nordic countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and researchers from all five countries are involved in the project.
The activities of the project include research seminars and various publications including a book that is expected to be published in 2021. The working title of the book is: “Organizing and managing Nordic Local Government. Careers, Networks and Leadership Styles of Nordic Municipal CEOs”.
Effective start/end date04/12/201731/12/2022


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