Balancing tight budget control and quality within social services in a Danish Municipality

Per Nikolaj Bukh, Anne Kirstine Svanholt

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This paper examines how managers in a Danish municipality balance tight budgetary control with flexibility when providing quality services. Using the levers of control framework as an analytical lens, the study shows how managers tackle complexities and uncertainties using accounting information and interactive control processes. Furthermore, it demonstrates how control processes enable professional judgments while simultaneously achieving tight budgetary control. While previous research within social services has often emphasised resistance to accounting information, this study shows how interactive control systems facilitate innovation and achieve tight budgetary control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Administration
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)91-113
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Austerity
  • Management control
  • Budgeting
  • Case Study
  • Public sector
  • Social services
  • Levers of control framework
  • Municipalities
  • Management accounting
  • Welfare
  • Inequality
  • Social investments


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