Despite widespread support for integrated service delivery (ISD), the challenges of making ISD a sustainable feature of the public sector remain unresolved. This article offers new insights to this persistent challenge by developing a novel theoretical framework, inspired by the perspective of institutional complexity, and applying it to the case of Danish job centers. We demonstrate how the contradictory and layered nature of governance arrangements simultaneously pose demands of service integration and -separation on the job centers. Consequently, the job center managers can neither prioritize one of the demands nor blend them into hybrid practices. Instead, their attempts to further ISD remain inherently temporary?as they are continuously forced to reverse back to old organizational boundaries, to oscillate between work processes supporting service integration and service separation, and to rebuild collaborative relations. The managers are thus caught in a "frenetic standstill" which hinders the sustainable organizing of ISD.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2024


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