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Management matters: An analysis of factors determine orientations towards reputation among government agencies in Sweden

Conference contribution
Authors Magnus Fredriksson
Published in The Annual Euprera Conference. September 11 to 13, 2014, Brussels
Place of publication Brusels
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Links www.uclouvain.be/euprera-congress-2...
Keywords Corprate Reputation, public administrations, Sweden
Subject categories Public Administration Studies, Media and Communications

Abstract

In this paper I present the result from a study investigating what it is that motivates governmental agencies in Sweden to orientate towards reputation in their communication. Earlier research on reputation management has provided valuable insights when it comes to the processes, consequences and challenges that arise when public sector organizations become oriented towards reputation. However we still lack good explanations for why certain organizations are more oriented towards reputation than others. In addition most previous research have focused on hospitals, schools, universities and other types of public sector organizations offering services in close connections to the public but at a safe distance from their principals. The study rests on six intellectually contending, but not mutually exclusive, explanations including task, media attention, political attention, geographical location, management structure and capacity. The paper analyzes all Swedish government agencies (N=238) on the basis of a quantitative content analyses of their policy and strategy documents for communication. In the end, it becomes evident that governmental agencies is no exception when it comes to reputation – as most other types of public sector organization they have a strong orientation towards reputation. It also becomes evident that the agencies management structure is the most important determinant, suggesting that the new public reforms are highly relevant after all if we want to understand the adaptation of reputation but not without the support from the growing group of career managers.

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