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Research design, materials and methods

Kapitel i bok
Författare Andrej Christian Lindholst
Morten Balle Hansen
Ylva Norén Bretzer
Nicola Dempsey
Merethe Dotterud Leiren
Publicerad i Marketization in Local Government: Diffusion and Evolution in Scandinavia and England
Sidor 61-78
ISBN 9783030324773
Förlag Palgrave Macmillan, Springer Nature
Förlagsort Cham, Switzerland
Publiceringsår 2020
Publicerad vid Förvaltningshögskolan
Sidor 61-78
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-3...
Ämnesord research design, materials, methods, local municipalities in Scandinavia and England
Ämneskategorier Studier av offentlig förvaltning, Statsvetenskap


The phenomenon of marketization holds no lack of earlier research and has been researched through various empirical strategies. In this chapter we present the research strategy and primary data sources for the book. We highlight the relevance of the methodological approach within the range of empirical strategies employed in earlier research. Our research strategy is comparative in its outlook and integrates longitudinal and cross-sectorial analyses of experiences with marketization of park and road services within and across the four countries of England, Denmark, Sweden and Norway based on a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. A key feature of the book’s research strategy is that marketization is researched with an eye to the importance of differences in national context for the evolution and diffusion of marketization. The comparative character of our research strategy locates and distinguishes our contributions within a handful of strategies for contextualizing the phenomenon of marketization. In the marketization literature we find four major strategies. First, a group of studies focuses on experiences within a single country. One example is Kettl’s (1993) case-based study of experiences with the use of private markets and competition in the US. Another example is the collection of evidence on the impact from marketization on Swedish welfare found in the anthology edited by Hartmann (2011). Second, a group of studies looks beyond individual country contexts and starts with a global outlook on marketization. One example is Simmons and Elkins’ (2004) study of the diffusion of marketization across nations as part of a global neoliberal movement. Third, a group of studies embeds marketization as part of a more general research interest in public sector reforms. Greve (2006), for example, provides an overview of public management reform in Denmark including an assessment of the relative emphasis on marketization. Pollitt and Bouckaert’s (2011) contribution is another example, where marketization is viewed as part of the historical trends in public management reform in a comparative analysis of OECD countries. Finally, a group of studies connect or integrate experiences with marketization across two or more countries. One example is Greer et al.’s (2017) comparison of the different ways public employment services has been re-organized by adoption of market-based coordination mechanisms in three European countries. Another example is Alonso et al.’s (2017) study, using statistics from several European countries for a general evaluation of whether greater private involvement has led to reduced expenditures in services provided by central governments. A key difference between these two studies is the careful attention to the importance of national context in former while the latter evaluate financial performance across several countries in a highly generalized way. The empirical content and details of the four highlighted research strategies are further diversified by, for example, the number and type of government or service sector(s), the type of data sources and materials, and the applied analytical methods. In the midst of the wealth of research on the phenomena of marketization, however, we find that truly cross-national comparative analyses of organizational developments paying attention to historical-institutional contexts are scare.

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