Department of Government
New publication

The Demise of an Agency Director

Christensen and Lægreid studies the conflict that followed the reorganization of Statistics Norway

Christine Meyer og Siv Jensen
Nhh.no og Frp.no

Main content

In a new article in the International Journal of Public Administration, Per Lægreid and Tom Christensen take closer look on the conflict that followed the reorganization of Statistics Norway. The article is titled: “The Demise of an Agency Director – A Puzzling Saga of Political Control and Professional Autonomy”.

The article aims at addressing the relationship between expertise and politics by examining a reorganization process of Statistics Norway. The puzzle is why a minor reorganization with low political salience, in a consensus-oriented political administrative setting with high level of trust between ministries and agencies, and high autonomy for agencies ended up as a major conflict resulting in the resignation of the agency director.

Based on an instrumental, a cultural and a symbolic perspective the article examines the internal and external dynamics ensuing from conflicting views regarding the balance between political control and professional autonomy, and from reorganization proposals that represented a break with the cultural path the organization had followed. It adds insights into the tensions between different types of institutional logics, resulting in institutional hybridity.

Read the full article HERE.