Scandinavian model of administration

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

SCANDINAVIAN MODEL OF ADMINISTRATION – Swedish administration is a classic example of this model. About 240,000 people are employed in its central, governmental part. The vast majority work in 250 executive agencies. Only a small part of employees support ministerial offices. The reason for this is the so-called dualism of government administration. It relies on the existence of small-in-number ministries (implementing strategic tasks) and hundreds of government agencies (implementing executive tasks). In this arrangement, administrative matters are dealt with by the Ministry of Finance and the relevant executive agencies, including the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (SAGE). It is an institutional solution typical of other Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark or Finland. In the HR area, the Swedish system refers to the → positional model of civil service. First of all, almost all employees are employed on the basis of employment contracts, not nominations. Secondly, the HR policy is highly decentralised – implemented by individual offices under collective agreements. It should be noted that in spite of the fact that employment relations are based on private law, public employees in Sweden are distinguished by honesty. The clarity of public life in this country and the high level of political and legal culture of the Swedish society are factors that strengthen the officers’ work ethos. The characteristics of the Scandinavian model are therefore: dualism of the government administration, decentralisation of human resources management with the important role of trade unions, the lack of a special legal status of public employees and their high ethical level. (→ civil service) [Ł. Świetlikowski]

Literature: Swedish Agency for Government Employers, Central Government and Delegated Employer Responsibility: The Swedish Model, Sztokholm 2009 ■ Ł. Świetlikowski, Administracja rządowa w Szwecji – aspekty kadrowe i instytucjonalne [Government administration in Sweden – personnel and institutional aspects], „e-Politikon” 2012, no. 2.