Egenmakt och välfärdens praktik: - En jämförande studie av brukarens inflytande inom olika organisationer som anordnar personlig assistans i Finland och Sverige

Anna M. Westin

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


Empowerment and the practice of welfare -A comparative study of the user's influence within different organizations that organize personal assistance in Finland and Sweden. The doctoral dissertation is written in Swedish by Anna Westin, a doctoral student in Public Administration at Åbo Akademi University.
The overall question to be answered is the following -Are there different institutional logic that characterizes different ways of organizing personal assistance and how can these different governance models be described based on how they affect the user's influence over her personal assistance? The purpose of the study is to investigate within which organization or organizations the citizen as a user has been allowed to become a coproducer of the service or have a higher degree of influence and selfdetermination. For the study, six case studies have been conducted, three in Finland and three in Sweden, where I have interviewed a total of one hundred and twelve people. In Finland, the types of organization of personal assistance available for case studies, self-management, and companies are examined. In Sweden municipalities, companies, and user cooperatives are examined.
The study combines the Inter-vey method with a statistical tool SPSS where I analyzed the answers to semi-structured interviews. I also combined this work with document analysis (legislation, agreements, and service plans) in cases where these were available to achieve higher validity and theoretical generalization. Concerning transformation within the state, the significance of the various sectors, of society and their possible impact on different governance models is described. These governance models: Traditional management, New Public governance, New Public Management, and Communitarianism characterize the respective organizations' way of practicing empowerment for the user of personal assistance.
The results show that the user cooperative in Sweden and the users who are their own employers in Finland receive the greatest levels of influence and self-determination for the user. But the own employers do not have as high a degree of influence as users in the user cooperative as this is often a forced co-production. What they both have in common is that they do not have an administrative supervisor who carries out their assistance, which is the case at companies and municipalities. Within the user cooperative, you may as a user choose your level of influence, and some users choose to have an administrative supervisor. In companies, the user usually has a great deal of influence over who is employed as a personal assistant.
The results for the study also show that contextual conditions between the countries as different ways of legislating social rights, scope, and financing can limit the organizing organizations' ability to show their unique character. The results show that there are clear differences in institutional logic between the organizations and that it affects how one interprets and practices empowerment within the organizations.

Keywords: Empowerment, participatory democracy, welfare, social rights, personal assistance, citizens, users, influence, self-determination, governance, and public administration.
Original languageSwedish
  • Joas, Marko, Supervisor
Print ISBNs978-952-389-001-5
Electronic ISBNs978-952-389-002-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

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