The influence of dissensus on governmentality during competitive tendering: A longitudinal field study

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    This paper investigates the ways in which dissensus has influenced governmentality during a longitudinal process of competitive tendering of public services. Data are from a field study conducted in the field of public care for the elderly from 2007 to 2015 in Finland. Public elderly care in Finland is under the responsibility of each municipality. Municipalities have local autonomy; including municipal taxation right. In addition to municipal tax revenues, the central government finances each municipality on a per capita basis annually. Every municipality is run by democratically elected local politicians. The elected politicians have the power to appoint leading public managers in charge of each public service sector. Findings showed that political dissensus arose from a lack of appropriate policies of governing for performance during a new and international competitive tendering process. Managerial dissensus arose from a low-level professional experience and a lack of appropriate technologies to deal with highly advanced profit-making companies competing for entry and expansion into a prestigious public elderly care market. In consequence, costs of outsourced services continued to increase. As time passed, however, political and managerial dissensus improved the process of governing for performance; key decision-makers took reactive measures to limit procurement risks in future competitive tendering processes. The potential contribution is to show the relevance of dissensus when it motivates public managers and political decision-makers to improve specific programs, techniques, and strategies used to manage public services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29
    Number of pages41
    JournalCorporate Ownership and Control
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Competitive Tendering
    • Cost
    • Dissensus
    • Elderly Care
    • Outsourcing
    • Public Sector


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