On-going projects

Welfare technologies and governance: Trust, control and service quality

We study the introduction of welfare technologies in Swedish municipalities and counties. In many cases, welfare technologies aim at increasing service quality, but can also facilitate monitoring and control of employees. 

Project manager: Henrik Jordahl

Mårten Blix, Lovisa Persson and Linda Moberg, Uppsala University

The concept of New Public Management is often used as a generic term for public sector reform that contributes to increased monitoring and control. According to theoretical research, there is a risk that increased control weakens the intrinsic motivation of employees. Furthermore, some research suggests that intrinsic motivation plays a larger role in the public than in the private sector. The potential conflict between control and so-called Public Service Motivation must be studied more extensively with empirical methods.

Using the above perspective, we pose the following questions about the introduction, implementation and consequences of welfare technologies in Swedish municipalities and counties:

  • When and why are welfare technologies introduced?
  • How are the technologies implemented?
  • What are the consequences for users, employees and tax-payers?
  • How can successful and failed examples of the introduction of welfare technologies be characterized?

We study the introduction of digital time measurement in home care in particular. We use a survey to collect information on the timing of this in each municipality. Since the system was introduced at different points in time we can identify causal effects on service quality, costs and working conditions. We also study the motives behind the introduction and strategies to counteract negative effects on the intrinsic motivation of employees.

The project is funded by a grant from Forte: Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Time Period: 2018-2022

International cooperation

Visiting researchers

Collaborating with others is essential for IFN as a research institute. Our researchers co-author articles with colleagues from other institutes, and many also teach at various universities and colleges.

As part of our extensive program of guest researchers, leading international researchers visit the institute. The visitors present and pursue their research as well as interact and cooperate with researchers at IFN.

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