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The changing roles of municipality actors in the implementation process of government participation policy

Mutlu, Matai (2019) The changing roles of municipality actors in the implementation process of government participation policy.

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Abstract:In 2013 the Dutch king Willem Alexander announced a change in the Dutch society which led to the end of the traditional welfare state and the rising of the participation society. It is because in these times people are more assertive and live in a network and information society and the need to reduce the deficit of the government that this change occurred. To actually achieve this change, the government decentralized governmental tasks to the municipalities. Since new tasks require new behavior, municipalities are faced with transitions and transformations within their organization. Which leads to the research question: What are possible roles of municipality actors in the government participation policy process? To answer this research question, the organizational role theory has an important role. Therefore, the assumptions of this theory were explained, consisting of role-taking, role-consensus, role-compliance and role-conflict (Parker & Wickham, 2005). Furthermore, the theoretical model by Katz & Kahn (1978) was used to explain role behavior, claiming that role expectations are made and sent to employees, which are received and followed by a certain behavior. The theoretical framework ended with a section regarding role stressors, mentioning that role overload, role ambiguity and role conflict can lead to role stress and can have influence on job stress. To collect the actual data for this research, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted at the municipality of Borne and Oldenzaal. After this, the data was analyzed by coding the most important categories and quotes. From the analysis it seems that the different roles of organizational actors are not yet created specifically. There seem to be some specific roles that can be found, these are the facilitating roles of the higher-level actors, such as the mayor or department managers. These actors create a certain environment for employees to perform their work in accordance with the government participation policy. Lower level actors, such as policy makers and civil servants that are in contact with citizens have other roles. These roles differ from advisory roles, to inspiratory roles or experimenter roles. It is clear that there are not specific roles that fit in the actor profiles. It appears that it depends more on the persons attributes or interpersonal factors how people perceive their own role and receive the role expectations. From the analysis and conclusions, recommendations followed. These recommendations are visualized in a roadmap, explaining every step and which actor should initiate it (see figure 5). The first is the implementation of structural feedback, this can prevent role ambiguity and false role expectations. Also, the ability to give feedback and criticize higher level actors should be made possible. Otherwise, higher level actors are the ones that create the regulations and policies, and these can be unfitting in the real world. Another recommendation is to create a model of actors, their possibilities and responsibilities. It is also important to define roles within the organization, so that employees can take these roles if they find themselves fitting for the roles. For working on new roles and implementing this new way of working, external advisors or coaches can be hired to change the culture within municipalities. Another recommendation is that municipalities should facilitate freedom for experimenting because in changing times, the path and solution can be unclear. Municipalities can set-up working groups with pilots where legislation and law is rigid but where municipalities wish to participate more with citizens. These pilots can be evaluated afterwards, and the experiences can be shared with other departments or municipalities to learn from each other. The last recommendation is the use of serious games for changing the municipality culture. In a game, possible scenarios can be played, and actors can play the role of citizens. Through games, employees can train themselves how to (re)act on situations with different type of citizens. This way, employees can learn and are free to make mistakes that they will not make in the real world.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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