Balancing accountability and trust: university reforms in the Nordic countries

  • Hanne Foss HansenEmail author
  • Lars Geschwind
  • Jussi Kivistö
  • Elias Pekkola
  • Rómulo Pinheiro
  • Kirsi Pulkkinen


This paper investigates the accountability mechanisms introduced in the universities in the Nordic countries by building on a typology of accountability types. By utilising survey data, it analyses how academics experience the changes in accountability mechanisms and how they perceive the impact of these changes on their performance. The analysis shows that especially political/bureaucratic and managerial accountability demands have been strengthened. This development has fostered debates on how to measure academic performance. Some academics, more in Denmark than in the other countries, have experienced the development as a sign of mistrust.


Accountability Trust Universities Nordic countries Performance management Policy reforms Academic perceptions 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanne Foss Hansen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lars Geschwind
    • 2
  • Jussi Kivistö
    • 3
  • Elias Pekkola
    • 3
  • Rómulo Pinheiro
    • 4
  • Kirsi Pulkkinen
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Faculty of ManagementUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  4. 4.Department of Political Science and ManagementUniversity of AgderKristiansandNorway
  5. 5.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of LaplandRovaniemiFinland

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