Finland: Catchall Systems, Developing Practices

  • Turo Virtanen


The key reforms in Finnish state government were launched and implemented between 1988 and 1995 (Temmes and Kiviniemi 1997). Some public services were privatized by establishing public enterprises and, later on, through ‘state-owned’ companies (e.g., postal, telecommunication, and cleaning services). Management by results (performance management) was employed gradually during the period together with programme budgeting, lump-sum budgeting and performance contracts. The system of state subsidies to municipalities was radically changed. Some functions of central government were devolved to regional government. Centrally controlled permission procedures were eliminated strengthening the autonomy of state agencies and municipalities. Some central control agencies were abolished. Customer service was improved and personnel policies were related to management by results. After this relatively active reform period emphasizing structural reforms, the focus has been on more functional themes covering further development of performance management, the consequences of entry to the European Union, quality improvement, competency management, pay systems, leadership development and general management. There have been no structural reforms directly related to staff participation and involvement but the public management reforms have been implemented with the support of formal systems of staff participation developed originally in the late 1970s. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the present systems of staff participation, shed some light on staff involvement within the limits of the data available and consider the role and implications of staff participation and involvement and their development in reforming public management and central state government specifically.


State Government Trade Union Public Management Management Style Municipal Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahtiainen, L. (2001) Palkansaajien järjestäytyminen Suomessa vuonna 2001 [Unionization of employees in Finland in 2001]. Työpoliittinen tutkimus 246. Helsinki: Työministeriö.Google Scholar
  2. Drummond, H. (1993) Power and Involvement in Organizations. Aldershot: Avebury.Google Scholar
  3. Etzioni, A. (1975) A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organizations. London: Collier Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture’s Consequences. International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Temmes, M. and Kiviniemi, M. (1997) Suomen hallinnon muuttuminen 1987–1995 [Changing Public Administration in Finland 1987–1995]. Helsinki: Valtiovarainministeriö, Helsingin yliopisto, yleisen valtio-op in laitos.Google Scholar
  6. Valtiovarainministeriö (2001) Valtioneuvoston periaatepäätös Valtion henkilöstöpolitiikan linjasta 30.8.2001 [Government’s Statement on the Principles of Personnel Policy 30.8.2001].Google Scholar
  7. Valtiovarainministeriö (2003a) Valtion henkilöstöpolitiikkabarometri 2003 [Barometer on State Personnel Policy].Google Scholar
  8. Valtiovarainministeriö (2003b) Yhdessä parempaan yhteistyöhön [Towards Better Co-operation — Together]. Työryhmämuistioita 12. Henkilöstöosasto. Helsinki.Google Scholar
  9. Väänänen-Tomppo, I. (2003) Valtiosektori: työhyvinvoinnissa paranemisen merkkejä [State Sector: Signs of Positive Developments in Work Welfare]. Hyvä työympäristö 1/2003.Google Scholar
  10. Virtanen, T. (2000) ‘Commitment and the study of organizational climate and culture’, in N. Ashkanasy, etal. (eds), Handbook of Organizational Culture & Climate. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Ylöstalo, P. (2002) ‘Työolobarometri’ [Barometer on Working Conditions in Finland]. Lokakuu 2002. Työpoliittinen tutkimus 250. Helsinki: Työministeriö.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Turo Virtanen 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Turo Virtanen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations