Finland: Catchall Systems, Developing Practices
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.
KeywordsState Government Trade Union Public Management Management Style Municipal Government
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