Contact person:
Patrik Hall
  • Forte
Responsible at Malmö University:
Patrik Hall
Project members:
  • Kettil Nordesjö
  • Dalia Mukhtar-Landgren
  • Statsvetenskapliga institutionen vid Lunds universitet
Time frame:
01 December 2017 - 31 December 2020
Research environment :

About the project

Social services are currently involved in attempts to ”de-silo” welfare services through collaboration. We are also witnessing a movement for increasing trust, often expressed in ambitions to utilize the local skills and competencies of welfare professionals while still upholding high quality of monitoring and control. The social investment perspective is one example upon ambitions to reconcile these ideas of trust and collaboration with control and value for money. At the core of this perspective lies the notion that investing in social services, youth policies and health care is an investment which will lead to reduced governmental costs in the future.

We aim to analyze the institutional and organizational conditions for municipalities to use social investments to utilize the situated knowledge of welfare professionals as well as to de-silo social service delivery through collaborative efforts. Our research is guided by two questions targeting the relation between a public sector characterized by predictability, stability and long-term solutions on the one hand and trust in the knowledge and innovative capacity of welfare professionals and organizational flexibility on the other: Which are the enabling factors and obstacles for local administration to maintain the flexibility to utilize the situated knowledge of welfare professionals in the field of social work through flexible and innovative organization - while still maintaining requirements of monitoring and control? Which are the conditions, opportunities as well as obstacles, for local administration to work for longterm effects in temporary organizations?

To answer these questions, an institutional ethnography is conducted. The empirical core of the project is a stakeholder network in Skåne which allows us to study social investment practices in the involved municipalities. The study is based on 10 Swedish and one Finnish case/s and combines up-close longitudinal studies with a comparative approach.