Företagare eller politiker? En studie av styrelsearbete i kommunala bostadsbolag

Sammanfattning: Today municipally owned companies are an established part of the Swedish local organisation. Municipally owned companies are situated in the boundary between the public and private sectors and that leads us to ask what effect this has on the work of their boards. It is not just the operations that is converted into a company, but also the political representation. Company boards are no ordinary political committees and do not act solely according to the public sector's legislation and logic. The work of company boards is regulated by the Swedish Companies Act and is linked to the market as the municipally owned companies are precisely companies which conduct their operations via the market. This provoke the question: what functions do these boards have, and on which grounds do they perform these functions? The first result in the study are that politicians don't usually act as either politicians or businesspeople when sitting on boards. They are neither loyal to their parties nor to the owners, but rather they develop an institutional logic where they instead identify with the company itself. However, certain members do still act as politicians when sitting on boards. The second result is that boards in municipally owned companies perform three important functions: they control the operation, they link the company to important stakeholders and they provide political advice to the CEO. That they perform these functions, but not others, is due both to the fact that they have unique knowledge about political processes, and contacts with important stakeholders. The study simultaneously reveals that these conditions are not sufficient for us to understand what the members do and why they do it. We also need to bring the members' institutional logic into the analysis. To enable the boards to control the operation, constitute a link to stakeholders and provide advice the board also need to consider it appropriate to perform these functions.

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