Pratnerskap - Ett sätt att organisera regional tillväxt Perspektiv på regional utveckling som fenomen och en analys av ett tillväxtprogram

Detta är en avhandling från Västerås : Mälardalen University

Sammanfattning: During the first decade of the 21st century, there has been a shift in the view of what role regions should play in the creation of growth. From being governed from a national level more and more of the responsibility of creating growth is being transferred to a regional level. One example of this development has been the Regional Growth Program (RGP), which were implemented in all regions in Sweden during the period 2004 to 2007. This dissertation studies the RGP in the county of Västmanland, where a number of actors within the program have been interviewed as well as meetings within the program have been monitored. The interviews have been analyzed through a phenomenological oriented method which has resulted in six empirical themes. They consist of the following themes: region, growth, entrepreneurship, cooperation and competition, results, and talk and action. The last theme which concerns talk and action is being examined more thoroughly through the observations of meetings in the RGP and interviews with central actors. This theme is viewed as the most central and essential theme of the study. The dominating view of the central actors is that there is “too much talk and too little action” in the RGP In the latter part of the dissertation the theme of talk and action is examined further using a organizational perspective. The RGP is organized in so called “partnerships”, where the differences become very clear when compared to organization in a more traditional form. In traditional organizations, output can be observed as manufactured units or the value created in services performed. From such a perspective, consensus, efficiency and action – becomes the rational to strive for to maximize the effectiveness. Such a traditional view of organization is less useful for RGP – but is still in use since they are the dominant perspectives on how we value “good” organizing. In the case of the RGP the partnership have being assigned to cooperate and find new, better ways to stimulate the regional growth. The success of the partnership is still measured by quantitative indicators, which is not very logical since it is almost impossible to see if the partnership has had anything to do with affecting these indicators. With the support of theories from Brunsson (2006) I therefore propose the “talk organization” as an alternative to the “action organization” – and also see the potential of redefining the partnership as a form of such a talk organization. The advantages of such an approach could be to view the talking as an important prerequisite to potential action, and furthermore we can revalue the importance of creating talk opportunities to occur in such partnerships. This creates a view full of conflicts in relating to the traditional view of organization that advocates consensus and order – but in the supposedly creative talking partnerships the issue may be to uphold conflict, and a wide range of different views  to be able to create something new. The dissertation has a theoretical focus that highlights the connection, but also contradictions, between the structural and symbolic in organizing and also how it may affect the potential for development and change.