Projectification : The Trojan horse of local government

Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to conceptualize local government projectification by answering the questions of how projectification is manifested in practice, and what the consequences of the project logic are for local government organizations and their employees. An institutional ethnography is conducted in the Swedish municipality of Eslöv and its organizational and institutional surroundings. Through an institutional logic perspective informed by translation theory, local government projectification is conceptualized as a process of proliferation, transformation and adaptation, as well as organizational capacity building. Projectification as proliferation emphasizes the increasing use and diffusion of projects and project ideas. Projectification as transformation and adaptation highlights processes of transformation of “permanent” ordinary organizational activities to temporary projects, and adaptation in the surrounding organizations and structures. Projectification as organizational capacity building implies that the project logic diffuses in local government organizations, not primarily through specific projects, but through practices encouraging the project logic, which reinforces the organizational project capacity of local government. Three conclusions are drawn. First, projectification must be regarded as something more than many projects. Second, projects are not “just” vehicles carrying something forward, but techniques, tools and practices that produce specific effects of their own, independently of their stated objectives or aims ascribed to them.Third, the practical outcome of the project logic is more related to the rational and technical aspects of the project as a form than the innovative and flexible aspects of the project as a process. Hence, local government bureaucracy appears to be battle bureaucracy with more bureaucracy.