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  • 1.
    Jagers, Sverker
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Sevä, Mikael
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Governance and front-line bureaucrats: on government and governance among civil servants2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Sevä, Mikael
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    A comparative case study of fish stocking between Sweden and Finland: explaining differences in decision making at the street level2013In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, E-ISSN 1872-9460, Vol. 38, p. 287-292Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Even though fish stocking might have unfavourable effects on the genetic composition of wild populations, stocking programmes are currently developed in significant numbers in the Baltic Sea. The aim of this study is to examine and propose explanations for potential differences in fish stocking practices between Finland and Sweden. A comparative case study, focusing on the operational decisions made by frontline bureaucrats at the regional level, is conducted. The results show that frontline bureaucrats in Finland make more similar decisions than their colleagues in Sweden do. The lower regional variation can be explained by greater similarities in policy beliefs and by the fact that Finnish bureaucrats, in cases of uncertainties, consult the same implementation resource. Thus, by clarifying policy substance and by designing a central organisation for the provision of knowledge and advice, policy makers can counteract regional variation in fish stocking practices

  • 3.
    Sevä, Mikael
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    The decisive role of street-level bureaucrats in environmental management2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Humanity faces dire challenges associated with environmental degradation.Policy makers try to curb these problems with various policies andmanagement strategies. Some strategies are successful, yet too often, othersfail to meet their overall objectives. Scholars in the field of environmentalmanagement have suggested several explanations as to why environmentalpolicy fails to address environmental concerns. In this thesis, I take my pointof departure in a neglected theoretical component in environmentalmanagement research, namely the decisive role of street-level bureaucrats, i.e.bureaucrats working at the end of the policy chain, making operationaldecisions and taking action based on official policy. The aim of the thesis is tohighlight the significant role of street-level bureaucrats in the implementationof environmental policy and to examine which factors that can explain theirdecisions. In order to fulfil this aim, a tentative theoretical frameworkencompassing four explanatory factors – management setting, policyunderstanding, implementation resources and policy beliefs – is developed. Aqualitative case study approach is utilised in an attempt to empiricallyexamine how these factors influence decision-making and implementation atthe street level. Data is collected by means of semi-structured interviews with40 street-level bureaucrats working in the fields of fishery and water policyrespectively. The results from the empirical studies are used to refine thesuggested tentative theoretical framework and propose a more refinedframework that can explain street-level bureaucrats’ implementation ofofficial policy. The findings suggest that different management settings seemto affect – more or less – street-level bureaucrats’ autonomy and discretion.Moreover, bureaucrats’ policy understandings, in particular their notionsconcerning policy coherence, affect their decision-making. The results alsoimply that the characteristics of bureaucrats’ implementation resources, i.e.the actors to whom they turn for policy advice, influence implementation.Finally, differences in the implementation of environmental policies can beexplained by the bureaucrats’ policy core beliefs. In particular, thebureaucrats’ empirical policy core beliefs, i.e. their views on the policyproblem and its solutions, seemingly affect how policy is implemented. Theresults from this thesis underline the importance of street-level bureaucrats inthe implementation of environmental policy and the significance of the abovemention factors as drivers for street-level action. Thus, the decisive role ofstreet-level bureaucrats should be considered when explaining success andfailure in the struggle to curb environmental problems.

  • 4.
    Sevä, Mikael
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Jagers, Sverker
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Inspecting environmental management from within: The role of street-level bureaucrats in environmental policy implementation2013In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 128, p. 1060-1070Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we assert that an important element is largely missing in much of the current environmental policy literature regarding different management ideals: street-level bureaucrats (i.e., the practicing and, typically, anonymous civil servants at the very end of the environmental policy chain). Thus, we aim to enhance a deeper understanding of the role that street-level bureaucrats play within different management ideals, and through this discussion, we indicate how they affect the functionality of governing structures and processes. We do so by interviewing street-level bureaucrats carrying out their role in different management settings, enabling evaluations of the degree to which their practices correspond with the ideals expressed in the literature and in official directives. We find a rather poor match between these ideals on one hand and the way street-level bureaucrats actually perceive that they are internally steered and how they carry out their commissions on the other hand.

  • 5.
    Sevä, Mikael
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Sandström, Annica
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
    Decisions at Street Level: Assessing and explaining the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in Sweden2017In: Environmental Policy and Governance, ISSN 1756-932X, E-ISSN 1756-9338, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 74-89Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study addresses the role of street-level bureaucrats in water management and examines what factors influence the implementation of the programme of measures that are part of the European Water Framework Directive. The impact of two factors - the bureaucrats' policy understandings and their implementation resources - on implementation is examined through a qualitative case study at sub-national level in Sweden. The results verify the critical role of these bureaucrats as only one-third make decisions, or take action, based on the programme of measures. The results further suggest that the bureaucrats' understandings of how coherent the policies are, and whom they consult in cases of uncertainty, are important. The implementing bureaucrats perceive policy as coherent and have rich networks of advice, including responsible government authorities, while the non-implementing bureaucrats experience significant policy incoherencies and have sparse advice networks. Thus, policy-makers can support implementation by adjusting policy and by improving existing, and organizing new, resources to provide these bureaucrats with guidance

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