Choosing an educational course : A decision theory perspective on the Swedish public sector
Abstract: The public sector has undergone extensive changes in recent years following the implementation of New Public Management. Studies on the subject are still retained in previous grounds made in other circumstantial prerequisites. Therefore, this study aims to increase the understanding of decision processes in public authorities to provide a nuanced picture of the phenomenon and further complement the established literature on decision-making theory. In doing so, we answer the question of how and why and it is decided which educational course an employee at a Swedish governmental agency attends.Through the use of a snowball sample approach, we reversed tracked the decision process and examined the underlying incentives of the process. By using both interviews with identified relevant actors in combination with related documents, we achieved a triangulation effect of our data. The results demonstrated a variety of applicable approaches to the decision made by the different actors throughout the decision process in their contextually dependent circumstances. Moreover, the results indicate that previous decision-making literature is insufficient on its own. Instead, we claim that a broad understanding is required to grasp decision-making behavior and advocate for a combinatorial and holistic approach which adhere to the varying decision-making behavior.
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