Decentralized collaboration in a complex environment: an organizational ethnographic study of the collaboration process in Lomma Municipality
Sammanfattning: The relationship between employer and employee at the Swedish labor market is statutory in the Codetermination Act (1976:560), which declares that negotiations are to be concluded between the employers and affected trade unions before significant organizational changes are made. However, many organizations alternatively choose to terminate local collaboration agreements intended at increasing participation and influence. By looking specifically at the collaboration agreement in the administration of education, food, culture, and leisure (ECL) in Lomma Municipality – this thesis aims to study the collaboration process with the focus on how law and legitimacy operates, analyzing how negotiations between employers and unions shape the struggle for each party to preserve and promote their interests. This will be done by an organizational ethnographic approach with observations and interviews as the primary data collection tools and by integration the empirical data in an analysis based on the conceptual, theoretical framework of new institutional theory and Walter Powell´s socio-legal take on organizational life. Accordingly, this thesis concludes that the collaboration process is not coherent regarding proper knowledge of implementation, following presupposed purposes and goals. Hence, different collaboration groups interpret the collaboration agreement by their cultural and normative environments, thus, not according to intended effects of collaboration. Further, the mistrust between actors at administrative level contributes to prejudice regarding the negotiating party´s intentions, enhancing the idea of predetermined decisions with political influence – inhibiting the impression of collaboration toward collective decision making. To summarize, the results show that collaboration agreement in an organizational setting such as the ECL administrations is too complicated to strictly rely on the legal authority of law in books. Hence, law in action must be considerate, thereby providing a fundamental condition to understand the practice and furthermore open up new ways of rethinking the process at large.
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