ASTK15740U COURSE: The Resilience of the Nordic Model

Volume 2017/2018

Master Students: 7.5 ECTs

Bachelor students: 10 ECTS


The Nordic countries are often at the top of the league in rankings on competitiveness, good governance, innovation and happiness. However, the resilience of the Nordic model is challenged. The welfare state is popular, not because it is big, but only when it works. This demands a constant focus on performance. However, performance is difficult to ensure and public sector reforms often lead to unintended consequences. This course provides an integrated framework, which can be employed in the analysis of welfare reform and service provision based on the interaction between steering, motivation and performance. Theory on motivational forms and their potential for securing public service provision is discussed. Recent empirical research on the importance of the perception of steering and how this is influenced by leadership styles is presented. Performance is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct. Examples of the associations between the central concepts are drawing attention to topics such as leadership, digitalization, administrative burdens, public-private interaction, user-capacity and citizen involvement. During the course the students produce and get feed-back on a written exam-paper focusing on a selected problem-area within welfare state management.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the course the students will be able to


  1. 1. Account for selected theories, methods and problem-areas which are relevant to welfare-state management at the highest academic level


  1. 2. Compare and contrast, evaluate and discuss key concepts, approaches and  expectations from different theories and approaches


  1. 3. Identify any needs for further research within the research literature based on the most recent Danish and international research results


  1. 4. Independently formulate an academic research question related to steering, motivation, leadership and performance in the welfare-state.


  1. 5. Apply theories and approaches that are relevant for the analysis of steering, motivation, leadership and performance in the welfare-state.


  1. 6. Construct and communicate comprehensive and succinct written analysis and discussion in a well-reasoned and academic manner 
  • L. B. Kaspersen (2013), Denmark in the World, Hans Reitzels Publisher, Chapter 1.
  • Le Grand, Julian (2010) 'Knights and Knaves Return: Public Service Motivation and the Delivery of Public Services', International Public Management Journal, 13: 1, 56 — 71. (15 sider
  • Andersen, Lotte Bøgh, Andreas Boesen & Lene Holm Pedersen (2016): Performance in Public Organizations: Clarifying the Conceptual Space, in Public Administration Review Vol. 76, nr. 6, 2016, s. 852–862
  • Andersen, Lotte Bøgh, Eskil Heinesen & Lene Holm Pedersen (2016): Individual Performance: From Common Source Bias to Institutionalized Assessment. In Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART), 26 (1): 63-78
  • Kristensen, Nicolai; Lotte Bøgh Andersen & Lene Holm Pedersen (2012): Public Service Efficacy, International Journal of Public Administration, 35:14, 947-958
  • Andersen, Lotte Bøgh; Nicolai Kristensen and Lene Holm Pedersen (2013): Models of public service provision - When will Knights and Knaves be responsive to Pawns and Queens. International Journal of Public Administration, 36(2):126-136.
  • Roghanizad, M. Mahdi, and Vanessa K. Bohns. "Ask in person: You're less persuasive than you think over email." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 69 (2017): 223-226
  • Barley, Stephen R., Debra E. Meyerson, and Stine Grodal. "E-mail as a source and symbol of stress." Organization Science 22.4 (2011): 887-906.
  • Grodal, Stine, Andrew J. Nelson, and Rosanne M. Siino. "Help-seeking and help-giving as an organizational routine: Continual engagement in innovative work." Academy of Management Journal58.1 (2015): 136-168.
  • Grant, Adam M. "Relational job design and the motivation to make a prosocial difference." Academy of Management Review 32.2 (2007): 393-417.
  • Frey, B & Jegen, R 2001, ‘Motivation crowding theory’, Journal of Economic Surveys, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 589-611 (23 pages).
  • Moynihan, D. P. 2010. A Workforce of Cynics? The Effects of Contemporary Reforms on Public Service Motivation. International Public Management Journal, 13(1): 24-34 (11 pages).
  • Andersen, L.B., Pallesen, T. (2008): ‘"Not Just for the Money?" How Financial Incentives Affect the Number of Publications at Danish Research Institutions’, International Public Management Journal, vol. 11 nr. 1, s. 28 – 47 (20 pages).
  • Jacobsen, Christian Bøtcher; Andersen, Lotte Bøgh. Performance management for academic researchers : How publication command systems affect individual behavior, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 32, Nr. 2: 84-107.
  • Georgellis, Y, Iossa, E & Tabvuma, V 2011, ‘Crowding out intrinsic motivation in the public sector’, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 473-493 (21 pages).
  • Mikkelsen, M.F., Andersen, L.B. & Jacobsen, C.B. 2015. Managing Employee Motivation: Exploring the Connections Between Managers’ Enforcement Actions, Employee Perceptions, and Employee Intrinsic Motivation, International Public Management Journal, DOI: 10.1080/​10967494.2015.1043166 (23 pages).
  • Jacobsen, Christian Bøtcher; Johan Hvitved & Lotte Bøgh Andersen. (2014): Command and motivation: How the perception of external interventions relates to intrinsic motivation and public service motivation Public Administration 92 (4) 790–806. DOI: 10.1111/padm.12024 (17 pages).
  • Boyne (2002): Concepts and Indicators of Local Authority Performance: An Evaluation of the Statutory Frameworks in England and Wales. Public Money & Management, pp. 17-24.
  • Hood, Christopher. (2012). Public Management by Numbers as a Performance-Enhancing Drug: Two Hypotheses. Public Administration Review, 72(s1), s85-s92.
  • Nielsen, Poul Aaes (2014). Performance Management, Managerial Authority, and Public Service Performance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 24(2), 431-458.
  • Behn, Robert D. 2003. “Why Measure Performance? Different Purposes Require Different Measures.” Public Administration Review 63 (5): 586–606.
The course will be conducted with a mix of lectures, discussion and feed-back on student assignments.
Active and involved participation is expected. Please note that participants are expected to be engaged in commenting and providing feed-back on the drafts of written assignments of fellow students.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Feed-back is provided on going through discussion at the lectures. In additional a particular priority is given to providing feed-back on the research question and research design of the first draft of the written assignment. 

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner