Public Management

No trust, no added value

February 27, 2014

Changes in society render more co-operation between organizations in the public service sector necessary. Consecutive cabinets have tried to make a virtue of this necessity and to come to a compact government through co-operation.

Image: © Nationale Beeldbank 

The Corporate Service was set up within the Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management (RWS) in 2006 as a support service and/or Shared Service Center for the various divisions of RWS. Based on the Implementation program Compact Public Service, the Corporate Service was instructed to work together with the support services of the Tax Authorities and the Custodial Institutions Service in order to realize an efficiency increase in the support of the three public services. To that end, the three support services set up a network organization that is collectively managed by the network members.

For the Corporate Service, working together in a self-regulating network meant implementing change. At the time of her study, Radenka Vukovic was Senior Advisor Operational Management at the Operational Management Board of the Corporate Service of RWS. Vukovic sketched a picture of this task of implementing change in her master thesis. In her article, she focuses on two aspects in which change was desirable:

  • the transition from a blend of a family- and hierarchy culture within the Corporate service to a blend of family- and adhocracy culture;
  • the expansion of the level of trust of the Corporate Service to the self-regulating network.

Vukovic ascertained that the task of implementing change required a pragmatization and externalization of the existing culture and investing in and steering towards trust on the part of the management of the Corporate Service. Without trust, the support services cannot take responsibility for effectively co-operating in the network: without trust, co-operation has no added value!

The first three parts of this series focused on the theme 'Justification'. The theme of the next four parts is 'Change'. In the first of these, René Grotens examines the meaning that the Y-generation can have in his municipality regarding the desired cultural change.

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