Administrative reforms and accountability relations in the welfare states. Comparing health and labour administration in Norway, Denmark and Germany
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The paper addresses the balance between different accountability relations as perceived from the top of the central government in the aftermath of administrative reforms of welfare/labour and hospital/health in Norway, Denmark and Germany. The focus is on political, administrative, professional and societal accountability. We examine: a) what are the prevalence of different accountability types? b) How do the accountability types vary with country, policy areas and structural features? c) What are the effects of different accountability relations on different performance indicators? Theoretically we apply a structural perspective, a task‐specific perspective and a cultural perspective. The data base is a survey of top civil servants in central government. The paper reveals that there are multiple accountability types, and that there is a rather loose coupling between cultural, tasks and structural features and the different accountability types. There is also a loose coupling between accountability and performance, but with significant variation across accountability types.