A1 Journal article (refereed)
Towards formalisation : The organisation of work in the public and private sectors in Nordic countries (2019)

Anttila, T., Oinas, T., & Mustosmäki, A. (2019). Towards formalisation : The organisation of work in the public and private sectors in Nordic countries. Acta Sociologica, 62(3), 315-333. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699318761782

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Anttila, Timo; Oinas, Tomi; Mustosmäki, Armi

Journal or series: Acta Sociologica

ISSN: 0001-6993

eISSN: 1502-3869

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 62

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 315-333

Publisher: Sage Publications

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699318761782

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


According to European comparative studies, organisational change and restructuration have been especially prevalent in Nordic countries. In particular, public-sector organisations have been under turbulence due to pressures for cost reduction and increased efficiency. Yet, not much is known about how these changes have affected the organisation of everyday work. Based on the three waves of European Working Conditions surveys (2000, 2005, 2010), this paper analyses the change in the organisation of work in Nordic countries. The aim is to look into types of work organisation in public- and private-sector organisations in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. The questions asked are how the type of work organisation differs between sectors and to what extent are there changes in the prevalence of work organisation types. According to the results, the trend is a move away from the use of forms of work organisation characterised by high levels of learning and autonomy to more constrained or formalised forms. However, differences were also found between countries and sectors. The formalisation of work (i.e. features characteristic especially of the lean model of work organisation) is more common in the public sector and in Finland and Denmark compared to Sweden.

Keywords: organisation of work; lean manufacturing; new public management; comparative research

Free keywords: work organisation; Nordic countries; lean production; work formalisation

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:50