A Projectified Public Administration. How Projects in Swedish Local Governments Become Instruments for Political and Managerial Concerns


  • Mats Fred
  • Patrik Hall


Over the last couple of decades an increasing use of temporary organizations has been observed in public administration, a development sometimes referred to as projectification. This article explores the political-administrative rationality of projectification by studying the initiation and implementation of a project funding system regarding social investments in a Swedish municipality. In the article it is argued that projectification is driven by the administrative leadership with the aid of devoted civil servants. Projects are also attractive to politicians because of the temporal, forward-looking character of politics itself, i.e. that the time conception of project management and politics is basically similar. The article shows that the critique against projectification in terms of increasing short-termism is somewhat beside the point, since politicians and top managers rather seem interested to introduce more short-termism in public administration. Projectification, however, does not represent a profound organizational change but rather introduces a new mind-set with potential long-term effects.