Varieties of governance versatility and institutions: Comparing the governance of primary care performance in six jurisdictions

Published date01 April 2024
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/09520767231183506
AuthorViola Burau,Tim Tenbensel,Jean-Louis Denis,Helen Dickinson,Karen Gardner,Peter Groenewegen,Ellen Kuhlmann
Date01 April 2024
Subject MatterArticles
Article
Public Policy and Administration
2024, Vol. 39(2) 214236
© The Author(s) 2023
Article reuse guidelines:
sagepub.com/journals-permissions
DOI: 10.1177/09520767231183506
journals.sagepub.com/home/ppa
Varieties of governance
versatility and institutions:
Comparing the governance of
primary care performance in six
jurisdictions
Viola Burau
University of Aarhus, Denmark
Tim Tenbensel
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Jean-Louis Denis
University of Montreal, Canada
Helen Dickinson
University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia
Karen Gardner
Australian National University, Australia
Peter Groenewegen
NIVEL, Netherlands
Ellen Kuhlmann
University of Siegen, Germany
Abstract
Research on governance often assumes that governance requires combinations of hi-
erarchical, market and network co-ordination. However, governance versatility un-
derstood as the existence of a repertoire of different modes of coordination is not a
Corresponding author:
Viola Burau, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Bartholins Allé 2, DK8000 Aarhus C,
Denmark,
Email: Viola@ph.au.dk
characteristic of all instances of governance. The aim of this paper is to offer a more
thorough analysis by exploring existing levels of governance versatility and how these are
inf‌luenced by institutional prof‌iles. Our comparative study of primary care performance
across six jurisdictions suggests that higher levels of governance versatility can be shaped
by very different institutional prof‌iles. Our analysis raises important questions for futur e
studies of governance versatility.
Keywords
Comparison, Governance, Governance versatility, Institutions, Performance management,
Primary care
Introduction
Governance has emerged as a common conceptual perspective across a number of lit-
eratures for understanding changes in policies and delivery of public services. This rests
on a more or less explicit assumption that governance typically requires combinations of
hierarchical, market and network co-ordination (Bouckaert et al., 2010;Koppenjan et al.,
2019). However, we should not assume governance versatility understood as the use of
different modes of coordination is a characteristic of all instances of governance.
Against this background, this paper aims to explore existing levels of governance
versatility and how these are inf‌luenced by institutional prof‌iles. We develop an analytical
framework designed to explore how political and administrative institutions at macro and
meso levels shape the degree of governance versatility. We apply this framework to a
cross-country comparative study of the governance of primary care performance across
six jurisdictions. We chose this policy domain, as its governance has settled after a period
of change and is subject to the inf‌luence of institutions at different levels. We conduct a
small comparison as the in-depth understanding of cases can help conceptualise the
relationship between governance versatility and institutions. We select six jurisdictions
Australia, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Canada based on an
initial empirical puzzle and interesting variations in institutional prof‌iles. Our study
suggests that higher levels of governance versatility can ref‌lect very different institutional
prof‌iles.
Understanding governance versatility and institutions
In the public policy, public management and organisational studies literatures over the
past 2030 years, research on modes of coordinationhas emerged as an important
conceptual framework for understanding longer term trajectories of change (Powell,
1990;Pierre and Peters, 2020;Newman, 2001). We def‌ine governance as a process by
which the activities of multiple actors (both state and non-state) are co-ordinated to
collectively produce public policy effects(Lowndes and Skelcher, 1998;Rhodes,
1997). The multiple modes framework is centred on the distinction between ideal types of
Burau et al. 215

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT