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Public management relies increasingly more on cooperation with private sector — IRSPM congress looks at a hybrid model

Published on 18.4.2024
Tampere University
People chatting in the university lobby, with a row of windows in the background.
Photo: Jonne Renvall/Tampereen yliopisto
Public administration currently increasingly relies on the cooperation of the public, private and third sectors. The hybrid futures of public management and governance is the theme of the international IRSPM Tampere Edition scientific congress, which Tampere University is hosting on 16—18 April 2024.

Six hundred and fifty international participants have arrived in Tampere for the scientific congress on public management. The three-day programme consists of 50 working groups and 500 research paper presentations.

Market-promoting reforms have brought numerous satellite operators to public management. To address the management challenges of good governance, it is

crucial that public administration is not understood in isolation from private efforts and civic engagement, but as the result of complex interfaces and interactions between them.

The opportunity to get together for the IRSPM Tampere edition delights Tampere University’s Professor of Administrative Science Jan-Erik Johanson who chaired the scientific committee planning the congress. The IRSPM was initially meant to be organised in Tampere 2020, but it had to be postponed because of COVID-19.

“At the congress, we will consider how the public, private and third sectors are combined in the hybrid model of public management. Many projects — such as the Tampere tramway — have been carried out in collaboration between the public and private sectors, and similar partnerships also exist in other parts of the world,” Johanson says. The IRSPM Congress is annually arranged by the International Research Society for Public Management.

The keynote address given on Tuesday was held by professor emeritus Barry Bozeman from Arizona State University. He talked about ways to convey research-based knowledge to decision-makers. The presentation emphasised how politicians and civil servants adapt their use of research knowledge to fit the purposes of their field. As a Finnish example, Johanson mentions the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities that have provided research-based knowledge to policymakers.

Wednesday’s keynote speech was given by Minister of Local and Regional Government Anna-Kaisa Ikonen. Ikonen has previously worked, among other things, as a Mayor of Tampere and Professor of Practice at Tampere University.

Minister Anna-Kaisa Ikonen speaking on stage
​​​​​Minister Anna-Kaisa Ikonen talked about the characteristics of good governance which include openness, trust, efficiency, and partnerships. (Photo: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University)

Dean Antti Lönnqvist from the Faculty of Management and Business thinks that Tampere University is a strong player in the field of public administration.

“By organising large events, such as the IRSPM congress, our researchers are bearing their responsibility for the development of this research field. From the perspective of building cooperation networks these events are indispensable, and the work of our researchers gains much visibility,” Lönnqvist says.

Yleisöä istumassa juhlasalissa.Photo: Jonne Renvall/Tampereen yliopisto