Quasi-backsourcing in the Public Sector - The Challenge of Withdrawing from an Intertwined and Long-standing Relationship
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCarlström, E., Jansson, M., Karlsson, D. & Berlin, J. (2021). Quasi-backsourcing in the Public Sector – The Challenge of Withdrawing from an Intertwined and Long-standing Relationship. International Journal of Public Administration, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2021.1995411
The aim of this study is to map the process involved in terminating a long-standing business relationship in a public context. It employed an exploratory study to interview 35 politicians, senior- and middle managers, ambulance- and dispatch centre staff and representatives of a regional alliance of patients. Growing criticism from a county council towards a contractor ended in a decision to bring services back in-house. However, terminating the contract failed and instead a state of quasi-backsourcing emerged. Only parts of the services were taken back in-house, with few reported benefits. The study suggests that caution is needed in relation to backsourcing services from a closely intertwined contractor.