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Pernille Rügge, Rikke Heide Johansen & Katrine Kottwitz Mathiasen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


In this thesis we examine the following research question: Why is trust as a management tool
difficult to use in the public sector, and what are the challenges?
We examine the research question through 14 qualitative interviews collected from four
municipalities: Copenhagen, Roskilde, Viborg, and Gentofte. The framework of the thesis is
based on a double hermeneutically Philosophy of Science and abductive research strategy
whereby it is possible to examine the research question in-depth.
The theoretical framework is composed of different scientific articles and theoretical concepts
within the field related to trust and trust-based leadership. The theoretical combination is
thereby characterized as an eclectic approach. Furthermore, the examination is based on an
elaborative approach in which an ongoing interplay between theory and empirical data has been
The analysis is divided into four subanalyses, each with a special focus. In closing, four key
challenges, which are the most important challenges that the manager must respond to and keep
in mind working with trust-based leadership, are derived.
The thesis concludes that NPM still is the dominating management paradigm in the public
sector, which complicates the distribution of trust-based leadership. Additionally, the thesis
argues that trust, as a term, is simplified in the Danish language, whereby an expansion of the
different parameters of trust is beneficial to a better articulation of trust.
Moreover, the thesis concludes that many managers find it difficult to hand over control and
use the right balance between control and trust, which is challenging according to the
propagation of trust-based leadership. In trust-based leadership, the relational work is very
important, but it is often underestimated and is passively dealt with. Finally, the thesis
concludes that the political management gap and the politicians’ lack of courage and will to
take a risk and demonstrate trust are challenging to the work with trust-based leadership in the
public sector.

UddannelserVirksomhedsledelse, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato28 jun. 2017
Antal sider135
VejledereSøren Jagd