PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to make an empirical-based conceptualization of the contemporary domestic state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as domestic institutional market actors (IMAs) in the marketization of public service delivery.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a qualitative comparative case study of the SOEs in passenger rail in Denmark and Sweden from 1990 to 2015.FindingsThe paper shows how marketization results in a layered institutional set-up of public service delivery based on both competition and monopoly where the SOE becomes what we call an IMA bridging sectorial challenges. In Sweden, this role has a new public governance form as the monopoly over time is fully dismantled. In Denmark, over time marketization is put on hold due to problems with the SOE as a market actor, but the SOE is nevertheless safeguarded in a new Weberian model as a sector coordinator.Originality/valueThe paper contributes to the recent literature on SOEs and marketization with an original and novel conceptualization of contemporary SOEs in public governance.
International Journal of Public Sector Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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