How Municipal Development Leaders Experienced Their Professional Role and Responsibility

Mette Sandoff, Kerstin Nilsson


The purpose of this study has been to explore how municipal development leaders experienced their professional roleand responsibility while working to support urban development at development departments in city constituencies inGothenburg. An explorative approach was used and 18 interviews were conducted and qualitatively analyzed.Development leaders’ expertise and their professional contributions were not utilized effectively. Instead of being aforce to be reckoned with through their contributions to urban development, their initiatives, professionalism andconcern did not lead to any kind of actual decisions or development, but only to feelings of personal resignation. Theintention has not been fulfilled of professionally enhancing urban development by employing development leaders atdevelopment departments on the city constituency level. The reasons are that the development leaders’ workassignment was only vaguely described and that the organizational and managerial structure was inadequatelydefined. Limitations and shortcomings are discussed in relation to work assignments, organizational structure,professionalization, and urban development work, based on municipal development leaders’ experiences of their roleand responsibility.

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Management and Organizational Studies  ISSN 2330-5495 (Print)  ISSN 2330-5509 (Online)

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