Per Lægreid, Ståle Opedal, Inger Marie Stigen; The Norwegian Hospital Reform: Balancing Political Control and Enterprise Autonomy. J Health Polit Policy Law 1 December 2005; 30 (6): 1027–1064. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03616878-30-6-1027
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This essay focuses on the balance between governmental control and enterprise autonomy by examining the Norwegian hospital reform. We describe the enterprise model and give a description of the policy instruments that the government, as owner, has for exercising power and control vis-à-vis the health enterprises. How the trade-off between autonomy and control is experienced and practiced is analyzed from an instrumental, an institutional, and an environmental perspective. The database comprises a survey collected from health enterprise executives and illustrative cases. The trade-off can be characterized as ambiguous and unstable and we ask whether it is possible to achieve a strategy to more appropriately balance the goals of control and autonomy.