Department of Political Science

Co-Determination as a Path to Goal Commitment: Managing Danish Upper Secondary Schools

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Performance management systems that include goal setting have become a widespread instrument in public management, intended to ensure that the entire organization is working to meet the same goals. One key question, however, is how public managers can ensure their employees' commitment to the goals that management has chosen to prioritize. This article examines the importance of "co-determination" for the relationship between managers' goal prioritization and the goal commitment of the employees in upper secondary schools in Denmark. Co-determination has the potential to create a common direction and committed employees, thereby rendering it a valuable tool for public managers in goal setting processes. Analysis of ten qualitative interviews with teachers and principals provides rich insight into the concept of co-determination in the context of Danish education, and a quantitative analysis of two parallel questionnaires with 73 principals and 1353 teachers reveals how co-determination has a positive impact on the association between a school principal's prioritization of the goal of achieving a high completion rate and the teachers' commitment to the goal.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Political Science
Pages (from-to)333-362
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • co-determination, goal setting and performance, organizational commitment, upper secondary schools, work determination

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