I spänningsfältet mellan kontroll och utveckling. En policystudie av systematiskt kvalitetsarbete i kommunen, förskolan och fritidshemmet.

Lager, K.
Akademisk avhandling. Göteborgs universitet.


The overall objective of this thesis is to explore how systematic quality development work (SQDW) is enacted in municipalities. The thesis examines the enactment of SQDW and its transformation into practice. More specifically, the thesis focuses on the organisation of SQDW by searching knowledge about key people who participate in the quality development work 'quality in preschool' (kvalität i förskolan). Moreover, the thesis investigates the strategies used and obstacles in tensions between differing interests involved in quality development work.


Results of the thesis show that the municipality’s key people are able to translate quality into practice, and they serve as a link between government intentions, municipal strategies and preschool work. The study also shows that two aspects caused tensions in the systematic quality development work: (1) different forms of achievement in school and preschool in terms of objectives and (2) different perspectives on quality in relation to control and development. The key people had different conditions and resources to carry out their work. The key people who were not able to mobilise the right networks and tools do not have good skills with regard to translating quality development into practice. This means that the abilities of key people are more important than their professional background. The key people point out that various conflicts of interest make it difficult to enact SQDW. Thus it was important to the key people to unite the different actors and in this way stabilise SQDW. In this connection, it was important to the key people to know about context and to be able to mobilise other actors who knew about context. Moreover, the study shows that the key people were faced by the challenge that there were different perspectives on quality in relation to control. Quality development work often required the key people to be patient. Enacting the intentions of quality development work could take a long time. A major task of the key people was to discuss the idea of quality among actors and to create arenas and forums for such discussion to take place.


The data material consists of interviews, observations and policy texts. A total of 28 informants from 14 Swedish municipalities took part in the study: four teachers (förskollärare), 13 principals and preschool directors (rektorer/förskolechefer), two quality coordinators (kvalitetssamordnare), five development managers (utvecklingsledare/sekreterare), two special-needs teachers (special-pedagoger), one planning manager (planeringsledare) and one head administrator (chefsadministratör). The informants appointed by the municipalities were key people in the municipalities' quality development work in preschool (förskolan). The informants were interviewed over the telephone, and the observations were carried out at seminars and supervision sessions 3-4 times a year. Data was analysed using abductive reasoning. In the initial phase, the data material was sorted into different four contexts: a situated context, a professional context, a material context and an external context. This sorting made it possible to analyse data and to identify different themes. The study also includes systematic quality development work in leisure-time centres (fritidshem). However, leisure-time centres were not included in this summary.


Lager, K. (2015). I spänningsfältet mellan kontroll och utveckling. En policystudie av systematiskt kvalitetsarbete i kommunen, förskolan och fritidshemmet. Akademisk avhandling. Göteborgs universitet.

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