Institutional Contexts of the Implementation of Quality Initiatives in the Public Sectors of Finland and Lithuania
This article reports the results of research of public service quality reform initiatives in Lithuania and Finland. Research reveals that quality management has been in vogue within the manufacturing sectors of both countries for several decades. The service industries have made heavy investments in this area. There are also major initiatives from the public sector to improve quality. This paper examines and compares the development of reform conceptions and programmes in terms of institutional interest and power positions. It demonstrates that the initiation and progress of reform initiatives were determined by particular unforeseen and accidental circumstances in both countries. On the other hand, it explains why Finnish institutions were ready for a constructive dialogue, and a pilot try-outs option in implementation or reform instruments. Lithuanian institutions, by comparison, are characterized by the creation of new structures and self-seeking interests. Finally, the paper reveals how the instruments of public service quality improvement were implemented in both countries.