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Environmental scanning and analysis in Swedish central government agencies

Author(s): Torbjörn Lundqvist

Journal: Offentlig Förvaltning. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration
ISSN 2000-8058

Volume: 15;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Most government agencies have some form of environmental scanning, but few have dedicated departments or full-time staff responsible for analysis. The level of ambition varies greatly from one organisation to another, and in several cases activities are delegated to personnel without sufficient experience in the field. Consultants have been important in helping to start the activities, and most agencies have hired them. We note that environment scanning/analysis is more formally organised when authorities’ core operations include societal risks and threats, or have analytical purposes. When core activities relate to national issues or a limited sector, environment scanning tends to be more informal. But it also seems to be an activity that is constantly changing. The difficulties in institutionalising these functions, along with a lack of willingness to do so, have proved to be significant.

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