Bakgrunn og aktiviteter

Gry Cecilie Lunder Høiland er førsteamanuensis ved Institutt for industriell økonomi og teknologiledelse, NTNU, og har en bistilling som forsker ved OSIRIS, TIK-senteret, Universitetet i Oslo. 

Faglig bakgrunn: organisasjonssosiolog med PhD i ledelse.

Forskningsfokus på impact, innovasjons- og implementeringsprosesser i komplekse organisasjoner.





Implementeringsprosesser i komplekse organisasjoner

Impact forskning

Institusjonell teori

Institusjonell kompleksitet

Integrerte helsetjenester

Emprisk fokus: Helse- og velferdssystemene


PhD title: Frontline policy implementation in public organizations - a sociological analysis of the 'how and why' of implementation gaps


Utvalgte publikasjoner: 

Organizing professional work and services through institutional complexity – how institutional logics and differences in organizational roles matter

Høiland, G. C. L. and Klemsdal, L. (2020) ‘Organizing professional work and services through institutional complexity – how institutional logics and differences in organizational roles matter’, Human Relations. doi: 10.1177/0018726720970274.


How is the complexity of contemporary professional work and services organized differently by management at the strategic level and professionals at the operational level? And what are the implications for managing this complexity? Drawing on literatures on institutional complexity, organizational roles and the analyses of case study data from interviews, observations and documents at a large public service provider in Norway, this article advances the understanding of management in complex organizations and makes the following three contributions to the institutional logics literature. First, we show how multiple institutional logics have different functions at strategic and operational levels, resembling a dynamic interplay in organizing professional work and services. Second, we show how these differences in handling multiple logics are contingent upon the different roles of the strategic managers and operational professionals. Finally, we advance the understanding of what institutional complexity may involve in organizations by disclosing how the significant conflicts stem not only from the presence of multiple logics, but also from differences within the organizations in how multiple logics are handled. Our findings have implications for the planning and management of organizational design and implementation strategies and demonstrate the utility of the institutional complexity perspective for managing complexity in contemporary organizations.


Frontline Policy Implementation in Public Organizations : A Sociological Analysis of the ‘how and Why’ of Implementation Gaps

Høiland, G. C. (2018). PhD Thesis no. 416. Universitetet i Stavanger.


Background and aims Innovation is promoted in politics and public service organizations as an essential factor for meeting the demands of society. How new policies or strategies can be implemented as intended in complex multi-level public organizations is a major practical and academic puzzle. We know from extensive research that there is often a gap between central policy formulations and their implementation in practice (Hill & Hupe, 2003; Hupe, 2014) created by frontline workers exercise of discretion and their outcomes (Lipsky, 1980, 2010). However, there is a need for empirical research on the ‘how and why’ of street-level implementation (Hupe, 2014) such as ‘how the workers actually arrive at their decisions’ (Goldman & Foldy, 2015 p.169), as well as the use of multi-leveled perspectives to investigate the problem of implementation gaps (Hupe, 2014). The thesis aims to investigate mismatches between centrally directed policy measures and their implementation on the operational level. Introducing the concept of ‘resistance-driven innovation’, the thesis challenges the normative tendency of viewing implementation gaps as implementation failures (Hupe & Hill, 2016).


Resistance-driven Innovation? Frontline Public Welfare Workers’ Coping with Top- down Implementation

Høiland, G. C. & Willumsen E. (2018). Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies

Employee-based innovation researchers point to the important role of welfare workers in public service innovations. Bureaucratic and New Public Management inspired managerial agendas, still widely present in Nordic welfare organizations have been tied to an increase in feelings of inau- thenticity and use of coping strategies by welfare workers. At the same time, post-NPM principles of collaboration and service tailoring are more in line with professional values of welfare workers. Drawing on a critical realist informed case study comprising qualitative interviews and observations in the Norwegian public welfare and employment services, we describe types of revision and resis- tance practices used by frontline employees when faced with top-down implementation instructions, linking them to different types of innovations. The article adds to literatures on employee-based innovation by conceptualizing resistance practices as value-motivated resistance-driven innovation that may have a function of calibrating public value creation in welfare organizations submerged in bureaucratic and NPM-inspired managerial regimes.

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Del av bok/rapport

  • Høiland, Gry Cecilie; Willumsen, Elisabeth. (2015) Innovasjon for mer integrerte tjenester : samarbeid på tvers i arbeidsinkludering. Sosial innovasjon : fra politikk til tjenesteutvikling.


  • Høiland, Gry Cecilie. (2018) Frontline policy implementation in public organizations. A sociological analysis of the 'how and why' of implementation gaps. 2018. ISBN 978-82-7644-796-5.