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Helena Wockelberg and Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg

In Sweden the institutional setup of semi-autonomous state agencies and local self-government predates some of the objectives of New Public Management reforms. Nevertheless, from the 1990s Sweden has been a zealous follower of NPM reforms. At present, Swedish top managers identify two main reform trends that correspond with the government’s goals for the public sector. One trend relates to already established management ideas, focusing on transparency, efficiency and performance. Another trend reflects an increased focus on citizenship as a question of consumer satisfaction. Soft steering tools appear to be effective in creating an elite consensus on public management policies.