Fredrik Svärdsten Nymans

Fredrik Svärdsten Nymans

Universitetslektor/Assistant Professor

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Arbetar vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen
Telefon 08-16 74 39
Besöksadress Kräftriket hus 24, Roslagsvägen 101
Rum 136
Postadress Företagsekonomiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Jag är universitetslektor i redovisning på Stockholm Business School (SBS), Företagsekonomiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet. Jag är även biträndande föreståndare för Akademin för ekonomistyrning i staten (AES). AES är en mötesplats för forskning, studier och dialog om styrning i staten. AES består av representanter från olika myndigheter som tillsammans med forskare arbetar för att initiera, skapa och förmedla kunskap om styrning i staten.


Jag undervisar på kurser och handleder uppsatser på både grund- och avancerad nivå i redovisning. Jag är därutöver kursansvarig för ett flertal kurser på avancerad nivå och handleder doktorander inom redovisningsämnet.


Jag forskar inom följande områden:

- Styrning och resultatuppföljning i statliga myndigheter

- Ekonomistyrningsystem och artificiell intelligens

- Finansiell läskunnighet  

- Revision och oberoende 


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2019. Fredrik Svärdsten. Financial Accountability and Management 35 (2), 199-211

    Performance audit is a practice with a potentially high degree of democratic and political relevance. Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) have the authority to determine whether the undertakings in central government 'are working'; therefore, SAIs tend to be regarded as important guardians of transparency and 'good' public sector performance. For this purpose, audits of 'substance' are regarded as crucial by both the research community and the INTOSAI. Still, the literature on performance audit concludes that substance audits are rare, although they do exist. One explanation for this is that substance auditing can be a risky endeavour for the auditors, since the lack of generic accounting standards for 'good' public sector performance makes the performance audit reports vulnerable to criticism. The aim of this paper is to contribute to our understanding of substance auditing by detailing the ways in which such audits are presented in performance audit reports. Thus, the paper focuses its analysis on the 'front stage' of substance auditing and finds that the auditors rarely choose to stand on the front stage alone. Instead, they regularly support their authority by relying on other authorities, and when such authorities are lacking, the auditors are reluctant to present judgements in terms of 'good' (or poor) performance. In such cases, this paper suggests that the democratic relevance of the audits can be questioned.

  • 2018. Linda Höglund, Fredrik Svärdsten. Scandinavian Journal of Management 34 (3), 225-232

    This study uses the concept of interpretative repertoires, i.e., localized discourses, to examine how facts are constructed about strategic work in a central government agency. It analyzes strategic work in relation to the public sector context and draws attention to power struggles among different discourses in this context. The identified repertoires can be related to wider public sector management discourses that civil servants need to balance in their strategic work. These discourses can both enable and constrain strategy work, and we conclude that strategy in the public sector needs to be understood in relation to these discourses.

  • 2018. Linda Höglund (et al.). International Public Management Journal 21 (5), 822-849

    Strategic management (SM) has become prominent on the agenda in several public organizations due to new public management (NPM) reforms. Nevertheless, there are few studies investigating how public organizations apply SM in practice and what tools are used. As a result, calls have been made for such studies. This article can be seen as an attempt to meet this call by presenting a qualitative case study of how SM has been applied in the Swedish Transport Administration (STA), a central government agency in Sweden, and what tools it used in strategy making. By analyzing the micro processes of strategizing at STA, our results indicate that public organizations need to be aware of at least three specific tensions that can enable or constrain strategy making. These tensions are: short v. long-term, parts v. whole, and reactivity v. proactivity.

  • 2015. Fredrik Svärdsten. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration 19 (2), 109-127
  • 2011. Anders Grönlund, Fredrik Svärdsten, Peter Öhman. International Journal of Public Sector Management 24 (2), 107-121

    Purpose – This paper aims to develop a classification scheme of different types of value for money(VFM) audits with different degrees of compliance audit, and to classify the performance audits carriedout by the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) during its first six years as an independent stateaudit organization reporting to parliament.

    Design/methodology/approach – The empirical data were gathered from all of the 150 auditreports published by the SNAO from its establishment in 2003 to the end of 2008. Seminars werearranged to discuss the classifications for validation.

    Findings – The focus on traditional VFM audits (the “Three Es”) is unusual. Most audits carried outby the SNAO combine different types of extended VFM audits with compliance audit. On the onehand, they audit how the government and/or central agencies fulfil their mandates (from good to bad).On the other, they audit how the government and/or central agencies adhere to legislation, rules andpolicies (right or wrong). In some cases, the SNAO equates compliance audit with performance audit.

    Practical implications – The authors have verbalised and visualised performance audit activities of interest not only to state auditors, but also to external stakeholders. One practical implication is thatthe Swedish national audit committee has conducted an evaluation of the SNAO that is partly based onthe national report of this study, and has proposed a stronger focus on the Three Es.

    Originality/value – The study addresses a new approach in terms of a classification scheme forperformance audits, consisting of eight types.

  • 2019. Bino Catasús (et al.).
  • 2018. Charlotta Bay (et al.).
  • 2018. Catasús Bino (et al.).
  • 2017. Fredrik Svärdsten, Kristina Tamm Hallström.
  • 2017. Kristina Tamm Hallström, Ingrid Gustafsson, Fredrik Svärdsten.
  • 2016. Mikael Holmgren Caicedo (et al.).
  • 2015. Linda Höglund, Fredrik Svärdsten.
  • 2013. Fredrik Svärdsten.
  • Avhandling (Dok) Constituting performance
    2012. Fredrik Svärdsten Nymans (et al.).

    The aim of this thesis is to problematize how and under what conditions organizational performance is constituted in the practices of performance auditing and accounting. Organizational performance disclosure is a world-wide phenomenon for enabling accountability relationships in large organizations regardless of the societal sector they operate in. In constitutive accounting literature, there is a well-established notion that accounting and performance auditing enable “government at a distance” by representing organizational actions and results of those actions, i.e. by constituting performance.  Accounting and performance auditing have been regarded as “technologies of government” that make government from spatial and temporal distances possible by linking political and programmatic ambitions, i.e., the will of a superior, to everyday organizational conduct. However, whereas many previous studies of accounting and performance auditing as technologies of government focus on the discourses over the technologies of accounting and performance auditing, this thesis focuses its analysis on the operationalization of these technologies in local organizational settings. By studying the constitution of performance in the practices of accounting and performance auditing this thesis contributes by problematizing that which supposedly makes government at a distance possible.

    The thesis is based on two case studies of performance audit and two case studies of performance reporting. On the basis of these papers, the thesis studies the constitution of performance in performance auditing and accounting. Whereas the constitution of performance may seem stable and unproblematic at the level of discourse, this thesis suggests that constituting performance is a complex process of social construction that requires significant organizational efforts and that the ability of accounting and performance auditing to connect political and programmatic ambitions to daily organizational conduct cannot be taken for granted. The thesis suggest that once we acknowledge that performance is a socially constructed representation of organizational actions and begin to pay attention to how performance is constituted in local organizational settings, we can find new ways of addressing the ongoing challenge of constituting performance in accounting and performance auditing and increase our understanding about the ability of these practices to enable government at a distance. 

Visa alla publikationer av Fredrik Svärdsten Nymans vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 22 januari 2020

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