Dette nummer af Akademisk kvarter samler bidrag om temaet humanistisk ledelsesforskning. Organisation og ledelse er traditionelt temaer, der behandles grundigt indenfor de samfundsvidenskabelige og merkantile discipliner, men disse temaer er i stigende grad blevet genstand for interesse indenfor humaniora. Denne udvikling hænger sammen med en samfundsudvikling, hvor medarbejderne i stigende grad stiller krav om faglig og personlig udvikling i arbejdslivet, samtidig med at arbejdspladserne har behov for, at medarbejderne bruger både deres faglige, personlige og sociale kompetencer i arbejdslivet. Det er således ’det hele menneske’, der går på arbejde i dag, og vi er langt fra industrisamfundets medarbejder, der kunne anskues som et motorisk vedhæng til maskiner og samlebånd.
Leadership Pipeline i den offentlige sektor The theory Leadership Pipeline has in the last approx. ten years come into widespread use as a descriptive framework for large international cooperations and the way they define, develop and measure their leaders at every levels (Kaiser, 2011). The theory describes the skills, priorities and work values needed for managers at different organizational level, and is often associated with Charan, Drotter and Noel (2001). But as the article shows the theory is based on a wide tradition in organizational theory and management theory. This article presents the results of a qualitative research project that examined whether the skills, priorities and work values described in the Leadership Pipeline theory at four generic management levels can be transferred to a Danish public sector context – or if modifications or even rejections has to be made in/to the theory. Through a series of qualitative focus group interviews with approx. 100 Danish government leaders from four levels of management levels we were working on these issues. The analysis of the data indicates that the theory must be supplemented by eight competences.
Leadership Pipeline The Leadership Pipeline model assumes that what it takes for managers to succeed differs for jobs at different organizational levels. This model has had an immense impact on leadership and talent development over the past decade. However, the research basis behind the model is thin. This article review relevant empirical research in relation to the central Leadership Pipeline assumption: that competences related to successful leadership vary across different levels in the organizational hierarchy. The article concludes that research literature provides evidence for assuming that job content and role demands differs for jobs at different organizational levels. Furthermore, new empirical research suggests that both continuity and discontinuity in competences is at stake during job transitions between organizational levels. However, more research addressing the Leadership Pipeline model specifically is needed.
In the conclusion we discuss the limitations in our research design and define the research questions that can be investigated further. In a broader perspective the article contributes with a new perspectives on what the Danish government leaders see that the task of management in the public sector requires. This article is an effort to provide answers to one of the most significant research challenges that arose in the wake of Minnowbrook III Conference: What is the specific nature, function and jurisdiction that characterizes public management?
Den ideelle leder How is the ideal leader constructed in the Danish corporate sector? Is it the result-oriented and dynamic analyst or the empathic and collaborative communicator who is in demand? Both types exist, but the analysis of management job ads from the Danish job databases, Stepstone and Job Index, indicates that the first type is more in demand among Danish businesses than the second one (Holmgreen, manuscript). Taking the starting point in framing (Evans & Green 2006; Fillmore 1982; Kövecses 2006; Lakoff 1987, 1996), the article analyses a corpus of Danish job ads, uncovering how leaders and leadership are constructed discursively, how this construction is conceptually rooted in culturally contingent frames of the competent leader (cf. Dickson et al. 2012), and not least how this construction may influence recruitment to management positions in the Danish business sector.
’Som leder skal man komme og styre butikken’ Transformational and interactional leadership theories which emphasise follower empowerment are increasingly diffused in corporate businesses and organisations stressing the importance of flexibility and a team-oriented perception of management (Kark 2004). Research suggests that such a relationship and communication approach to leadership prevail among female employees and leaders (Holmes 2006). As gender diversity within leadership has increased during the last 20 years studies of the relationship between leadership, language and gender are essential (Mullany 2011). From a social constructivist and frame analysis approach the article aims at studying how managers (female and male) in the financial sector discursively frame their perceptions of leadership during narrative interviews. The analysis suggests that, at the management level in question, the field of activity of the particular department is more important than gender for the perception of leadership.
Et signalement af ledelsesdilemmaet In this article the reader is offered a new understanding of management through an analysis on the phenomenon we define as the management dilemma. The concept describes the situation occurring when a manager considers creating an I-It relation to the employee as necesserary in order to achive the compagny aims. The challenge for the manager is that the objectification of the employee will create a managerialdistance to the employee and thereby a distance to the organization. The managerialdistance makes it impossible for the manager to achive understanding of the situation as it occur for the employee. During the following article a case is analyzed in order to create a deeper understanding of the management dilemma.
The article focuses upon the contradictions in organizational and management thinking and interaction, in relation to I - It, I - Thou, self and reflection.
Managing Functional Power How does one manage functional power relations between leading functions in vision driven digital media creation, and this from idea to master during the creation cycle? Functional power is informal, and it is understood as roles, e.g. project manager, that provide opportunities to contribute to the product quality. The area of interest is the vision driven digital media industry in general; however, the point of departure is the game industry due to its aesthetic complexity. The article's contribution to the area is a power graph, which shows the functional power of the leading functions according to a general digital media creation cycle. This is used to point out potential power conflicts and their consequences. It is concluded that there is normally more conflict potential in vision driven digital media creation than in digital media creation in general or in software development. The method is collaborative practice studies including action research and practice studies; combined with solid industrial experience.
Professions, Paradoxes and Management Reform of the public sector has been on the agenda in Denmark, as in many other western countries, during the last two or three decades. New Public Management (NPM) has had major implications for professions and the managers who are handling the changes and creating new organizations - “the front line providers and supporters of public services”, as they are described by Farrel and Morris (2003: 136). An overlooked aspect in the literature on professions is a focus on their processes in managing and impacting the changes when they are translated into practice (Sehested 1996; 2002, Ferlie et al. 2000, Farrel and Morris, 2003, Juel Jacobsen 2009). With an ethnographic approach and a concept of paradox as a lens to explore on-going processes, this paper investigates the interaction between management of professions in a Danish upper secondary high school. The purpose of the paper is to add to our understanding of management of professions. The following research questions frame the investigation: How do the professions manage their project when they are to create organizational processes of change that involve new understandings of their work, and what are the organizational implications? How do managers and professions respond to competing tensions? And what management characteristics are effective in attending to contradictory demands? The results of the empirical research seem to challenge basic assumptions generated by the classical professions` theory of autonomous and self-reliant professions (Larson 1977, Abbott 1988, Freidson 1986). These assumptions are repeated in newer organizational theory concerning professions (Ferlie et al 1996, Sehested 2002, Sognstrup 2003, Kragh Jespersen 2005) The empirical research of this paper, however, illustrates that the professions:
Ledelse gennem narrative Heidi Hansen describes how people create meaning through stories. An event or episode does not carry any meaning in itself but is assigned meaning through its constructed relations to other events and the way it is put into words.
Stories create memory as well as oblivion and thus influence the identity of the organization as well as the identity of its members. Therefore it is a central management discipline to try to influence the dominant stories told in the organization.
Dialogisk coaching af ledergrupper This article presents and discusses a dialogic approach to coaching of leader groups. This approach is developed through an action research project and through collaboration between four leadership groups in a Danish municipality, two organization consultants and two researchers from Aalborg University in Denmark. The project aims at developing dialogic group coaching theoretically and practically while keeping a focus on learning and development in leadership practice.
Dialogue on dialogues The article elaborates on a theoretical understanding of dialogue as a means for the co-production of knowledge in and on leadership communicative practices through ongoing research collaboration that involves leaders, researchers and master students at Aalborg University. Dialogue is viewed from a dissensus perspective, which draws on Bakhtin’s dynamic thoughts on the heteroglossic nature of interaction and on multi-voiced dialogues as battles between centrifugal and centripetal forces. The concept multi-voiced dialogues is posited as a means for opening up dialogical moments of change in order to cultivate the creative and transformational powers of dialogues in which new meanings, voices and forms of knowledge emerge. I discuss how this way of framing the dialogical co-production of knowledge challenges the mainstream understanding of dialogical practices by embracing relational, conflictual and contradictory aspects of meaning-making processes. The concept of multi-voiced dialogues aims to challenge authoritative discourses that advocate monologism, unity and consensus.
Leaders’ learning orientation and the HCM-turn in call centres Research on call centres is increasingly concerned with high levels of work intensification and unveils deep-seated contradictions in this new form of service organizations. The current debate opposes management interests in rationalization and technologies of efficiency and control to employee wellbeing and the quality of the customer service. Based on a single-case study, this paper advances a differentiated view of management focusing on the mediating role of operational management in striking a balance between structural requirements and people issues. Learning orientation is identified as a significant leadership quality that promotes reflexivity in the ongoing processes of interpretation and meaning creation enhancing the human dimension in the production of service. Learning orientation will be related to high-commitment management (HCM) as a way to reconcile the logics of efficiency and customization. Arguably, a learning orientation impacts not only at shop floor level, but also on the upper organization, through upward feedback, providing potentially valuable knowledge to the organizational strategic decision making.
Modtagelsessamspillets lokale økologi Based on an empirical study of organizational entry and employee induction in a Danish private sector company, and supported by complexity theory perspectives, the article develops the notion of ‘organizational temporality’ of relevance when researching and practicing employee induction. Organizational life is understood as evolving complex responsive processes of local interaction forming and being formed by global patterns of interaction (Stacey 2010, Prigogine 1997).
It is argued that formalized induction practices based on assumptions of newcomer as ‘unknowledgeable’ and oldtimer as ‘knowledgeable’ is in possible discord with actual learning processes and related feelings of uncertainty experienced by newcomers and oldtimers in rapidly changing organizations.
To reduce costly newcomer turnover many organizations put much energy into optimizing formalized global induction programs. This article contends that organizational entry, socialization and newcomer–oldtimer interactions are best understood in a local micro-organizational perspective. Based on this contention the term ‘ecology of entry’ is developed.
Hvordan kan man lære lederskab This article focuses on knowledge about learning processes based on a research project where leaders make experiments in order to create new aspects of leadership. Based on movement seeing and the affective turn (Massumi 2002) leaders learn to act differently. The sessions in the project are organized as living, sensing, moving experiments where leaders get inspiration from performance theory (Schechner 2003).
The project is based on the assumption that too much of the social theory is unprocessual (Massumi 1997) and that leaders therefore have to learn to become more process oriented thorough their professional leadership training i.e. based on a non-representational theory, that is an approach to understanding the world where we to have to look at the how and not the what (Thrift 2008).
The project moves the learning focus from a theoretical study to a performing study in close connection with developing the self as an embodied self; it is the self that is based on desire and corporeality (Elliot 2012). New forms of leadership will occur and we will have to reconsider our traditional ways of organizing educational systems that are often focused on effects and transfer
Gensidigt lærende partnerskaber i teori og praksis The article draws data from an action research project involving leaders and teaching staff from a large educational institution (researched part) and researchers and students from a university department (researcher part). The project strives for qualitative enhancement of teaching practice coupled with a wish to understand the enabling conditions behind such an enhancement. An ambitious project design was worked out. Facilitated action learning was chosen as a methods vehicle for bringing about the desired changes. The article’s first part (‘act’) leads up to a description of the principles on which the design was based: How may small scale action learning experiences be translated into large scale organizational learning and professional change. No funding agency could be found for financing the ambitious project design. The article’s second part (‘act’) describes the efforts spent on establishing an unfunded development-organization-within-the-educational-institution. University students filled in action learning facilitating roles while at the same time using their project experiences as study material (partnership for mutual learning). The collaboration between educational institution and university department is seen as an interesting prototype for furthering organization development in an age of economic scarcity.
Narrating the Political Hero Like a distorted mirror, mass culture products generally give back an exaggerated reflection of the sociocultural context. In this regard, from a historical perspective, 9/11 attacks launch a warning to global society that no individual or nation was completely safe. This has created a climate of fear that would be intensified with the Iraq war and the global economic crisis. This atmosphere will translate to audiovisual fiction as stories where anyone can be the enemy, even political leaders. So the boundaries between heroes and villains are uncertain. With the 2008 Presidential Elections, the United States started a new era whose predominant narrative would be to accept and overcome past mistakes, in order to be the great nation it once was. In sum, we aim to expose how fictional construction of political leaders has evolved since Obama’s victory, illustrating this with examples from films and TV shows.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter Political leaders and statesmen have regularly been depicted in the cinema. This kind of films mixes the genre biopic with historiography, as they dramatize authentic historical figures and their personal as well as political lives. Cinematic biographies of this kind may create controversies as veracity can have fallen victim to the needs of the film script and the box office. The article will attempt to read Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Timur Bekmambetov, 2012) in the light of narratological theories and it will investigate whether the film’s genre hybridity or mashup characteristics as well as its travesty traits have enabled it to climb from meaningless late night entertainment to historiographic metafiction. Its initial and quite basic research question is whether Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter has in any way been able to tell the truth about the past? A part of this question is how apt the signification of the vampire monster type is as a vehicle for the film’s quite specific form of historiography?