Dissertation: Develop leadership culture by identifying conflicting expectations

Posted on 13/04/17.

Annastiina Mäki describes four different leadership paradoxes that are characteristic of expert organizations.

Annastiina Mäki’s doctoral thesis in Management examines the essence and development of leadership culture in expert organizations. Her study illustrates the phenomenon of leadership culture and offers proposals for developing it.

– Leadership culture is a complex phenomenon linked to its context that involves paradoxical features and conflicting expectations. The unresolved confrontation between expectations associated with leadership is often considered to be problematic, says Mäki.

However, her study shows that it is possible to open up possibilities to develop leadership culture and practices by identifying these tensions. Therefore, leadership culture can also be developed intentionally under specific conditions.

She describes four different leadership paradoxes that are characteristic of expert organizations. One of them is autonomy of work versus longing for leadership.

– People in expert organizations appreciate freedom of operation and consider self-direction to be a key competence for succeeding in work.  At the same time, they have a strong longing for leadership, says Mäki.

Another paradox is “the big picture versus silos”.

– Even though the big picture is considered to guide work in a significant way, gaps are caused in daily activities through structures, procedures, different views and history-based cultural differences, Mäki reminds.

The other paradoxes in leadership culture are “involvement versus non-involvement” and “discussion versus clarity”.

Annastiina Mäki has studied three different expert organizations. Their conceptions are presented by members of the management and middle management, experts and developers. The methodology of this three-phase, qualitative research process covers narratives, group interviews and individual interviews.

Public defense

The public examination of Lic.Sc. (Education) Annastiina Mäki’s doctoral dissertation “Johtajuuskulttuuri – toiveiden, tekojen ja tulkintojen tihentymä” will be held on Thursday 20 April at 12 o´clock in auditorium Nissi, Tritonia, University of Vaasa. The field of dissertation is Management.

Professor Anna-Maija Lämsä (University of Jyväskylä) will act as opponent and Docent Mikko Luoma as custos.

Further information

Annastiina Mäki, tel +358 50 438 0118, email: annastiina.maki(ät)gmail.com

Mäki, Annastiina (2017) Johtajuuskulttuuri – toiveiden, tekojen ja tulkintojen tihentymä. Tutkimus johtajuuskulttuurin olemuksesta ja kehittämisestä asiantuntijaorganisaatioissa. Acta Wasaensia 371.

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