910111213141512 of 40
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Organizational Design and Leadership Development: The Role of Increasing Complexity​
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many organizations need to adapt to increasingly complex environments. New forms of organizational design and leadership are called for and, under some circumstances, more collective leadership practices are needed. Furthermore, values and beliefs in some societal contexts foster a general positive bias for collective leadership. Paradoxically, many investment decisions regarding leadership development activities do not pay off. At the same time, the research fields of collective leadership development and on-the-job leader development are underutilized. The research field of leadership is in need of consolidation and integration within and between research areas. There has been much less research done on collective leadership development compared with leader development, and research on leadership development has been focused more on individual and collective change rather than on contextual facilitating factors such as organizational design.

To address these theoretical and practical challenges, the aim of the thesis was to explore organizational design and leadership development in terms of increasing complexity in the empirical context of technology-, knowledge-, and project-intensive organizations. The research design was centered around two studies that were part of a larger interactive research project and two conceptual studies that jointly investigated (1) organizational design and increasing complexity, (2) leadership development and increasing complexity, (3) how increasingly complex organizational design can foster leadership development. The interactive research project had four goals in terms of creating common learning for the project partners involved, new academic knowledge, and organizational development not only for the participating organizations but also for organizations in general.

The thesis contributes to the research fields of organizational design and leadership development as well as their intersection. It adds to theory by providing a more fine-grained definition of ways of understanding leadership development according to increasing complexity. Furthermore, it adds to the understanding of how increasingly complex organizational design can foster leadership development, especially collective leadership, thus demonstrating empirical examples of leadership development without traditional leadership development investments.

The thesis proposes future research on emerging technology as an accelerator for leadership development and interactive research in partnership with organizations in order to further integrate the research fields of organizational design and leadership development. In terms of managerial contributions, a number of suggestions are offered to support better knowledge creation and decision-making regarding organizational design, on-the-job leader development, and especially collective leadership development. Furthermore, a shift from a psychology-centered leadership development approach toward more of a systemic and organizational design-centered leadership development approach that includes both individual and collective dimensions is called for. This shift will potentially change the leadership development industry, making many of the contemporary investments in leadership development obsolete.

Abstract [sv]

Många organisationer måste anpassa sig till en allt mer komplex kontext. Nya former av organisationsdesign och ledarskap krävs och under vissa omständigheter behövs ett mer kollektivt ledarskap. Dessutom verkar många organisationer i en samhällelig kontext med förändrade värderingar och övertygelser, som på olika sätt driver fram en positiv attityd till kollektivt ledarskap. Paradoxalt nog är det många investeringsbeslut avseende ledarskapsutveckling som inte genererar önskvärda resultat. Samtidigt är forskningsområdena kollektiv ledarskapsutveckling och ledarutveckling på arbetsplatsen underutnyttjade. Ledarskapskapsforsningen är i behov av konsolidering och integration inom och mellan forskningsområden. Området kollektiv ledarskapsutveckling är betydligt mindre beforskat jämfört med individuell ledarutveckling. Vidare har forskning inom ledarskapsutveckling fokuserat mer på såväl individuell som kollektiv förändring än på kontextuella stödjande faktorer så som organisationsdesign.

För att belysa dessa teoretiska och praktiska utmaningar var syftet med avhandlingen att studera organisationsdesign och ledarskapsutveckling i termer av ökande komplexitet. Detta gjordes i en empirisk kontext av teknik-, kunskaps- och projektintensiva organisationer. Forskningsdesignen var centrerad kring två studier som ingick i ett större interaktivt forskningsprojekt och två konceptuella studier som gemensamt undersökte (1) organisationsdesign och ökande komplexitet, (2) ledarskapsutveckling och ökande komplexitet, (3) hur alltmer komplex organisationsdesign kan främja ledarskapsutveckling. Det interaktiva forskningsprojektet hade fyra mål i form av att skapa gemensamt lärande för de involverade projektpartnerna, ny akademisk kunskap, och organisationsutveckling, inte bara för de deltagande organisationerna utan också för organisationer i allmänhet.

Avhandlingen bidrar till forskningsområdena organisationsdesign och ledarskapsutveckling samt deras skärningspunkt. Den ger ett bidrag till teoribildningen inom ledarskapsutveckling genom att föreslå en mer nyanserad definition av sätt att förstå ledarskapsutveckling utifrån ökad komplexitet. Den bidrar även till förståelsen för hur en allt mer komplex organisationsdesign kan främja ledarskapsutveckling, särskilt kollektiv, och demonstrerar empiriskt hur detta kan ske utan traditionella investeringar i ledarskapsutveckling. 

Avhandlingen föreslår framtida forskning kring främst tillämpning av ny teknik som en accelerator för ledarskapsutveckling samt interaktiv forskning i samarbete med organisationer för att vidare integrera forskningsområdena organisationsdesign och ledarskapsutveckling. Vad gäller resultatens tillämpbarhet i praktiken presenteras ett antal förslag som bidrar till att öka kunskap och beslutsfattandeförmåga kring organisationsdesign, ledarutveckling på arbetsplatsen och speciellt kollektiv ledarskapsutveckling Vidare föreslås en förflyttning från ett psykologi-centrerat perspektiv på ledarskapsutveckling till ett systemiskt, organisationsdesign-centrerat perspektiv på ledarskapsutveckling som innehåller både individuella och kollektiva dimensioner. En förflyttning som rimligtvis resulterar i en förändring av ledarskapsutvecklingsindustrin, vilket gör många av de samtida investeringarna i ledarskapsutveckling föråldrade. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2020. , p. 281
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 2020:22
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Engineering and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-273357ISBN: 978-91-7873-527-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-273357DiVA, id: diva2:1430433
Public defence
2020-06-05, Publikt via ZOOM, Stockholm, 14:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-05-15 Created: 2020-05-15 Last updated: 2020-05-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Managing complexity in organizations: Analyzing and discussing a managerial perspective on the nature of organizational leadership
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing complexity in organizations: Analyzing and discussing a managerial perspective on the nature of organizational leadership
2018 (English)In: Behavioral Development, ISSN 1942-0722, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 51-62Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alternative ways of organizing are emerging, questioning and challenging conventional assumptions regarding organizational structures, managerial roles, and leadership. In addition, new emerging industries, such as the Internet industry, possibly fuel the development of new ways of organizing. This article examines and discusses stratified systems theory in terms of its key concepts, constructs, support, and limitations, as well as discussing its perspectives and underlying assumptions, applicability in academic research, and usefulness for practitioners. The theory is positioned as a modernistic approach and an early attempt, and, in some ways, a contribution to the integration of leadership and organizational theory, and of theory and practice. From the practitioner’s perspective, this article provides no general academic support for the proposed value of applying the theory and its extension for organizational design and improvement. However, applicability of the theory in contemporary research has some support, but there are differences in its support, and limitations to the key concepts and constructs should be considered. This article calls for further research exploring the support and limitations of the key concepts and constructs from theories within the field of adult development, and furthermore, research that explores what is really new regarding hierarchical structures, managerial roles, and leadership in new types of organizations. Finally, research that explores how organizational design can shape and leverage leadership development is called for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Psychological Association (APA), 2018
Keywords
managing complexity, organizational design, organizational structures, hierarchies, managerial roles, Work Sciences, Arbetslivsstudier
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234658 (URN)
Note

QC 20180907

Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-09-07 Last updated: 2020-05-15Bibliographically approved
2. Analyzing roles and leadership in organizations from cognitive complexity and meaning-making perspectives
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analyzing roles and leadership in organizations from cognitive complexity and meaning-making perspectives
2018 (English)In: Behavioral Development, ISSN 1942-0722, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 63-80Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organizations can be seen as social systems with hierarchical structures and roles at different levels of complexity with correspondingly different complexity of tasks. This article applies the perspectives of two theories from the field of adult development, namely, the model of hierarchical complexity (MHC) and ego development theory (EDT) to analyze stratified systems theory (SST). Although the theories are not regarded as strictly comparable and commensurable on account of differences in basic assumptions and methods of the theories, the analysis leads to the conclusion that descriptions of role complexity and individual capabilities in SST, to some extent, correspond to descriptions of developmental levels according to the MHC and EDT. Both comparisons support the notion that task and leadership complexity increases with organizational level, and thereby demonstrates support for the existence of qualitatively different levels of leadership. However, based on the methodological choices of the study, it is beyond the scope of the article to validate the key concepts, constructs in SST, as well as provide support or nonsupport for the proposed value of application in practice. Furthermore, we point out the lack of a more thorough analysis and comparison between the theories built on rich empirical material. Nevertheless, we conclude that the MHC, EDT and SST are fruitful lenses that can further the understanding of organizations as social systems with hierarchical structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Psychological Association (APA), 2018
Keywords
role complexity, leadership at different levels, the model of hierarchical complexity, ego development theory, stratified systems theory, Work Sciences, Arbetslivsstudier
National Category
Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234659 (URN)10.1037/bdb0000067 (DOI)
Note

QC 20180907

Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-09-07 Last updated: 2020-05-15Bibliographically approved
3. Six ways of understanding leadership development: An exploration of increasing complexity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Six ways of understanding leadership development: An exploration of increasing complexity
2020 (English)In: Leadership, ISSN 1742-7150, E-ISSN 1742-7169Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Leadership development is a multifaceted phenomenon with a multitude of definitions and meanings requiring closer exploration. The aim of this study was to identify and investigate qualitatively different ways of understanding leadership development and categorize them from a complexity perspective. We conducted 21 semi-structured interviews with professionals and managers. Analysis using a phenomenographic approach revealed six categories and different ways of understanding leadership development: (1) one’s own development, (2) fulfilling a leadership role, (3) personal development, (4) leader and organizational development, (5) collective leadership development, and (6) human development. The categories were arranged hierarchically according to increasing complexity. Our contribution recognizes more nuanced interpretations than previously identified and highlights underlying structures of complexity. The results help to empirically ground and elaborate current theories and distinctions within the field of leadership development research where similar patterns can be observed. They may assist researchers in making both their own and other’s assumptions on leadership development explicit, as well as informing the practice of tailoring leadership development activities to better match individuals and organizational contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2020
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-273353 (URN)10.1177/1742715020926731 (DOI)2-s2.0-85084545745 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20200519

Available from: 2020-05-14 Created: 2020-05-14 Last updated: 2020-05-26Bibliographically approved
4. Increasingly complex organizational design as an explicit and implicit driver for leadership development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Increasingly complex organizational design as an explicit and implicit driver for leadership development
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

More organizations need to adapt to increasingly complex contexts and this often calls for more collective forms of leadership. The purpose of this study was to explore and analyze the relationship between increasingly complex organizational design and collective leadership development and individual leader development. The study used a comparative case study design and data were collected with multiple qualitative methods in two technology-, knowledge-, and project-intensive organizations. The results demonstrate that increasingly complex organizational design fosters (1) collective leadership development, (2) new opportunities for leader development, and (3) operational improvements. The study contributes to organizational design and leadership development studies and their intersection. The results illustrate the value for both researchers and practitioners in viewing collective leadership development and leader development from an organizational design perspective. Finally, the results may support practitioners in enabling leadership development in connection with the implementation of new organizational design.

Keywords
Organizational design, complexity, leadership development, leader development, collective leadership development
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-273356 (URN)
Note

QC 20200519

Available from: 2020-05-14 Created: 2020-05-14 Last updated: 2020-05-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(3165 kB)20 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 3165 kBChecksum SHA-512
6be633e3d58fb27ab4a3191d0f3ec2cbe88ffa2bfead22698f234f7ec64b24f08b78efbd90f43988c901cc1d4695b08d9c74374e5c6df2dc92e224e6f7062f5c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
Appendix 6 Key theoretical definitions in brief(87 kB)9 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT02.pdfFile size 87 kBChecksum SHA-512
525133275f8d82cbf1ed05559ba76d0595558a9121c7998638d8a7dc312a17fd6739098417f0f8a748fff6838e9ad4346ab1843b6be383b1e282b3af3607db8a
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Törnblom, Oskar

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Törnblom, Oskar
By organisation
Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.)
Business Administration

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 29 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 161 hits
910111213141512 of 40
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf