Nærvær i distancen

Janni Schmidt Sørensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this Master’s Thesis is to examine, from a socio-constructivist perspective, how the combination of coaching based leadership and long-distance management can succeed in practice in the Danish supermarket chain SuperBrugsen. More precisely, I examine how the sales managers in SuperBrugsen can succeed, with using appreciative coaching based leadership from a systemic perspective, when they manage the store managers from a long-distance. The main methods to collect empirical data were participant observations and ethnographic interviews with six out of seven sales managers, in order to understand how they use coaching based leadership at their work, when they manage from a long-distance. To obtain a more complex understanding, I have sent a questionnaire out to 90 store managers, corresponding to all store managers, of whom 62 responded. First of all, the findings of this Master’s Thesis show that the sales managers are succeeding with managing the store managers from a long-distance, because appreciative coaching helps the sales managers to handle some of the challenges of long-distance management. The sales managers are aware of the store managers’ individual needs, they build trusting relationships, ensure to align expectations, are visible and create presence. The focal point is that when using the appreciative coaching techniques the sales managers create presence, and therefore the physical distance does not seem to be of any significant importance. On the other hand, the empirical data shows that the sales managers still have some challenges by not being open-minded, not disregarding their own opinions, not constructing hypothesis and not being good listeners, which I argue shows some of the challenges of long-distance management. Furthermore, the findings from the questionnaire show that the sales managers should, to an even greater extent, try to make sure that the store managers gain new perspectives and learn from other experiences, the sales managers should appreciate more than praise, focus on resources rather than lack of resources, possess coaching skills and enter leader positions. Finally, on these grounds I make recommendations on how SuperBrugsen and the sales managers, to an even greater extent, can succeed with combining appreciative coaching based leadership and long-distance management, and future research directions are presented.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages86