Systemisk Ledelse: Et magtteknologisk kunststykke

Louise Leth Nakskov

Student thesis: Master thesis


Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training – A Powerful Tool. Increasing and unpredictable changes in modern society challenge and put pressure on our organizations and on leadership performance. Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training is one solution to these challenges, and is the center of attention in this thesis. Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training has in recent decades gained more and more ground in the Danish business community, especially within the public sector. Several organizations across the country are using this type of leadership. Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training focuses on exploring and developing human relations, positions and meaning structures by creating a common language between the actors (leaders/managers and employees) in the organizational context. In this thesis I examine the theoretical and practical use of Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training through a critical analysis and demystification of the use of the leadership style and its connection to the use of power over employees. The thesis addresses Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training as a powerful tool by using and combining Michel Foucault’s Theory of Power and Niklas Luhmann’s System Theory and terms of power. I argue that an increased reflection on the impact of the leadership style is necessary if the leadership style is to be successful and used in meaningful ways. I argue that it is a theoretically impossible task for leaders to go on a neutral and curious discovery in the employee’s realities because they are autopoetic and closed systems, which are theoretically impossible to influence. Furthermore, there are a number of consequences associated with the leader’s attempt of curious discovery among other things, how the leader will affect the employees responses and outcome on the leaders questions due to his/hers presence and accrued authority. This is also closely connected to the fact that it requires a trusting relationship between the leader and the employee to enable these discoveries. If trust is not present and the relationship is not managed reflective, chances are that the curious discovery journey will be practically impossible as well. I also analyze and critique the use of Appreciative Inquiry and show its overshadowing effect on the need to talk about the problems. This is also closely connected to the positive discourse that is surrounding the Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training. A discourse that also overshadows the fact that Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training is a powerful tool and not as innocent as it sounds. It is a tool that the organizations and the leaders can use to lead and manage the employees. For this reason, Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training can be seen as a modern and powerful technology. Through Foucault’s objectification practices I show how Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training is a subjectification progress of the employees and an exercise of power over the employees. Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training is a discourse that takes patent on knowledge, truth and how leadership is to be done. Furthermore, Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training is a classification practice that divides the employees into groups, one with the employees that support Systemic Constructionist Leadership Training as the chosen leadership style and those who do not. Those who are not supporting it risk potential career downgrade or potential firing from the organization.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages112