At skabe ledelsesmæssigt følgeskab på distancen under Coronakrisen, forår 2020

Stine Fenris Holmgang & Anna C. Engers

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The focus of this dissertation is the experiences leaders of public organizations have gained concerning distance leadership during the nationwide lockdown in the spring of 2020. Without the possibility of preparation, leaders and employees had to reorganize their usual workdays from a physical presence at the office, to working from home. This had a huge impact on the execution of tasks, employees work descriptions, and not least, leaders and employees ability to collaborate on their joined tasks. The dissertation focuses on how to maintain and develop employee commitment and relational cooperation through prolonged physical distance between leaders and employees during the lockdown period. Based on qualitative interviews with five public leaders, we are able to conclude a special need for organized communication with both individual employees, teams and across the whole department. In relation to the individual employees, organized communication ensure that the leader acquire knowledge regarding the employee's well-being during the lockdown. The leader is then able to motivate and address the employee's well-being in more far-reaching ways than usual. The communication enables the leader to lead Knowledge-Workers strategically, and work with individual leadership beliefs and leadership practices. At a collective level, organized communication is essential to maintain the organization's social cohesion and professional sparring and knowledge sharing. The theoretical framework of the dissertation is the management theory of Direction, Alignment and Commitment (DAC), which view leadership as an outcome, rather than a function or a person. Ie. leadership can take place regardless of whether a leader is present or not, as it is instead founded in the organizational culture, and individual and collective leadership beliefs, and not least the existing leadership practice. Together, it creates the direction to work towards, the coordination efforts and necessary knowledge sharing, and not least, a commitment to the tasks, the community and the organization is developed. DAC is supplemented with theories of motivation, strategic leadership of Knowledge-Workers, communication and knowledge of distance leadership.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages81
SupervisorsAnnemette Kjærgaard