Tillid og anerkendelse: Et studie af en dansk folkeskole

Katrine Hulebæk Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The present treatise concerns the concepts of recognition and trust and seeks to localize the influence of the mentioned concepts upon each other as well as the significance they have on the way management is conducted. The underlying basis of the present treatise is the study and elucidation of the everyday relations between teachers and management. The focus of the treatise is clarified through the use of a qualitative study of a small Danish public school located on the island of Zealand. In depth interviews have been performed with 5 teachers and 2 persons from the school management. The methodical procedure of the interviews has been to focus on the narrative stories and elements, which the informants themselves assess as being relevant according to the subject of the present treatise. The interviews have been conducted to strive towards creating a relaxing environment and the highest degree of openness. The questions were not standardized but on the contrary loosely structured to fit dialog between the interviewer and interviewee with a basis within a predetermined interest for certain concepts. The empirical material is combined with theoretical contributions on the two main fronts of recognition and trust. The purpose of the theoretical contributions is to create an insight to the field as well as attempting a concretization of the underlying dimensions. The theoretical contributions concerning recognition originate from the German social philosopher Axel Honneth. This theoretician has with his division of recognition into 3 spheres, played a great part in the way whereupon recognition is investigated and concretized. Theory concerning trust is found primarily among the theories of Niklas Luhmann, Guido Möllering and Niels Thygesen. The theoreticians each contribute to the way trust is understood as a complex human mechanism, which can limit the complexity of everyday life as long as the involved individuals are willing to accept some inherent risk. The analysis concludes that the studied public school in many ways can be described as based upon a network of trust relations. Both teachers and management give the impression that trust is an important constituent of their everyday life and that it is of crucial importance to their job satisfaction. The trust relations result in a high degree of commitment and both teachers and management are aware of the direct gains this trust structure gives rise to. In addition to this it is clear that recognition is an important constituent of the understanding of a trust relation. The perception of recognition at the studied public school is to a high degree linked to openness and tolerance as well as a basic acknowledgement of individual characteristics. Furthermore, it is important that the recognition is versatile in the way that it considers both professional and personal parts of the identity of the individuals. The management style practiced at the studied school results in the delegation of responsibility and authority, and that both employees and management are tied to each other through a mutual obligation. This demands high standard for the presentation of self, but the gains are harvested through an increase of work satisfaction and personal development.

EducationsMSocSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages102