Mellemlederens rolle ved implementering af pejlemærker i Gladsaxe Kommune

Hanne Heiberg & Marianne Milbo

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


In 2014, the top management of Gladsaxe Municipality decided to introduce a new management concept "strategically agreement management concept" – in everyday language named “guideposts”. As middle level managers in the municipality’s day care services it is our assignment to communicate the concept and get it implemented in the outer part of the organization. As middle level managers we are part of a hierarchically translation chain that starts with the Municipal Director over the Child - and Cultural Director to the Head of Daycare and finally down to us, whom are on the fourth level. In this thesis we study which management paradigms the new contract form is an expression of; what kind of management is needed from the middle managers acting in the complexity of management paradigms; how should the concept be communicated down through the organization and finally; what is the significance of the way it is communicated? The thesis comes with suggestions on how we as middle managers can help Gladsaxe Municipality to implement the new management concept, "guideposts", in a practical way. Our theoretical basis is Kjell Arne Røvik´s theory of translation that describes how ideas in one context are translated into practice in another. This translation will be successful to at greater or lesser degree, dependent on the decontextualization and contextualization of ideas. Røvik defines translator competency as a set of four virtues: knowledge, courage/creativity, patience and strength. Another theoretical basis is Lerborg’s theory of management paradigms. Lerborg describes six different paradigms that are at stake in the public sector. He divides these into two categories; on the one hand, the soft HR paradigm that focuses on people; and on the other hand, the hard NPM inspired paradigms that focus on systems. The two categories are often in contradiction with each other but at the same time each other's prerequisite. The empiricism consists of an analysis of the new management concept, and interviews with management level 1, 2 and 3 in the organization. Our conclusion is that the translation has a great bearing down through the hierarchy, and that it is important that there is a direct linkage and consistency from the top management’s idea and into the outer part of the organization. For us to be able to translate the story about “guideposts” to those working in the field profession, we need to know the greater story, and not just a reduced version. As middle level managers we must have the courage to perform a bottom-up management approach, and thereby influence the story. We shall have the strength to balance between tight management and to create room. We must also have the strength to rewriting the story, so it makes sense in our part of the organization. We must know about “the big story”, knowledge about the field profession as well as knowledge of the part of the organization in which we are middle managers. This knowledge we need to use in our translation. Field profession development requires patience. We must plant seeds, and respect that it takes time before they take root. Organizational we need to create platforms and space so that we on a strategic management level have the opportunity for creative and innovative talks across silos and hierarchies.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages81