Hvordan sættes grænserne for "grænseløst arbejde"? Studie af ledelse og selvledelse i en lille kreativ organisation

Troels Godt Mathiesen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the field of ’Working Life research’ there has been an increasing tendency to focus on ’boundarieless work’. Many sub-categories exist within the research on ‘boundarieless work’; this master thesis will focus on the areas of ‘organizational frames’ and how leadership and selfleadership constructs boundaries around the work created in a small creative organization. This thesis explores, through an ethnographic study of the company ReD associates, how leadership and selfleadership respectively takes and gives space in order to develop a project. It is obvious that within this respective company the leadership and management rationale used sets very clear boundaries as to what constitutes the work within a given project, and in doing so also defines clear boundaries in regards to the concept of ‘boundarieless work’ also employed within the same company. Using the same semiotic and performative approach that the Actor Network Theory makes use of, I ask how leadership and selfleadership builds, stabilises and disrupts the boundaries of work. The study itself is made op of five narratives. These five narratives are the product of three weeks of fieldwork in ReD associates, where I have been following the in-house work related to a specific client project. The fieldwork consisted of observing the work going on, as well as interviewing the associates involved with the project and gathering relevant documentation. The five stories all provide an essential view on how the client project in question has been transformed over the period of time it has taken to develop, from the initial negotiations between the associates of ReD and the client, until the final result was on the table. The initial three narratives show how human agency and management technology combined define the structures of a project, and, more importantly, how the possibilities of what can be developed upon becomes restricted by; choice of partners, project-models and set of values, in such a way that these choices in the end render a project inflexible. The fourth narrative demonstrates how a project is developed by a project group, how solutions are found and how the project group itself interprets these solutions based on the rationale that has been constructed for them, as described in the first three narratives. The fifth and last of the narratives reveal how different perceptions have been created within the group itself of how the solutions should be constructed through the course of the project. The different contexts of the different actors disturb the selfleadership of the group. The result of 6 this is that the leader ultimately must step in and set aside parts of the work accomplished by the project group. The discoveries of this study show that, in the case in question, boundaries are created in the work of the project group through choices made by the individual actors as well as through management technology. At the same time there is room to develop the project in a dynamic way with the use of selfleadership within the project group itself. However boundaries are also being broken down, which shows that the organizational frames can be disrupted. The development of the project is dependent on the relations of the actors within the process; therefore selfleadership will be dependent on additional knowledge that is not common to the rest of the organization in general, in order to justify itself.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages119