Med strategien på arbejde: En analyse af strategi og strategiarbejde i UCC

Lars Schøtt Hansen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The subject of this thesis is strategy and strategy processes within University College Capital (UCC). UCC is an institution that educates teachers, pedagogues/educationists, nurses and other professional bachelors and the organization was formed as a merger of three former institutions in 2008. In the spring of 2008 the management presented a strategic plan called Strategy 2008-2012 including mis-sion, vision, values, strategic objectives and principles as well as strategic focus areas and this analy-sis/thesis is based on this strategy plan. The thesis is divided into two sub-analyses, with the first sub-analysis trying to answer the question: How can UCC’s strategic plan read as a project for building legitimacy? The analysis starts with identifying the outside world pressures that university colleges are exposed to using Klausen’s (1999) theoretical perspectives and demonstrating how the state is the dominant force that the UCC must relate to. The study of legitimacy is based on Mark C. Suchman’s (1995) theoretical framework, focusing on how a new organization is able to establish legitimacy. Suchman defines three types of institutional legiti-macy - pragmatic legitimacy, moral legitimacy and cognitive legitimacy - and is linking these three types to the practical challenges, which an organization faces in relation to gaining, maintaining or repairing legitimacy. The analysis demonstrates that UCC’s strategy mainly uses two types of strategy work. Primarily, a pragmatic approach, which is dedicated to meeting the demand requirements and building communi-ties of interest through partnerships and secondly a moral legitimacy building through demonstrating the desire to 'do the right thing' in terms of output, structure, etc. Where the first sub-analysis is directed towards the external project of the strategic plan the second sub-analysis is headed inwards by asking the question: How is power subsequently added to the stra-tegic plan within the organization? This question sought answers through the use of Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a theoretical frame-work. The theoretical perspective is primarily based on Latour’s (1986, 1996, 1998, 2005) descriptions of ANT but also refers to other studies and analyses as Callon (1986) and Law (1992). The empirical data consist of a study of documents produced within the UCC during the period April 2008 - Novem-ber 2009. The repository includes both public and internal documents of different status and origin. The description follows different tracks to identify the networks and actors and focuses on searching for the moments of translation taking place in the organization. In my analysis I have demonstrated how the strategy will be a centerpiece of this series of translations. The strategy appears to be an obli-gatory passage point for the organization, which other actors should relate to in order to be included in the network. The network expands continuously through the new moments of translations where new documents (actors) associate themselves with former actors. However, in all these associations and links the stra-tegic plan is the only actor, who is necessary if new actors wish to be included in the network. At the same time, the analysis demonstrates that the strategic plan has failed to enroll key entities such as students and departments as actors in a network, which I read as a clear weakening of the power of the strategic plan within the organization. In my final discussion I point to the need of a longer study in order to more unambiguously describing the significance of the strategic plan to the organization UCC.

EducationsMaster of Public Administration, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages84