Fra leder af medarbejdere til topchef

Julie Rørdam Thom

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The focus for this MPG thesis is the author’s own transition from managing others at Rysensteen Gymnasium to becoming the enterprise manager at the European School of Copenhagen (ESCPH).
The scientific basis is positivistic, generic and social constructivistic theory. Positivistic and generic through Big Five tests, the NEO-FFI-3 TM, and Leadership Pipeline. Constructivistic through Bolman and Deal’s four organisatoric perspectives: structure, Human Resource, political and symbolic and through Protreptic theory.
The methods used to gather data are qualitative–respectively realistic and social constructivistic: a combination of questionnaries and interviews. The interviewer, and author of the MPG-thesis, is also the enterprise manager of ESCPH. It is underlined that even though the enterprise manager is the one interviewing, the interviewees should still be able to say anything they want. The author’s reflection over her own role as an interviewer and the enterprise manager at the same time, can be seen as a methodic social constructivistic trait. However, observation should be paid to the validity of the interviews because of the mixed roles of the enterprise manager/interviewer/author of the MPG-thesis.
ESCPH is an accredited European international school offering bilingual education from Nursery to Upper Secondary following the European School curriculum and ending with the European Baccalaureate. The Copenhagen Municipality and the Danish Educational Ministry funds ESCPH, which is furthermore legally funded by a combination of Danish Municipality law, Danish Ministry law and European law. The organisatoric analysis of ESCPH made through Bolman and Deal’s four perspectives shows that there are many angles into the development of the school but that the main focus should be on structures through help functions and on developing the political and symbolic perspectives by underlining the importance of value based leadership through co-creation with teachers and parents and interaction with politicians in the municipality and national politicians.
Data for this MPG-thesis is gathered through interviews with five employees with key functions and Head of Primary. First 17 questions are answered regarding the enterprise manager’s personality and then16 questions are answered regarding the enterprise manager’s time priorities. All questions are based on the Leadership Pipeline. When the five employees and Head of Primary views the importance of the enterprise manager’s personality their answers are linked to Olav Gøtzsche-Astrup’s quantitative meta research on Big Five tests and the author’s own NEO-FFI-3 TM test result. The result shows that the interviewees’ assessment of which personality traits they value in an enterprise manager meets some of the research points of Oluf Gøtzsche-Astrup and some of the author of the MPG-thesis’ personality traits but not all.
The Big Five test NEO-FFI-3 TM is used as a starting point for analyzing whether the author of the MPG-thesis has what it takes to be an enterprise manager. Important to underline is that the use of Big Five tests cannot be taken as the only assessment of a manager’s personality.
However, Oluf Gøtzsche-Astrup’s quantitative meta research comparing 48 research projects including 30,000 test persons shows that of the five personality traits being tested: extroversion, openness, friendlyness, emotional reactions and consciousness, two traits are significant across the meta study for managers: extroversion and openness. The author’s NEO-FFI-3 TM shows high cores within exactly these two traits. However, she also has a high score on friendliness which can be a challenge as an enterprise manager.
The answers from the 16 questions regarding the enterprise manager’s use of time indicates the importance of developing a ESCPH Leadership Pipeline. The management of ESCPH has answered a questionnaire regarding their use of the eight management competences presented by Dahl and Molly-Søholm: political leadership, process management, being a role model, communicative skills, subject related management, creating management space, strategic work and navigating on the public scene. Political leadership seems to be more accentuated for the enterprise manager, while subject related management is primarily used by the managers of employees. The Leadership Pipeline for ESCPH is developed showing that on the one side there is no real coherent Leadership Pipeline going through the entire organization because of the stright educational demands in Denmark. Nevertheless, the Pipeline serves as a basis for a coherent understanding of work values, priorities and skills for the management of ESCPH.
The protreptic conversations used as a management-employee conversational value based tool are set out by Danish Ole Fogh Kirkeby. Protreptic theory is based on army management schools from the Ancient Greece. The Greek Square, which includes five values: truth, justice, beauty, the good and freedom is used as reference for the protreptic conversations in the MPG-thesis. These underline that value based conversations with employees and other managers open up for over-personal co-creation and supports keeping a focus on the vision for the school.
In the conclusion and perspectivation, Deborah Ancona and The imperfect Leader is included to offer a different view on management. Four different perspectives are offered by Ancona: sensemaking, relating, visioning and inventing. Managers should outsource tasks and stop trying to be perfect. This perspective underlines the importance of organizational involvement and co-creation, which is the ambition for the author. The author’s NEO-FFI-3 TM furthermore shows high scores on extroversion and openness, which underlines that she has the prospects of being a successful enterprise manager.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages52