Leadership Communication at Middelfart Sparekasse: How Self-management and Employee Satisfaction Affects Leadership Communication

Jesper Høegh Madsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This research is centered on leadership communication at Middelfart Sparekasse, and more concretely based on researching the effect mid-level managers leadership communication have with their subordinates; the high level of employee satisfaction; and the organization’s leadership philosophy of strategic self-management. The objective of this research is as mentioned to find the effect of these three topics, as well as researching the relationship the three topics have with each other.
In order to conduct this research, empirical data in the form of interviews with several employees, consisting of a diverse group of employees, were conducted. Furthermore, data provided by Middelfart Sparekasse, were also included. The empirical data is further supported by applicable theories on the topics of culture, employee satisfaction, self-management, and leadership communication.
To properly analyze the affect as well as the relationship between the above mentioned topics of this research, different theories have been applied. Firstly, the work by scholars such as Schein, Martin, and Keyton is used to analyze the organizational culture at the bank. Secondly, to analyze employee satisfaction, work by authors such as Kjerulf and Levering, among others, have been implemented to understand and analyze the effects of employee satisfaction. Thirdly, self-management is introduced by both authors, who have been largely involved in the introduction of self-management into Middelfart Sparekasse, as well as scholars such as Kristensen and Pedersen, who have done extensive research on strategic self- management. Finally the analysis introduces work by scholars such as Hersey et al., Ayub et al. and Zerfass and Huck on what leadership is as well as the relation it has with communication. Furthermore, work on transactional and transformational leadership by scholars such as Bass and Williams is analyzed, as well as symmetrical communication, which is introduced by Men and in particular Grunig, is analyzed.
Throughout the analysis the empirical data is introduced in connection with the different topics, and creates the basis for the discussion on the relationship and effect employee satisfaction and self-management have on leadership communication.
Both the analysis and the discussion lays the ground for the conclusion; that there in fact exist a positive relationship between leadership communication, employee satisfaction, as well as self-management. Furthermore, the mid-level managers’ communication with their subordinates is affected by these two aspects as well as they also affect the two aspects. However, the conclusion also finds that since there is a strong link between the three aspects, there are challenges to the mid-level managers’ communication, as changes to the leadership philosophy might have negative effects on their communication with their subordinates, as well as to the level of employee satisfaction.
Finally the research also reflects on the limitation of the research, as it should be read and applied only in the scope of this research. Hence, it would not be possible as such to adapt this research onto other organizations or onto Middelfart Sparekasse in a different context or time, without conducting a more extensive research.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages157