En historie om skyld ansvar hykleri og meningsskabelse

Ulrik Borhaug Engstrøm

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


This assignment looks at the military leader that leads in a working structure where the organization on top (the system) has a clear hierarchy with rules and orders the employees has to follow. In the bottom of this working system the employees expect that they have an influence on their working life. In the middle of these conflicting demands the leader still has to solve the task that has been given. The assignment uses the following problem definition to try to find out how the leader solves the conflicting demands: The following findings about the leader’s way of handling the conflicting demands has been put to light in this assignment. 1. The meeting between the system and the employees creates a gray area with equivocality and uncertainty. 2. The leader articulates concepts of guilt and responsibility to be able to handle the leadership role in the identified gray area. 3. The leader uses hypocrisy to translate the task - to create the connection between cues and The frame of reference - so it becomes sensemaking to the employee. One of the main conflicts between the system and the employees has been identified as the spoken language. The top speaks a New Public Management (NPM) language while they employees talk a Neo Weberian State (NWS) language. Thereby the leader has to translate the NPM language of optimizing and economy into a language that includes how to solve the military task. This linguistic ambiguity puts the leader in a gray area, where the leader actively uses guilt and responsibility concepts as a mitigation mechanism between the system and the employees. In the same gray area, an equivocality and an uncertainty arise among the employees, and these give a need for the leader to articulate a sensemaking task. The leader's process of sensemaking consists of three elements - a frame of reference, a cue and a connection between the two. The frame of reference the system has given the leader is an incorporated inconsistency, where the leader has been brought up by the system to solve the task despite the nonsensemaking decisions, and at the same time, the system has learned that whatever decision it makes, the organization’s leaders solve the tasks. In what way - and why - do leaders in the Danish Defense use the perceived concepts of hypocrisy, guilt and responsibility? The cues this assignment has presented are a Defense Agreement, development of education programs, introduction of new concepts and reorganizations. But the leader cannot immediately connect the frame of reference and cues to direct sensemaking. The way the manager translates the frame of reference and cues is through hypocrisy. The leader's spoken frame of reference becomes the organization's NWS professional self-understanding, and the cues the leaders are working after, is that the system does not say that what the leaders do is wrong.

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages48
SupervisorsCamilla Sløk