Towards communication and learning based leadership: Observations in Finnish public research organizations

Eveliina Saari, Heli Talja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – Management systems designed for the purposes of the industrial era are not sufficient to rise to the challenge of knowledge‐creating organizations. This paper seeks to analyse how the motives and aims of top management and knowledge workers differ from each other. In order to avoid confrontation between managerialism and research work logic, the paper suggests building up a communication and learning‐based leadership model.

Design/methodology/approach – Based on findings from the previous research projects, the paper analyses the challenges arising from the gap between top‐down type management and the research built on a bottom‐up basis. The empirical observations are based on the studies of organizational changes and development of research groups in Finnish public research organizations.

Findings – The paper presents four new constructions that the management and personnel of a research organization tend to interpret very differently: the tension between freedom and control, formation of research strategies, applicability of business management models to research organizations, and the meaning of structural changes.

Practical implications – The paper offers guidelines for constructing dialogue between managers and knowledge workers and highlights the importance of embedding communication and learning as an integral part of a knowledge organization's practice. Crossing of positions and building up accessible arenas and forms for continuous communication between managers and employees are encouraged.

Originality/value – The four constructions present a new framework for understanding the worldviews of top managers and employees in knowledge creating organizations when facing the challenges of globalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalLearning Organization
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

research organization
leadership
communication
manager
management
learning
employee
worker
organizational development
business management
organizational change
worldview
structural change
personnel
research project
dialogue
globalization
Managers
Communication
Public research

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Knowledge organizations
  • Leadership
  • Learning
  • Research and development

Cite this

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title = "Towards communication and learning based leadership: Observations in Finnish public research organizations",
abstract = "Purpose – Management systems designed for the purposes of the industrial era are not sufficient to rise to the challenge of knowledge‐creating organizations. This paper seeks to analyse how the motives and aims of top management and knowledge workers differ from each other. In order to avoid confrontation between managerialism and research work logic, the paper suggests building up a communication and learning‐based leadership model.Design/methodology/approach – Based on findings from the previous research projects, the paper analyses the challenges arising from the gap between top‐down type management and the research built on a bottom‐up basis. The empirical observations are based on the studies of organizational changes and development of research groups in Finnish public research organizations.Findings – The paper presents four new constructions that the management and personnel of a research organization tend to interpret very differently: the tension between freedom and control, formation of research strategies, applicability of business management models to research organizations, and the meaning of structural changes.Practical implications – The paper offers guidelines for constructing dialogue between managers and knowledge workers and highlights the importance of embedding communication and learning as an integral part of a knowledge organization's practice. Crossing of positions and building up accessible arenas and forms for continuous communication between managers and employees are encouraged.Originality/value – The four constructions present a new framework for understanding the worldviews of top managers and employees in knowledge creating organizations when facing the challenges of globalization.",
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Towards communication and learning based leadership : Observations in Finnish public research organizations. / Saari, Eveliina; Talja, Heli.

In: Learning Organization, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2009, p. 251-260.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - Talja, Heli

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N2 - Purpose – Management systems designed for the purposes of the industrial era are not sufficient to rise to the challenge of knowledge‐creating organizations. This paper seeks to analyse how the motives and aims of top management and knowledge workers differ from each other. In order to avoid confrontation between managerialism and research work logic, the paper suggests building up a communication and learning‐based leadership model.Design/methodology/approach – Based on findings from the previous research projects, the paper analyses the challenges arising from the gap between top‐down type management and the research built on a bottom‐up basis. The empirical observations are based on the studies of organizational changes and development of research groups in Finnish public research organizations.Findings – The paper presents four new constructions that the management and personnel of a research organization tend to interpret very differently: the tension between freedom and control, formation of research strategies, applicability of business management models to research organizations, and the meaning of structural changes.Practical implications – The paper offers guidelines for constructing dialogue between managers and knowledge workers and highlights the importance of embedding communication and learning as an integral part of a knowledge organization's practice. Crossing of positions and building up accessible arenas and forms for continuous communication between managers and employees are encouraged.Originality/value – The four constructions present a new framework for understanding the worldviews of top managers and employees in knowledge creating organizations when facing the challenges of globalization.

AB - Purpose – Management systems designed for the purposes of the industrial era are not sufficient to rise to the challenge of knowledge‐creating organizations. This paper seeks to analyse how the motives and aims of top management and knowledge workers differ from each other. In order to avoid confrontation between managerialism and research work logic, the paper suggests building up a communication and learning‐based leadership model.Design/methodology/approach – Based on findings from the previous research projects, the paper analyses the challenges arising from the gap between top‐down type management and the research built on a bottom‐up basis. The empirical observations are based on the studies of organizational changes and development of research groups in Finnish public research organizations.Findings – The paper presents four new constructions that the management and personnel of a research organization tend to interpret very differently: the tension between freedom and control, formation of research strategies, applicability of business management models to research organizations, and the meaning of structural changes.Practical implications – The paper offers guidelines for constructing dialogue between managers and knowledge workers and highlights the importance of embedding communication and learning as an integral part of a knowledge organization's practice. Crossing of positions and building up accessible arenas and forms for continuous communication between managers and employees are encouraged.Originality/value – The four constructions present a new framework for understanding the worldviews of top managers and employees in knowledge creating organizations when facing the challenges of globalization.

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