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The managerial position in a Swedish municipal organization: possibilities and limitations
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9984-6596
2017 (English)In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, 1-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this article is to explore how a group of managers construct their reality, more specifically what it means to work as a manager in a municipal organization. The empirical data for the study were obtained from a Swedish medium-sized municipality and the study takes as its research approach grounded theory, as developed by Glaser and Strauss. Consequently, the empirical data formed the basis for the research, which takes a multi-methodical and theory-generating approach. The methods used in the study include the use of a questionnaire study, interviews in focus groups, observations, reflective work diaries, and the creation of feedback sessions. The result shows that the managers work in an organization where conflicting and competing value systems act together. These can be interpreted as environmental factors and external bounds on a structural societal level, which cannot be influenced. A point of analysis is that these factors and external bounds to a high degree permeate the manager’s workday and can therefore be seen as a plausible explanation for the boundless nature of the managerial task. For most of the managers of the study, this was expressed as uncertainty as to how to define and interpret goals and as to what the managerial role includes with regard to areas of responsibility. It is interesting to ask, however, whether these conditions are not characteristic of the role of managers and work life in general. The results also show that the substantive theory of the study was not judged to be valid for the municipal companies. These managers do not express as ambivalent an approach to competing value systems as the managers in other sections of the municipality do. Nor do they appear to question their professional knowledge, the work content or managership. Another empirical important finding is that the managers believe that the organizational conditions limit ability to carry out the manager task, but that, despite this, they indicate, paradoxically, that they like their work and the social work environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. 1-36 p.
Keyword [en]
Competing value systems, multifunctional organizing, organizational conditions, political steering, professional know-how, work content
National Category
Work Sciences Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-49833DOI: 10.1177/0143831X16639656OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-49833DiVA: diva2:904562
Available from: 2016-02-19 Created: 2016-02-19 Last updated: 2017-07-26

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Albinsson, GunillaArnesson, Kerstin
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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