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Knowing How to Lead

nformation- and communication technologies have in the past decade come to play a central role in organisations. It has been concluded that these technologies have changed the ways we get and keep in touch with each other.

The technologies have created new prerequisites, possibilities and expectations for when, how and where communication takes place and how it is maintained. In what almost seem to be a desperate need not to miss assumed improvements in how life can be organised and managed, lots of time and money are invested in updating to the latest technologies. Yet, research has shown that these investments do not always lead to expected changes in how work is organised – communication via technology puts new demands on the users that are far from always fulfilled leading to misunderstandings and other complications.

To find out more about the relationship between information- and communication technologies, how we organise and manage a research project was initiated with a pilot study in 2003. Nine middle managers were interviewed and two were studied during one-day observations to find out more about the role of technologies in our lives. Questions about how technologies influence our ways of organising, who manages and organises, where and when these processes take place became central to the study.

Many assumptions about how information- and communication technologies would improve efficiency, simplify accessibility and in general make organising easier emerged. Nevertheless, the relationship between technologies, organising and managing turned out to be much more complex than just a matter of leading to improvements or deteriorations. Communication leads to more communication, improvements in efficiency are sometimes lost due to misunderstandings, and constant accessibility leads to pressure and the construction of gatekeepers. More about these complexities are accounted for in the research report Using information and communication technologies to manage and organise and others will be explored further as the research project develops.

Project leader:
Lars Strannegård
 
Research team:
Lars Strannegård, Johan Berglund and Magnus Mähring

Status:
Financed by the Wallander stipendium fund. Final project reporting took place in 2010.


Publications

Holmberg, I. & Strannegård, L. (2005) Leadership Voices: The Ideology of the New Economy. Leadership, 1 (3): pp. 353-374. »

Strannegård, L. (2005) Sobre a Foto da Capa: Quase lá. In Davel, E. & de Oliverira Lopes Melo, M. C. (Eds.) Gerência em Acâo. Singularidades e Dilemas do Trabalho Gerencial., Rio de Janeiro: Editora FGV Fundacão Getulio Vargas. »

Roy-Norelid, S. (2004) Organizing and managing through the use of information and communication technologies. Research Paper Series 1/2004. Stockholm: Centre for Advanced Studies in Leadership at Stockholm School of Economics. »

Kärreman, D. & Strannegård, L. (2004) Discursive Closure in Action - Knowledge Management and PowerPoint Knowledge. Paper presented at the EGOS 20th Colloquium. The Organization as a Set of Dynamic Relationships. Ljubljana, Slovenia, July 1-3.

Kärreman, D. & Strannegård, L. (2003) PowerPoint Knowledge - discursive production of "knowledge" in knowledge work. Paper presented at the 10th APROS (Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies) International Colloquium - New World: Translating the Past, Narrating the Present & Organising the Future. Oaxaca, Mexico, December 7-10.

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