Leadership and organization in internet companies
In the Internet industry some non-traditional leadership principles can be found. Some of the organizations in the industry, often with young leaders, use management principles that are not as outspoken in other organizations. An example of non-traditional organizing principles in the Internet industry is a company where management teams are appointed through democratic elections. In another, the employees rotate and form new management teams each week. In a third company computer programming has been considered an artistic activity, which would be hard to imagine in one of the more established IT companies. In a fourth company the organizing principle is "digital". One of the managers there states that the requirement for employing someone is that he/she shares the company's conviction that "everything that can go digital will". The employees should work to make other people's "digital dreams" come true. Whether these models work or not, they are interesting phenomena in organizational life, and can add to the understanding of contemporary work-life and leadership. The general research question in this project is thus what work in companies in the Internet industry can tell us about contemporary organizations, leadership and social organizing.
The project uses anthropologically inspired methods. The development of an Internet company has been studied over two years through participation in the daily work. Through field notes, interviews, e-mail correspondence and document studies a good empirical description is developed. The data is analysed through concepts such as 'fun', 'coolness', 'novelty', and 'speed'. Examples of theories used are new institutional theory, 'play theory' and general leadership theory.
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