• Linda Sæderup
  • Mette Mønster Westergaard
4. term, Master of Learning Processes (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
As employees in large public organizations, where constant adaptation, adjustment and development are an integrated part of our daily praxis patterns, we occasionally experience profound and comprehensive changes, resulting in severe consequences for managers and colleagues. Hence, we find ourselves particularly engaged in discovering how the managers in change-in-complexity can support, communication-wise, conditions that create the possibility of motivation, productivity, and wellbeing.

We have chosen to consider, starting from Niklas Luhmann’s system theory and operational constructivism, an epistemological understanding whereby a distinctly binary approach to the surrounding environments delimits the possibilities of observation, and increases the complexity and thus the same time reduces the complexity which contributes to improved courses of action and capabilities through learning. Stemming from Luhmann’s understanding of social systems, whereby communication, and not individuals, is principal, the access to communication must happen in a qualitative process, where we research how the subject matter is conveyed, and not just what is conveyed. In lieu of the latter, a methodical point of origin in the thesis has been chosen as the case study, where we through focus-group discussions obtain access to context dependent knowledge and exchanges of narratives regarding actions and understandings.

Overall we conclude that managers within a sphere of change-in-complexity must have a particular focus on the communicative aspects, with constant reflections regarding communication, sensemaking through clarity, transparency, and directional actions. Managers can create conditions and grounds for the organizational achievement of goals through focusing on both the wellbeing of the staff and productivity in order to thereby support motivation. Achieving goals in an organizational manner in the complex daily environments, presupposes a balance of both the secure and insecure experiences. The latter may signify that motivation in a context of adaptation, adjustment, and development, can move from intrinsic, surpassing extrinsic, towards lack of motivation, and thus returning to the motivational continuum once again. The balancing act indicates that managers must be able to accommodate and handle strong feelings, whilst accepting that the motivation is not necessarily intrinsic, but rather extrinsic. The latter also means that managers must acknowledge partial success as a possibility.

The realization from our thesis, along with the original understanding that management is a pragmatic discipline, is applicable in our praxis moving forward. We thus obtain an opportunity – from extensive description of real world dilemmas and complexities – to develop our interior complexity as a normative starting-point for our praxis going forward. We imply that the realizations from the thesis may contribute to scientific development based on ”empirical strength”.
SpecialisationLeadership and Organizational Psychology (LOOP)
Publication date2016
Number of pages68
ID: 246579138