• Ole Drejer
4. term, Master of Learning Processes (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
The primary focus of this master's thesis is to research how various aspects of organizational learning are made possible in a sociocratic form of governance. The context of the thesis shall be seen in a more than 100-year-old organization with 650 employees, which over the past six years has wanted to introduce increased co-management with a less hierarchical management struc-ture.
The foundation of the assignment consists of an empirical study in department X with 18 employ-ees who have worked with a sociocratic form of government since February 2022. The empirical study has a phenomenological approach, to which four employees contribute with their own ex-perienced learning aspects in a sociocratic form of government. After inductively analysing the empirical evidence based on a condensation of opinions, three themes emerge based on nine quotes from the informants. These lay the foundation for the theories chosen for the thesis. The three themes are respectively 1) meeting structure and evaluation, 2) growing responsibility, and 3) the team culture. Based on this, the following learning theorists have been selected: Argyris & Schön have contributed with the theory of reflection in practice, which is particularly applied to the theme of meeting structure and evaluation. Lave & Wenger's theory of situated peripheral participation is predominantly used for the analysis of the theme of growing responsibility, and Amy Edmondson's theory of psychological safety is used for the analysis of how a team culture can support learning in a sociocratic form of governance. Other relevant theories, and examples of learning in a sociocratic form of government are also presented, including Slagelse municipality, the company Endenburg Elektrotechniek in the Netherlands, as well as business psychologist Anne Thybring's experiences with organizations without leaders.
After each theme has been analysed based on empirical quotes, a partial conclusion is presented. The thesis ends with a conclusion and preservation of the research question, and based on the analysis, three dialogue- and reflection tools have been developed. These can support the organi-zation in an increased awareness of collecting organizational learning in a sociocratic form of gov-ernance in the future. Firstly, a presentation of seven specific ‘learning rooms’ that naturally emerge in everyday work with a sociocratic form of government. Secondly a tool that offers the possibility of learning by taking more responsibility, both individually and in the team, and the third tool can support the team in its self- awareness of reflection and the level of perceived psy-chological safety. At the end of the conclusion, two discussions are presented. The first in relation to alternative forms of governance, and the second a discussion of the phenomenological ap-proach in relation to pragmatism as an alternative.
The thesis’ final perspective covers two topics. The first one is about how can organizations best develop sociocracy in an existing hierarchy? And the second topic deals with the dilemma of changing existing roles and tasks, e.g., for leaders, when applying sociocracy in an organization.
SpecialisationLeadership and Organizational Psychology (LOOP)
Publication date2023
Number of pages54
ID: 508738319