Dual and unitary leadership : managing ambiguity in pluralistic organizations
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This thesis is about different leadership models in pluralistic organizations such as hospitals, universities, cultural organizations and newspapers, the kind of competing logics leaders meet in such organizations, and how they manage ambi- guity due to competing logics. The ﬁndings are based on in-depth interviews with 63 leaders in 27 organiza- tions. Respondents came from hospitals, colleges and universities, museums, or- chestras, theaters and newspapers. In the ﬁrst part of the study I investigate the types of leadership models that exist across various pluralistic contexts, and ﬁnd that in addition to unitary and dual models, a variety of hybrid executive role constellations exist. Pluralistic organizations are characterized by multiple domains and diverse goals. The diversity in goals originates in multiple logics making a profound inﬂu- ence on organizational life. In the second part of the study I investigate similarit- ies and differences in logics within and across different contexts. I ﬁnd that ﬁve logics commonly characterize these organizations. They are profession, mission, bureaucratic, resource and business logics. Associated with the overall logics are beliefs about appropriate control mechanisms. I identify three governance logics: command and control, accountability, and autonomy. Multiple logics often co-exist and frequently compete. Although their expres- sion varies within contexts I found four dominating, general types of competing logics. These are: profession logics, mission logics, mission versus bureaucratic logic, and mission versus money logics. In the last part of the study I investigate what mechanisms organizations and leaders use to manage tension due to competing logics. My ﬁndings suggest that three main mechanisms are mobilized to manage the effects of competing logics. The ﬁrst approach is to rely on structural separation or structural integration of domains representing various logics. Dual leadership is a form of structural sep- aration, and unitary leadership is a form of structural integration. Leaders can also adopt different modes of integrating competing logics such as following a dominant logic, balancing between logics, or cycling between logics. Finally, lead- ers can adopt a range of relational, structural and cognitive practices to manage the effects of competing logics. In the last part of the study I show how the various types of executive role constellations differ in the approaches used to manage the effects of competing logics and discuss the implications of this.
PublisherNorwegian School of Economics and Business Administration