How Leadership Dynamics Differs in High- and Low- Performing Firms in a Sustainable Innovation Context : A Qualitative Case Study from the Health Tech Sector
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- Master Thesis 
Leadership is essential to achieving sustainable innovation, yet research to date on innovation tends to focus on individual leaders, while innovation leadership appears to be a collective and dynamic process. While extant literature has examined collective leadership dynamics research regarding how collective leadership dynamics play out over time in sustainable innovative firms over time is nascent. This thesis is bridging the gap in the literature by examining the leadership dynamics in sustainable innovation companies. Specifically, to explore these dynamics, we conduct an explorative multi-case qualitative study in the health tech sector interviewing leaders in five companies in total, three high-performing and two lowperforming companies. The findings overall reveal key differences in high- and lowperforming firms. First, collective leadership dynamics varies along two dimensions, changeable roles, and fluid contributions. Second, these dynamics along these two dimensions differ through three phases, the initial (1), investment (2), and launching phases (3). While high- and low-performing companies have similar dynamics in the initial phase 1) with collective processes and interchangeable roles, differences in dynamics appear in the investment (2) and launching phases (3). While an influx of tension from new individuals is affecting both the high- and low-performing companies, differences appear in how they handle such tensions. In the second and third phase, the high-performing companies manage to utilize tension and at the same time build a more structured company where competency and delegation are critical. Low-performing companies experience the tension as a negative disturbance, where collective leadership appears to coincide with the CEO´s role in the company weakens. The findings contribute to understanding the relationship between the collective leadership, along two dynamic dimensions, and how this relates to growth in a sustainable innovation context.