Recent research projects / Viimeaikaiset tutkimushankkeet

Management in Twentieth Century Finland:
The Adoption of the Five Main Management Paradigms in Finland, 1917-2007.

In English: www.johtamisopit.com

Management Paradigms in Finland

The study of Management Paradigms in Finland, 1917-2007 (Johtamisopit Suomessa 1917–2007) examined the management paradigms through which business organizations in Finland are managed. It also explored how the historical development of management in Finland has differed from that in other countries. In the business sector, ”new” trends and fashions are constantly developed and disseminated by different management fashion setters, such as consultants and business gurus. However, in most cases the only thing that is new is the buzzword and the marketing rhetoric. According to the study of Management Paradigms in Finland, 1917-2007, changing trends generally reflect prevailing, 20 to 30-year-long paradigms, whose existence is not commonly recognized in everyday business life. The study discusses their development, content and legacy in Finland. Applicable to a variety of situations, these different paradigms are means by which business organizations attempt to achieve their permanent goals: the enhancement of productivity and competitiveness. In order to gain an overall understanding of the adoption of management paradigms in Finland, the first part of the project analyzed the manifestations of the paradigms in Finnish management literature, annual reports, management education and academic research. The second part of the project studied how the paradigms have been adopted in management practice in the Finnish metal and forestry industries. The Management Paradigms in Finland research project was conducted between 2005 and 2010. The project was funded by the Academy of Finland, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Main results
The most important results of the research project are presented in the book Johtamisopit Suomessa: Taylorismista innovaatioteorioihin (Management Paradigms in Finland: From Taylorism to Innovation Theories) (2008, Helsinki: Gaudeamus) book. Further details about the results of the research have been presented in 20 scientific articles published by the Critical Management History research group in the course of the project (see Publications). The Management Paradigms in Finland research project looked at management through the important management paradigms of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. These paradigms are scientific management, the human relations school, structural analysis, organizational culture and innovation theories. The research results indicate that companies in Finland have been managed, and are still being managed, through the power of imported ideas and doctrines. No management innovations, i.e. new management paradigms, have been invented in Finland. By comparison with the corresponding development in other Western countries, in Finland there has been a delay in embracing management paradigms. In Finland, management has leaned particularly on rational management paradigms, while human-oriented paradigms have been left in a subordinate position. According to an earlier research study, the role of government has been important in the adoption of management paradigms in different countries, and the results of this research indicate this to be the case also in Finland. Scientific management and innovation theories in particular have risen to an important position because the Finnish government has supported the adoption of these paradigms. In Finland, literature related to scientific management, structural analysis and organizational cultural theories has been translated promptly. However, none of the works of the seminal theorists of the human relations paradigm – one of the internationally most important management paradigms of the 20th century – have been translated into Finnish. The discussion in both general and scientific publications in Finland was dominated by rational paradigms, particularly by scientific management and structural analysis, until the 1980s. Only since the 1980 has there been increasing discussion of human-oriented theories. Most of the research funding in the management area in the 1970s went towards the structural analysis paradigm, in the 1980s and 1990s towards strategic management, and at the beginning of the 2000s towards research related to the innovation paradigm. In degree-level management education, structural analyses dominated teaching and course literature from the 1970s until the 1990s. Strategic management was also strongly represented in the degree-level teaching of the 1980s and 1990s. Human resource management (HRM) and innovation theories have become increasingly popular in degree-level teaching since the 1990s.

Project duration: August 2005 – December 2010.
Position: Research Director
Funders: Academy of Finland, Emil Aaltonen Trust and FIOH (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health)

Hankkeessa tutkittiin empiirisesti johtamisoppien omaksumista Suomessa 1917–2007. Tutkimuksessa selvitettiin 1900-luvun ja 2000-luvun alun tärkeimpien johtamisparadigmojen syntyä, sisältöä ja perintöä Suomessa. Lisäksi tutkimuksessa selvittiin, millaisilla ideologioilla eri opit oikeuttavat johtamiskäytäntöjä ja millaisia tekniikoita eri johtamisopit tarjoavat johtamisen toteuttamiseen. Hankkeen tulokset kertovat, millaista nykyajan yritysjohtaminen Suomessa on ja millaisen perinnön varaan se rakentuu, mihin johtamisparadigmoihin Suomessa on nojattu ja nojataan nykyään, sekä miten suomalainen johtamistraditio on kehittynyt suhteessa kansainväliseen johtamistraditioiden kehitykseen. Hankkeessa kirjoitettiin yli 20 tieteellistä julkaisua, mm. Johtamisopit Suomessa: Taylorismista innovaatioteorioihin -teos.

Crisis and Communication: A Comparative Study

Project duration: April 2008 – December 2009.
Position: Research Director
Funder:
Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

Kriisit ja viestintä -tutkimushankkeessa tutkitaan Suomen viimeaikojen suurimpia kriisejä: tsunamia, Jokelan koulusurmia ja Nokian vesikriisiä. Hankkeen tarkoituksena on pyrkiä kertomaan, mitä nämä erilaiset kriisit paljastavat yhteiskunnasta, ja sen organisaatiosta kuten mediasta, viranomaisesta ja tavallisesta kansalaisesta.

The project Crisis and Communication: A Comparative Study took a social science approach. The aim was to analyze the social and cultural implications of different types of crisis. The project covers several crises at both Finnish (Nokia town water crisis, Jokela and Kauhajoki school shooting) and international level (Tsunami disaster, Virginia Tech school shooting).

School Shootings in a Network Society
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communications
Project duration: November 2008-February 2010
Position: member of working group
Project funded by Helsingin Sanomat Foundation

The Crafting of an Ideal Employee
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Centre for Work and Organizations
Project duration: August 2009-December 2011
Position: Scientific Adviser.
Project funded by Academy of Finland

Team Social Processes and Innovations
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Centre for Work and Organizations
Project duration: August 2008-December 2009
Position: Scientific Adviser

Linking Creativity, Innovation and Wellbeing
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Centre for Work and Organizations
Project duration: October 2005- May 2006
Position: Project Director
Corporate-funded project

Linking Innovation, Wellbeing and Management
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Centre for Work and Organizations
Project duration: March-June 2006
Position: Project Director
Corporate-funded project

Information flow and Communications in the Asian Tsunami Crisis
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communications
Project duration: February – June 2005
Position: Project Director
Research commissioned by Prime Minister’s Office

VISA: A Framework for Assessing Finland’s Governmental Communications
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communications
Project duration: May 2004 – April 2005
Position: Researcher
Research commissioned by Prime Minister’s Office

Post-doctoral research project: The Dissemination of Management Thought
London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Sociology, Institute of Social Psychology
Project duration: September 2004- September 2005
Position: Project Director, Principal Researcher

PhD research project: The Making of a New Media Worker: Power, Subjectivity and Organizing
London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Sociology, Institute of Social Psychology
Project duration: October 2000- September 2004
Position: Project Director, Principal Researcher