Illusive inclusion : construction of leaders and employees based on nationality

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Illusive inclusion : construction of leaders and employees based on nationality

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Illusive inclusion : construction of leaders and employees based on nationality
Author(s) Jönsson, Sandra ; Muhonen, Tuija ; Scholten, Christina ; Wigerfelt, Anders
Date 2014
English abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss and problematise how leadership and employees, or “employeeship”, are constructed within IKEA, a global firm often associated with national identity, and connected to distinct values and a leadership ideal. From a critical management perspective, the authors' intent was to study whether there were hierarchies and polarisations in constructions of leadership and, if so, how they were manifested. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical material consists of 17 interviews with Swedish and non-Swedish managers at the senior management level and internal documents. Findings – The analysis of the empirical material supports the finding that employees are constructed in superior vs subordinate positions based on beliefs about nationality (ethnicity), wherein the construction of Swedishness is ranked above other nationalities. Based on these constructions, two different dimensions of a leader emerge. The first dimension is one of leading and supporting, which involves personal development and is regarded as something positive. The second dimension involves being a manager, which is perceived as conservative, dreary and unappealing. Originality/value – The study illustrates how leaders in a global firm construct hierarchies and polarisation in the daily work.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/CCM-06-2012-0047 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Emerald
Host/Issue Cross Cultural Management;2
Volume 21
ISSN 1352-7606
Pages 245-260
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) leadership
cross-cultural study
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/17662 (link to this page)

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