The article examines how identities amongst management professionals are expressed after changes in management in the aftermath of NPM-reforms in a specific public sector, namely the hospital sector. To examine the identities, we relate to the concept institutional logics, which provides an understanding of how institutions can influence actors’ values, practices and sense making.
Our contribution is to compare a sector in two different countries which have chosen different strategies to respond to the new demands aspiring from NPM, namely Finland and Norway.
We highlight the comparison of managerial identities in the two cases and discuss how the development in management has influenced identity amongst professionals in managerial positions after major systemic reforms. We apply a qualitative multiple case study strategy.
As a conclusion, NPM seems to have influenced the managers, but not in a purified way. Instead the managerial role has become more complex and hybrid. On this background, a hybridized managerial role seems to appear where the manager is combining different institutional logics. We also sum up that changes in organizational amendments seem to influence identities whether the organizational structure is severely changed or not.
Nordstrand Berg, L., Puusa, A., Pulkkinen, K. & Geschwind, L. (2017) Managers’ Identities: Solid or Affected by Changes in Institutional Logics and Organisational Amendments? Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration (SJPA), 21(1), 81-101.
Member commitment is relevant for all businesses, but it is particularly crucial in co-operative context due to co-ops’ unique characteristics. In a co-op, an owner’s most important contribution is an active use of its services, not capital investment. So far, scholars have aimed at understanding the forms, cause and consequences of commitment. Namely, affective, calculative and normative commitment have been investigated. However, many studies addressing the topic in a co-op context have been theoretical. Additionally, the relationship of members’ organizational commitment to other variables remains unclear.
The purpose of this quantitative study is to examine the relationships between commitment’s three forms (affective, continuance, normative) with trust, satisfaction and loyalty. The study was carried out in one of the regional co-operatives of S Group in Finland. The data consist of 3637 responses. A structural equation modeling was used as an analysis method.
Results indicate that trust and satisfaction affect to commitment´s three forms otherwise positively, but the relationship between satisfaction and normative commitment was negative. Affective and continuance commitment affected positively and normative commitment negatively to loyalty. The data indicates that trust, rather than satisfaction is a powerful positive driver to all three forms of commitment. Affective commitment affected loyalty as expected, but normative commitment affected negatively to loyalty.
This research offers new insights to vastly discussed phenomenon of commitment by including more variables into examination. This is particularly relevant when researching commitment not only within organizations but among customers as well. Moreover, we also contribute to the discussion of organizational commitment in the context of consumer co-ops. We argue that co-op’s unique features help explaining the research findings indicating that commitment has a particular meaning and interconnections in a model that is participative by nature, is characterized by dual nature and unique ownership structure based on patronage.
Puusa, A., Tuominen, T., Tuominen, P. & Havukainen, M. (2017) The interrelations between member-commitment, trust, satisfaction and loyalty in a co-operative context. Proceeding of the 13th European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance edited by Martin Rich. University of London UK. Printed version ISBN:978-1-911218-63-0. Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited Reading, UK, pp. 417-424.
Research has often depicted consumer co-operatives as specifically socially responsible organizations that both can and should take CSR issues especially seriously. In this paper, we analyse the CSR activities of the regional co-operatives of the leading Finnish retailer S Group based on annual board reporting. In light of our findings, we argue that no consistently high level of CSR can be identified across the S Group and all its regional co-operatives. Therefore, we do not deem it feasible to conclude that consumer co-operatives are inherently socially responsible organizations merely due to their organization form. Instead, it seems that the fact that the members are in charge in a consumer co-operative and elect a board to oversee it serves to keep the responsibility in the hands of local residents, but at the same time, it also requires a genuine interest towards governance of the co-operative as well as CSR issues. In the absence of either, the level of responsibility is likely to depend on the interest management and board members show in these issues. The paper concludes with practical implications for the S Group and consumer co-operatives in general as well future avenues for research on CSR and consumer co-operatives.
Tuominen, P., Syrjä, P., Sjögrén, H. & Tuominen, T. (2017) CSR activities in consumer co-operatives: exploring the case of Finnish S Group co-operatives based on board reporting. Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management, 5(2), 108-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcom.2017.10.002
This article examines the potential of a community of practice (CoP) to generate the dynamic capability of organisations in an academia–industry collaboration. This empirical qualitative case study was carried out within the Northern Research and Innovation Platform (NRIP), a university-led CoP with the aim of intensifying academia–industry collaboration in the field of environment, energy and natural resources. This article offers a conceptual framework which could be applied in order to understand the antecedents needed for successful academia–industry collaboration to use community as an engine for the knowledge development and dynamic capability of the organisations. The study explains who the participants are and why they are participating as well as what their expectations are and how they are willing to participate. The utilisation mechanism is also explored from the knowledge management point of view.
Pohjola, I., Puusa A. & Iskanius, P. (2016) Antecedents of Successful Collaboration in Community of Practice between Academia and Industry: A Case Study. The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management 14 (3),154-165.
This article examines the dynamics of the community of practice (CoP) through a case study of Electric Cars – Now! We analysed the CoP by considering its entire life cycle, starting from the motives for its establishment, through its active performance, up to the current stage, where the members need to decide whether the community will remain viable. Particular attention was paid to the group dynamics and issues that seemed relevant to the change in dynamics why a CoP maintain its vitality or dissipate. In the analysis, different motives bound the group together at various stages of the
community’s life cycle. Shared interest was a combining force. However, it was affected by motives and realisation of plans, the pace at which the CoP evolved and finally, the sense of communality. Thereby the life cycle analysis revealed three themes that explained the change in the group dynamics and the dispersal of the community: 1) differentiation and dispersal of interests, 2) growth that resulted in role differentiation and 3) inclusion of investors. The themes were all related to the fact that the case community operated with not only knowledge, but also a tangible product. Therefore, the tangibility of a problem to be solved seems to play a pivotal role in a CoP’s operations and dynamics. As a result of a tangible objective in the case study, outside investors were included in the operations. Our interpretation is that if a CoP needs external funding to achieve its goals, it creates a new situation that significantly affects its operations, particularly the group dynamics. We conclude that a CoP’s group dynamics and cohesion are reinforced by shared interests and weakened by goals set by external stakeholders. Such goals affect the members’ roles, thus degenerating the CoP’s original idea.
Pohjola, I. & Puusa A. (2016). Group dynamics and the role of ICT in the life cycle analysis of community of practice-based product development: A case study. Journal of Knowledge Management, 20 (3), 465-483. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JKM-06-2015-0227
As people, values and operational environments change, co-operatives also restructure themselves making the reappraisal of co-operative theory topical. This article contributes to the restructuring of co-operative theory by exploring the very core of co-operative ideology, the dual nature of co-operatives. Firstly, the literature review contributes to the theoretical basis regarding the co-operative advantage and aims to reassert the concept of its dual nature. Secondly, the empirical study explores the interpreted meanings and manifestation of dual nature in a worker co-operative context. Based on our research, we suggest that considering the duality of co-operatives’ goals, social and financial goals are not the ones defining and guiding the operations. Instead, individuality and communality are two rival forces that form an inherent contradiction in worker co-operative operations. The article highlights how individuality gains dominance in a co-operative due to its extreme democracy and flexible structure, and how this deteriorates communality, the bearing force of the community. Thus, we suggest that the striving for balance between the individual and the co-operative, the individual needs/expectations and communality, reflects the 'new dual role' of co-operatives. We also argue that when properly balanced, both shared and individual goals will provide an ideal work community for modern entrepreneurs.
Puusa, A., Hokkila, K. & Varis, A. (2016) Individuality vs. Communality – A new dual role of co-operatives? Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management, 4/2016, 22-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcom.2016.02.002
This article presents a qualitative case study based on an analysis of the outcomes and meanings attributed by university academics to an institutional merger, especially from the point of view of organisational identity. The change process may have broadened the ‘us and them’ gap that exists between those responsible for university leadership and the university’s academic staff. The integration process between campuses is not yet complete, but scholars seem to want to consolidate and build a joint identity at the university which at the moment seems relatively superficial. The empirical material reported in this paper show how slow and difficult it is to introduce major changes at the practical level, and that psychological realities at the unit / department and institutional levels tend to differ.
Puusa, A. & Kekäle J. (2015) Feelings over facts – a university merger brings organisational identity to the forefront. Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management, 37 (4), 432-446. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2015.1056602
Inter-organizational collaboration can be understood as a product of sets of conversations that draw on existing discourses. This article examines one public organization going through a fundamental organizational change. We describe the process of construction of organizational identity after a merger by using a model describing identified forms of interaction: (a) formally together, (b) unidirectional interaction, (c) juxtapositions, (d) construction of commonality, and (e) the state of joint action. There is a link between the construction of a more collectively interpreted identity and the way in which people communicate, create relationships, and network. This article highlights the relevance and meaning of conscious identity work in the process: The management’s ability and willingness to create forums for dialogue and social interaction creates potential for construction of a collectively interpreted organizational identity and promotes cooperation and collaboration.
Mönkkönen K. & Puusa A. (2015) From Disunited to Joint Action: Dialogue Reflecting the Construction of Organizational Identity After a Merger. Sage Open, July-September 2015, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015599429
This article contributes to the discussion on the dual nature, the defining and distinctive characteristic of co-operatives. We focus our analysis on interpreting what kind of meanings are attached to co-operatives’ fundamental values and their dual nature and on how the research subjects construct co-operatives’ defining characteristic in relation to other forms of enterprise. The article answers the question of how the dual nature of co-operatives is interpreted in university business students’ texts. According to our analysis, the understanding of co-operatives is predominantly constructed via criticism of other forms of businesses, namely the predominant limited companies, cooperatives’ dual nature invokes doubts and the relationship of co-operatives to other forms of businesses is unclear. The dual nature of co-operatives was fraught with dilemma as it was deemed very important that the co-operatives’ ideology is marketed, that they should be profitable but in the notion of growth a conflict was perceived with the fundamental co-operative values. The data served to shed light on the fact that the mutually supportive elements of co-operative activity should be paid more profound attention.
Puusa, A., Mönkkönen K. & Varis A. (2013) Mission lost? Dilemmatic dual nature of co-operatives. Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management, 1(1), 6-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcom.2013.06.002
The University of Eastern Finland was established through a merger at the beginning of the year 2010. The article focuses on the commitment of the personnel to the organization prior to and after the merger process. The data are based on 42 theme-interviews. The study discusses the merger and its impacts on the personnel’s commitment by analysing: (a) the interviews with members of staff, and (b) key intentions, messages and choices by the university management. The differences between the orientations and viewpoints of the personnel and university management will be discussed in relation to the changing operational environment of universities. Implications for the leadership in the context of a merger will be discussed, especially from the point of view of the impact of leadership and governance on research, teaching and learning.
Puusa, A. & Kekäle J. (2013) Commitment in the Context of a Merger. Tertiary Education and Management, 19(3), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/13583883.2013.787450
Puusa, A. & Hokkila, K. (2014) Osuustoiminnan tunnettuus ja houkuttelevuus yrittäjyysvaihtoehtona - Hankkeen loppuraportti
Puusa, A. & Kekäle J. (2013) Commitment in the Context of a Merger. Tertiary Education and Management, 1-14.