Bridging Boundaries in the Borderland of Bureaucracies: Individual Impact on Organisational Adaption to Demanding Situations in Civil and Military Contexts
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The purpose of this thesis is to reach a deeper understanding of how boundaryspanners are bridging boundaries between uniformed bureaucraticorganisations and their environment, characterised by demanding conditions.The main part of this thesis is based upon empirical data gathered through 71interviews with Swedish civil and military informants from several uniformedorganisations. Four articles have been included in this thesis in order to addressthe overarching aim.
The results show that boundary spanners are crucial to the adaption ofuniformed organisations to demanding conditions. A number of aspects thatare included in the process of organisational adaption have been identified. Oneof the tasks is to balance between structuring and improvisation where much isat stake. The other task is to create confidence among the involved actors andcontribute in different ways to create a sense of symmetry between partners.Finally, the third task for boundary spanners is to recognise improvised rolessuch as spontaneous links in order to maintain stressful conditions and bridge agap in the bureaucratic organisation.
The present thesis contributes to sociological theory of emotions, disastermanagement and military studies through a common denominator, namely thedemanding context. Taken together, the findings increase awareness of howorganisations act towards their environments and how individuals, especiallyboundary spanners, adapt the organisation to its environment. For leaders andmanagers, it is important to make decisions, provide mandates andauthorisation, as well as invest confidence in boundary spanners. Thehierarchical chain may remain in existence, but it can be made shorter and moretransparent through this kind of knowledge.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad universitet , 2013. , 93 p.
, Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 12
Uniformed organisations, bureaucratic organisations, rationality, adaption, systems theory, contingency, stressful environment, boundary spanners, civil-military relations, disaster management, emotional labour
Research subject Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-3788OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-3788DiVA: diva2:619263
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