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Managing Responsibly Together: How an Obligation is Made to Matter in Top Management Team Work
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4373-5950
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2294-7898
2023 (English)In: Journal of Change Management, ISSN 1469-7017, E-ISSN 1479-1811Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to contribute to research on responsible management by developing knowledge on how managing responsibly together in a Top Management Team (TMT) may be accomplished, thus complementing research in the area that focuses on the work of individual managers. To this end, we mobilize the concept of obligation to characterize what emerges as what a TMT needs to respond to. Having followed the TMT for a municipal company working together in meetings over time, we propose that three accomplishments (making the obligation present, making the obligation enable action and accounting for the obligation) shape how an obligation is made to matter. This is no linear process, but rather it unfolds in a series of materializations of the obligation in text and talk, as the TMT goes about its work. The article thus provides a contribution to research on responsible management but also has practical consequences for developing how a TMT works in order to address the urgent demands for change related to sustainable development.MAD statementIn this article, we develop knowledge on how managing responsibly together may be accomplished in a Top Management Team (TMT). Besides adding to the responsible management literature, we also provide theoretical tools that may be mobilized in order to develop the work practices of TMTs that want to contribute to sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2023.
Keywords [en]
Top management team (TMT), responsibility, obligation, sustainable development
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-63494DOI: 10.1080/14697017.2023.2216241ISI: 000998946300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85160686447OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-63494DiVA, id: diva2:1772751
Available from: 2023-06-21 Created: 2023-06-21 Last updated: 2024-01-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Managing broad responsibility together in a municipal company: Communication as prophylaxis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing broad responsibility together in a municipal company: Communication as prophylaxis
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Municipal companies are important actors in the pursuit of the goals of Agenda 2030 and are often formally obliged by their owners to work towards achieving these goals, but without jeopardizing ongoing production and the delivery of vital public services. This has, however, shown to be challenging, and managers are often unsure how to develop new ways of organizing to meet such complex challenges and take on broad responsibility. What has been recognized is the importance of collaboration, which is a beneficial and distinct organizational form of its own that creates value greater than what individual organizations can do separately. Such ways of working are, however, hardly straightforward endeavours, since they usually involve members with contrasting goals and approaches, are inclined to fragmentation, and can sometimes even add to the challenges they set out to resolve. The aim of this thesis is to understand the practical challenges associated with collaborative efforts to manage broad responsibility in a municipal company. In response to this aim, responsible managing is studied both empirically and through a research literature review. The purpose of the literature review is to better understand the challenges of managing broad responsibility and what is currently being done to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030 at the municipal level. To understand how responsible managing is accomplished in practice, the enactment of responsible manging is empirically studied in a municipal company over a total of four years. Particularly, two cases have been studied using a participatory research approach: first, the case of a top management team managing responsibly together and second, the case of responsible managing in interorganizational collaboration in a municipal company. For both cases, a theoretical lens is used, resting on a social constructionist and processual-relational ontology, supported by practice-based studies in the communicative stream. This means that attention is focused on communication (both talk and text) in an approach that views responsible managing as a communicative practice, a form of emergent, relational, and situated practice and the means by which responsible managing emerges, is sustained, and transformed. The overall results show how situated communicative practices are influential for preventing the limitation of broad responsibility, fragmentation of the share responsibility, and the deprioritization of obligations over time. Based on this, a metaphor of dental prophylaxis is proposed. By conceptualizing responsible managing as a situated communicative practice and showing how responsible managing may be enacted, this thesis contributes theoretically to the field of organization and management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen university, 2024
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 400
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Organisations
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-65086 (URN)978-91-7485-629-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-02-02, Gamma, Mälardalens universitet, Västerås, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20190129
Available from: 2023-12-18 Created: 2023-12-18 Last updated: 2024-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Ahlström, KarinCrevani, Lucia

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