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Johtajuuden rakentuminen muutoksessa: Narratiivisen merkityksellistämisen näkökulma

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisMonograph


Original languageFinnish
PublisherTampereen teknillinen yliopisto
Number of pages172
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-4067-7
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-4064-6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2017
Publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Publication series

NameTampereen teknillinen yliopisto. Julkaisu
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


This doctoral dissertation studies construction of leadership in a context of organizational change. Research represents relational leadership studies in which leadership is understood as a situational, co-constructed and context dependent phenomena. Interaction is significantly meaningful in situationally changing understanding of leadership. This study utilizes stories and narratives in researching leadership. This study analyses how the relationship between leaders and followers constitutes and how sensemaking considering the change process occurs from the followers’ point of view. In addition to sensemaking processes of sensegiving and sense breaking are also studied concerning the strategic change. Communication concerning the change in the studied organisation is textual, digital and tecnologically mediated: leadersip communication and its meanings are also analysed. Research design is narrative. Interview data is collected from a Finnish industrial company.

Based on the results of this study leadership relationship in situation of change is constructed narratively through sensemaking. Four kinds of narratives are contructed from the data: Follower leads the way, Management leads the way, Time will tell and the narrative of Externality. In each of these the process of sensemaking and leadership relationship are different. Weick’s (1995) seven properties of sensemaking are used as basis for the analysis of sensemaking. Emotions and experiences emerge meaningful in this analysis of sensemaking. Narratives also change in the talk of the followers: interplay between different point of views and interaction of meanings are typical. This variation of narratives is named as shifting narrative sensemaking in this study. Variation of narratives form different kinds of recurrent dynamics in the talk of the followers.

Analysis identifies six different kinds of dynamics. These dynamics describe leadership relationships and are connected to relational leadership especially from the relational aspect. Dynamics are named based on how variation occurs in them. A different kind of leadership relationship can be found in each dynamics: in dynamics called from ‘initiative to giving up’ relationship is frustrated, in ‘vertically alternating’ dynamics relationship is reflective. The dynamics which ‘perceives the diversity of change’ relationship is analytical. In hierarchical dynamics relationship is submissive. In dynamics that ‘lives along in change’ relationship is involved and in anticipating dynamics the relationship is trusting. Recurrent triggers which launch a new narrative can be found from the variation of narratives. Typically, triggers are blog texts written by board members in the company and situation in the market: they both triggered Management leads the way -narrative. Previous change iniatives as a topic triggered Time will tell -narrative. Informal question concerning potential additional comments launched narrative Follower leads the way. Theoretical contribution of this study offers a new kind of narrative point of view to relational leadership. Methodologically this study contributes to the analysis of dynamics of change narratives and their reciprocal variation.


  • relational leadership, sensemaking, narrative, blog

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