Peter Östling; Nima Torkaman , pp. 59. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2010.
This study is a comparative study with the purpose of connecting the Swedish leadership education with the current social values. By utilizing a historical as well as a broad theoretical perspective we wish to create a clear understanding of the current market. The study made use of both the quantitative and the qualitative research methodologies through the use of interview. Ten of the most prominent leadership educators in the Swedish business sector were interviewed to gain credible insight as they account for over half of the Swedish leadership education market. Educators were asked questions about the content of their leadership courses, their assessment of social values in the Swedish workplace, connections between the concepts in their leadership courses and Swedish social values, and how these factors influenced their leadership education. The Swedish social values influencing leadership education within the researched companies were stability, justice and equality, participation, and individuality, in congruence with the secondary data collected from extensive research.
The awareness of situational-based leadership was very high and the concept was used frequently. In relation to other discussed concepts such as value based leadership and transformational leadership, situational-based leadership is the dominating concept among leadership topics. The stated current values are also very well suited with situational-based leadership. It was noted however, that situational-based leadership and its supporting models and theories aim to create self-motivated people towards self-actualization at work; and such values were seldom expressed in the secondary data describing social values. The most empowering force behind this situation was the requirements directly made by the customer and requirements carrying values of society. The results were also analyzed within an institutional theory context based on the obvious homogeneity in the results.
We concluded that there was a strong sense of isomorphism and with such strong patterns in behavior we can accurately state that the field of leadership education is an institutional field. Furthermore, the study depicted a gap within Swedish leadership education, between a pervasive focus on institutional maintenance, and a growing need for flexibility and innovation in the modern international marketplace. Business leaders are struggling to balance self-actualization in the business workplace with their own and subordinate Swedish social values. After three decades the Swedish interpretation of situational-based model is still the most prominent and dominant idea.