The role of the C-suite in a self-managing organization

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
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Self-managing organization (SMO) is an organization form that is based on the decentralization of authority. The C-suite or the top management team has the highest executive decision-making power in an organization. This study searched to answer the question, what is the role of the C-suite in a SMO. First, the role of the C-suite is studied on a general level. The composition of the C-suite reflects the values, the focus points, and the working culture of the organization. The C-suite is responsible of the strategy process. In addition to the strategy content, the C-suite decides on the level of involvement of employees and how the strategy is implemented. Depending on the organization, the C-suite can take a role that is more managerial or more focused on leadership. Researchers have defined three criteria for a SMO. They are having radically decentralized authority, a formal system and having them adapted organization wide. When a SMO is successfully implemented it can increase employee intrinsic motivation and productivity. Meeting boundary conditions such as a highly customized product increases the probability of a successful implementation. SMOs are flat organizations that can replace the managers by having motivated employees capable in leading their own work and by creating formal systems e.g. for rewarding. Eventually, the C-suite is responsible for making the high-level decision like the organization form. By having a broad view to the organization’s history, current state and future, the C-suite can analyze the suitability and the degree of self-management to the organization. The C-suite is responsible for setting the direction for the organization, this applies also for SMOs. However, the employee involvement level in strategy process can vary. By listening to the employees needs and concerns and by analyzing the business side, the C-suite can create structures that support self-management. To help the self-managed team to work efficiently and effectively, a coaching system can be introduced. SMOs benefit from having a team responsible for high-level decision. Being actively present in everyday working e.g. as coaches can help the organization to perform better and the C-suite to analyze the organization’s current state. Issues to pay attention to are the suitability of the current organization form, how well the structure supports the organization form and the development of the business.
Thesis advisor
Yli-Kauhaluoma, Sari
C-suite, self-managing organization, Holacracy, leadership, management, autonomy, motivation, strategy
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