The Case of Futurice

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
89 + 3
Continuously improving technology and globalisation are changing the way how we see work-life and organizations. The accelerating pace of information flow and technological development disrupt the industries and challenge companies’ way of doing business. Simultaneously the work itself have changed. The old managerial hierarchy model has failed to match with these new demands, thus growing number of organizations are changing their organizations towards self-management. Self-managed organizations lean on distributed power throughout the whole organization, which enables employees to hold substantial decision rights over their work. The model of self-managed organizations leans on motivational theory called Self- Determination Theory. When individual experience that the activity is self-chosen, she is more likely perform and feel satisfaction towards the job. Self-management have shown to improve employees’ performance, work satisfaction and wellbeing. It also increases organization resilience towards changing markets. However, self-management have also noticed to indicate challenges in individual level, such as heighted cognitive load and isolation, and also organizational level, such as organization inefficiency and decreased citizenship behavior. The aim of this study is to investigate challenges what self-managed organization might have by answering the question: What kind of challenges self-managed organizations face? The study was conducted as a qualitative single case study and the data was gathered by interviewing manager level employees. The data was analyzed by using thematic analysis. Based on gathered data, the findings were divided into two categories and nine subcategories. First category is challenges around task uncertainty and the challenges are vagueness of the tasks, overworking, information overload and inaccessibility, and decision-making. Second category is social and relational aspects, and the challenges are lack of helping and citizenship behavior, lack of cohesion, conflicts, freeriding, and lack of shared understanding. The findings indicate that the very core and commonly approved qualities of self- management might create challenges when those are taken to extreme. In the light of this study, I suggest that flexible work arrangements and high individual autonomy do not always lead to desired outcomes. I also suggest that self-management might be easily misunderstood as lack of structures and leadership.
Thesis advisor
Ji, Young
self-management, autonomy, organization design, self-managed organization
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