Browsing by Subject "Governance, Organizations and Communication"

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  • Moreno Ramírez, Francisco (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    As in many countries, education in Chile has been a huge problem for authorities and researchers. Over time, there have been many attempts to improve quality, but with little to no success. It is difficult to find the main reason why Chilean education faces many problems. One reason could be the way teachers understand the policy instruments; the national curriculum, and how clear it is. However, it also could be related to the way of using skills related to communication in general, and teacher-student interaction in particular. My assumption is they have been ignored or under considered as part of the teaching process. Some experts have recognized the relevance of communication and teacher- student interaction, because of the significance of reciprocity. It has a very crucial role for effective teaching and learning to take place (Arthur, Gordon, & Butterfield, 2003). This is an in-depth research into both systems of education, a comparative and qualitative investigation that aim to analyse guidelines for teachers and principals. This research will collect data through the analysis of both national curriculums, to see how these terms are mentioned and described in them as part of the guidelines of every taught subject, and how many of these teaching methods include teacher-student interaction. For this reason, the purpose of my thesis is to analyse how the elements of communication and teacher-student interaction are presented in the official curriculums of Chile and Finland. Although the analysis of documents is the main source of data, this investigation considers also the observation to understand the dynamics in the classroom, despite being only an illustration.
  • Krug, Anna-Lena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The world in which we live and communicate is complicated and complex. This is also true for political communication, which has moved, in some part, to newer forms of media, such as social media platforms. Politicians have gained the opportunity to communicate directly with their followers online, without any mediators. This allows political actors to present the image of themselves and the version of reality they want to convey. Twitter is one example of such a platform, which provides an interactive channel of communication between political actors and their audience. This thesis aims to analyse how the 280 characters long tweets are used as forms of communication by employing and combining Erving Goffman’s concepts of framing and self-presentation. Frames are interpretative frameworks which are activated by our brains to make sense of situations and events and the understanding of self-presentation describes how actors portray themselves in social settings. (Political) actors can change the way the narrative is framed, depending on which frame of reference they are highlighting in their communication. For the case sample, 1785 tweets by the German party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have been collected over a period of four weeks at the beginning of 2020. Their categorisation as a right-wing party as well as their active presence on Twitter makes them an interesting subject of study. To structure the collected data, the tweets are divided into 12 categories of framing strategies, which are based on the differentiation between a Positive Self-Presentation and a Negative Other-Presentation. The analysis of the tweets and the employed framing strategies showed that the party emphasised the (perceived) differences between themselves and the other, which ranges from political elites, oppositional political parties and their supporters to civilian groups such as activists, migrants or critics of the party. Language is important for the portrayal of the framing strategies, either through the usage of personal pronouns – for example, “us” or “them” – or through the invention of mocking names classifying the other. The self, here the AfD, is always presented positively and the others are depicted in a negative light. It has been found that the combination of different framing strategies can lead to a stronger emphasis on the positive self and the negative other. The tweets generally portray one version of reality or one version of the narrative that fits best to the objective the party wants to portray. The data sample and the period of data collection are rather limited and would need to be expanded for further analysis. Nonetheless, the results give an indication of how framing strategies can be used daily in political communication, which can add to the knowledge of political researchers and communicators.
  • Lai, Cheuk Tung (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study aims to explore how family influences graduates in higher education and occupation markets, in the processes of opportunity, selection, purpose and motivation and performance in Hong Kong and Helsinki, Finland by applying the economic, cultural and social capitals introduced by Bourdieu and Coleman. Interviews (N=20) have been conducted to analyse the personal experiences of interviewees in both cities. However, results show that only cultural capital is the most influential resource provided by particularly parents in both Hong Kong and Helsinki. And the way of how parents in both cities contribute to and affect graduates is different from the claims of Bourdieu and Coleman. Thus, some sources of errors i.e. interview questions and interviewee’s answers and limitations are identified to support why results are not strong enough when applying Bourdieu’s and Coleman’s ideas of capitals. Also, diploma disease (Dore, 1976) is identified as one of the key problems in the education system, specifically in Hong Kong, which will be discussed at the end of this study.
  • Garcia Torres, Yvette Maria Vanessa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study aims to analyze institutional change and transparency practices of the National Audit Office of Peru (NAO), whose job is to promote accountability in public administration but paradoxically faced an accountability crisis in 2017. This study analyzes the combination of logics of explanation that fostered the changes in the NAO during 2010 to 2020, and the role of transparency practices in institutional change. This study answers two research questions about the logics of explanation that were decisive to promote institutional change and the role of transparency in institutional change at the National Audit of Peru during the ten-year study of 2010-2020. In that regard, this theory-based qualitative research is based on institutional change theories and the four logics of explanation proposed by Vivien Schmidt: institutional design, evolutionary, appropriateness, and communication, the perceptions of seven decision-makers, managers, authors, or participants who worked during the time of the study frame of ten years, plus the analysis of statistical data. Since only one logics of explanation cannot explain the changes, a combination of the four logics of explanation were necessary. Each of the logics of explanation merge with thematical axis proposed after coding the interviewees' perspectives to explain how the changes were produced and the role of the transparency practices that fostered the changes within an accountability public institution between 2010 2020. Moreover, theories of accountability, trustworthiness, transparency and communication are presented to answer the research questions. This study uses the content analysis method and other qualitative research tools such as document review, website review, and information from the organization, which is of public domain. Finally, the conclusions of this study show that the combination of the four logics of explanation was crucial for the changes at the National Audit Office, and the practices of transparency were effects of those changes.
  • Kopra, Jasmin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines how urban sustainability is constructed in the local implementation plans of Sustainable Development Goals, and whether a common discourse can be outlined of them. Cities and other local authorities are increasingly assuming the global responsibility for sustainable development actions alongside the nation-states. In this case, the commitment is demonstrated by voluntarily committing to monitoring progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals as part of a global city network. The potential reasons for cities to engage in such global city networks for sustainability are a disappointment to global cooperation efforts by nation-states, a possibility for peer learning, sharing new practices, and seeking branding possibilities. A sample of local commitments, Voluntary Local Reviews, are analysed in terms of their discursive construction. The analysis is based on the theoretical constructions of environmental policy discourses by Maarten Hajer and John Dryzek. By focusing on policy discourses, it becomes possible to understand how certain issues are organized into politics while others are organized out. The research focuses on nine Voluntary Local Reviews released in 2019 by Bristol, Buenos Aires, Hamamatsu City, Helsinki, Los Angeles, Oaxaca, Mannheim, New York City and Taipei City. The research shows that although cities have internalized the common principles of sustainable development, mainly deriving from the Agenda 2030, many of them are interpreted in various ways. The common framework by Voluntary Local Review offers only a vague guideline for the reviews which leads to cities rather resorting to copying the models from each other or developing their own. The inherent ambiguity that is connected to the term sustainable development is not addressed in any of the reviews, nor is an explicit definition of the used sustainability concept offered in any of them. This supports the notion that cities engage in the discursive construction of (urban) sustainable development with the reviews. Based on the reviews, the following Sustainable Development Goals are considered as most relevant for cities: goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth), goal 10 (Reduced inequalities) and goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions). Cities also actively position themselves as global sustainability actors in their reviews. They position themselves as eager to bear a global responsibility and as most relevant actors for citizens, close to their everyday lives. Furthermore, they express an urge to inspire other cities nationally and globally to also join in reporting and commit to sharing their progress on global arenas, such as in the United Nation’s High-Level Political Forum. In their connection to national sustainable development reporting, broadly two approaches can be identified. In some situations, national reporting is not mentioned in a review at all and, consequently, its role is highlighted. This applies mostly in situations where national actors are not considered as active as city actors. In other situations, cities see their reporting as complementary to the national one and even consider cooperation as their duty thanks to shared values with national actors. Voluntary Local Review reporting offers an interesting case of voluntary bottom-up commitment by cities to engage in global sustainability spheres and its significance is likely to only increase in the future. Based on results, reporting on the local level requires a careful balancing between adapting goals and indicators to locally relevant form, on one hand, and ensuring that they are general enough to allow for comparison, on the other hand. As sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goals are characterized by ambiguity concerning their precise definitions, the current local reporting offers considerable judgement for cities in terms of what to include in the reporting. More precise frameworks and indicators would allow that also cities with lesser resources could engage in this sustainability reporting.
  • Sorila, Adam (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    A professionalized climate and external expectations have caused great changes to many development organizations, including a degree of homogenization. Focusing on the identity of organizations is the best way to understand what the impact of change has been and how development organizations are able to hold on to core values and identity while innovating new ways of competitively reaching goals and milestones. The general metrics for success, profit, growth, efficiency, and productivity from within the management perspective follows a logic for which there is much theoretical and empirical evidence. However, the study of organizations and their well-being in terms of their identity in relation to their professionalism is a less researched area. Organizational identity theory can benefit from research to find how to draw direct logical outcomes which can be applied by the organizations in setting directions and goals for their future development. The main purpose for this research is to view how it can explain the differences in how or whether the core values have been affected by the professionalization of nonprofit INGO’s in Finland and how it has been adopted by development NGO’s. Is this theory validated by the phenomenological research data produced by this research? Where organizational identity theory as a framework doesn’t provide a quantitative basis by which to factor in all the variables that influence the social makeup and conceptual whole of an organization, it does provide a framework for the study of the phenomenon as a whole in a qualitative manner. It also gives conceptual paradigm for defining an identity, and how the different organizational features and attributes are related with the identity. The two INGOs chosen for this research, Fida International and Finn Church Aid, were similar enough to offer valid points of comparison by being faith based organizations, both of which have successfully grown into a significant actors in the field of development cooperation. These also offered interesting comparison of how their original organizational identities have lead into different development in organizational structures, global perspectives, and brands they wish to be known for. This kind of research can offer valuable information for NGOs in their future developmental goals. Empirical data on the organizations was gathered from different level staff as they perceived it. The hypothesis is that identity is not always aligned for the convenience of reaching the goals of the organization or even for competitive advantage, counterintuitively identity can be based on independent value decisions even if it doesn’t follow the logic of a professionalized management perspective. Results confirmed the original hypothesis in case of both the researched organizations. A strong organizational identity as is seen in Fida’s case necessitates constant re-alignment to the context, but it is a strength in safeguarding the value base and purpose of the organization; although sometimes at the expense of traditional markers of organizational success such as growth, efficiency and profit it provides a clear vision of what is worth pursuing in the long run. In the other case, the organizational identity of the FCA gives understanding of what the original purpose of the organization was, and even with big changes in its historical value base and consequent shifts in the definitions of development and its purpose, the organization has thrived to meet that challenge, the FCA has become the largest development actor in Finland in order to stay true to its identity.
  • Romero Barreto, Astolfo Alejandro (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Throughout this century, the world has experienced the emergence of upgraded technologies based on robust data-processing capacities and the expansion of internet networks. This phenomenon has become a transversal aspect linked to economic growth, development of public services, changes in the labor market, and mobilization of political activism, among many other elements influenced by high-technology. On the other hand, political parties play a significant role in shaping and approaching potential regulation and public policies concerning high-technology and digital tools. This thesis explores the implication of technological and digital shifts for political parties in Argentina, Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom over the last decade. The main research goal is to examine the salience of emerging trends in high-technology and digitalization on national political platforms, taking special consideration of the diverse set of social, political, and economic characteristics of the cases in each country. The theoretical framework will be divided into aspects linking the emerging nature of technological and digital change with political parties' activities. A conceptual frame of political parties, saliency theory, technology, and digitalization serves as the starting point of further theoretical notions of this study. Later, an exploration of ideas from the digital economy helps to identify the vital role of technology in the modern economy. Similarly, the examination of the magnitude of technological and digital change results in some grounds for justifying the relevancy of studying party policies facing the one-way journey of technology. Moreover, some notions arguing the drastic socioeconomic effects of automated technologies approach the apparent downsides of high technology. The research process eventually reveals the growing influence of technology as a vehicle for enhancing the economic and social policies. To achieve this, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is used to extract and classify data from party manifestos that define party stances. The results provide evidence of the marginal and growing influence of technology and digitalization as issues political parties approach on elections. In the case of the parties analyzed, this presents substantial relevancy from mainstream political parties in industrialized countries. Similarly, the results point to the intertwining of these issues with traditional themes of public policy proposed by political parties on elections.
  • Mahne, Matilda Rosalyn (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Peacemakers operate in an increasingly complex global environment. Approaches to peace, including peace mediation, also reflect these changes happening in the surrounding world. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a new Centre for Peace Mediation within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) was established. This thesis conducts a critical inspection of a policy’s seemingly sudden emergence by taking the Centre as its case study. With scarce policy documents, this study collected its data through conducting 10 semi-structured interviews with state and nonstate actors in the Finnish peace mediation field to analyse the way the Centre is perceived to have come about. The interviews lasted around one hour each. In this study, a novel theoretical framework is advanced through inspecting the policy’s problem representations (WPR approach), the forces which affected its establishment (policy diffusion), and the boundaries that are used to demarcate between groups (boundary work) to analyse why the Centre for Peace Mediation was established. The study finds that the Centre for Peace Mediation was not solely a result of a restructuring of MFA resources, but was affected by a multitude of forces on the national, regional, and international planes. By employing the WPR approach and the frameworks of policy diffusion mechanisms and boundary work, the study’s findings point to Finnish efforts to become a credible ‘player’ in the field of peace mediation. Studying how policies and the issues interwoven within them are framed and justified is relevant on many fronts. First, it helps understand governance processes and what groups of people are highlighted at the expense of others. The study also elucidates how civil society can partake in national policymaking. It additionally shows how intergovernmental organisations influence nations through agenda-setting.
  • Saarinen, Iina Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis examines employee perspectives about the concept of employee engagement and dialogical communication’s role in enacting it. It approaches simplistic and instrumentalist views with scrutiny and explores more complex and profound understandings of the definitions, value, outcomes, and antecedents of employee engagement. Employee voice has been largely absent in engagement discourse, and both engagement and communication research have overwhelmingly ignored communication’s role in enacting engagement. To expand these narrow views, the research questions in this thesis investigate how employees understand the concept of employee engagement, the tensions or problems it may entail, and the role of dialogic communication in enacting it. A case study in a Finnish energy company consisted of semi-structured, individual interviews with 10 employees from different units. Qualitative content analysis combining data-driven and concept-driven strategies functioned as the method of analysis for the interview data. The results of the analysis suggest that in addition to genuine opportunities to influence issues in a work community, employees appreciate transparency and open communication about how their voice had an effect. The interviewees considered features of dialogic communication as important antecedents of engagement, but other antecedents were meaningful as well, such as sufficient resources, clear structures and goals, and formal and informal meetings. In addition, the role of self-determination and autonomy were present in accounts of both the definitions and antecedents of employee engagement. The interviewees recognized both beneficial and adverse outcomes of engagement. Therefore, employee perspectives of engagement are more complex and versatile than suggested by previous research or hyperbolic discourses. However, the multiple meanings attached to the employee engagement concept sustains its previous problems of vagueness and indistinctiveness. The thesis highlights the need for expanding the previously narrow views of employee engagement. Demands for dialogic employee engagement challenges organizations to balance between different priorities, such as providing both agency and guidance, and encouraging diverse views while aiming for unity and shared culture.
  • Barre, Ahmed Saleban (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Abstract The Somali Republic (as it were before 1991) became independent nation state in July 1960. This was a result of a union between former British Somaliland Protectorate in the north and the Italian Somaliland at the south. That unification has practically ended in 1991, which is when Somaliland elders unilaterally declared withdrawal from and nullifying the union between the two entities in 1960. At present however, former Italian Somaliland is in deep turmoil, while Somaliland has been relatively stable and peaceful since 1991. I will examine throughout my thesis the reason for that stabilization and its European perceptions. I will also analyze what I called Somaliland model of state-building and following Jhazbhay (2009), will argue that, Somaliland illustrates the efficacy of internally driven, culturally rooted, bottom-up approaches to post-war [state] building, reconciling indigenous cultures and traditions and modernity. Jhazbhay (2009) contrasts this with the assumption that there need be a strong, centralized, post-colonial state. As such, my argument in this thesis is based on this premise which will argue that, the political system in Somaliland is sustained because of the interplay between modernity and tradition. Further, the EU is the largest donor to Somalia including Somaliland, therefore, based on EU documents on Somalia, I will also present the EU Perceptions on Somaliland’s state-building process. Under the EU perspective, Somaliland is perceived as a successful state building model in the Somali context that has something valuable to contribute. The EU’s perceptions of Somaliland will have positive impact on other actors’ image of Somaliland.
  • Lehtinen, Nadja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This Master’s thesis explores sustainability indicators intended for corporations and how conceptual, policy related and methodological aspects are visible in the indicators. Sustainability has gone from being a marginal ecological idea, to a mainstream movement and can today be seen as one of the leading aspirations of the 21th century. Sustainability is apparent in political discussions, business actions and our everyday lives. One of the challenges of sustainability is that there are hundreds of definitions, the term is overused, and new indicators and measurements are created continuously. Based on the aforementioned facts, I wonder if it is even possible to measure this global concept and phenomena that has hundreds of different definitions. However, many definitions of sustainability are similar in the way that they are based on the three pillars: Economy, Environment and Society. The case study explores SDG Compass, which is a collaboration project between the international organizations United Nations (UN), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The project has gathered hundreds of business tools and thousands of business indicators in to a database that can be used by corporations. All the data included in the project are based on the framework of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations in 2015. With a mixed-methods approach I have conducted a thematic content analysis and quantitative analysis focusing on studying the conceptuality, policy relevance and methodology of the data. The aim of the study is to add to the transparency around sustainability indicators and show the complexity of a selection of indicators current indicators intended for businesses. When it comes to conceptuality the analysis showed that the three pillars Economy, Environment and Society are all visible in the data and balanced with equal amounts of indicators. When it comes to policy relevance the analysis showed that private, public and civil society institutions are all visible as indicator issuing organizations in the SDG compass. However, I argue that the role of The UN is the most relevant and powerful when it comes to sustainability indicators. When it comes to methodology the SDG compass data follows the general criterions recognized in the literature as criterions for good indicators, and the results suggests SDG compass indicators are of a high quality.  
  • Untamala, Sinituuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis examines one of the most visible demonstrations of social exclusion: homelessness. The aim is to critically investigate the role of newspapers in constructing the discourse of homelessness. The focus of the research is on the United Kingdom, particularly England, where 4 677 (2019) people are estimated to sleep rough. The number has increased significantly during the 2010s, and the situation is likely to get worse. This paradox of a society with the world’s fifth largest economy as well as thousands of people without access to housing is an intriguing starting point for a critical analysis. Therefore, this master’s thesis analyses the role of British newspaper media in creating power, inequality and division into ‘us and them’, associated with street homelessness. When addressing social issues, such as homelessness, it is necessary to examine the role of media as it is the most important source of information for most of the people, Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in framing social issues for the public and influencing their opinions. The data was collected from three newspapers, representing both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. These newspapers are the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Sun. Articles containing the search terms “homelessness-England” were searched from the newspapers’ online databases from 2017–2020. A total of fifteen articles were selected for further analysis. These were considered most relevant to the topic in question; that is, they discussed the way the public interacts with and how they portray the people sleeping rough in England. The methodology applied in this thesis was Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework for critical discourse analysis. These dimensions are discourse-as-text, discourse-as-discursive-practice, and discourse-as-social-practice. Four overlapping categories were identified based on how they portrayed homeless people. These categories are 1. homeless people as objects of charity; 2. homeless people as security threats; 3. homeless people as demonstrations of inequality and 4. homeless people as victims. The research shows that these discourses are promoted in the articles by certain choices of vocabulary and discursive practice. Furthermore, it is argued that these narratives promote the dichotomy between ‘us’ (the people with housing) and ‘them’ (the homeless people). Based on the results, spoken and emotional driven language was more evident in the articles by Daily Mail and the Sun. Emotional discourses was used to create both positive (sympathy) and negative (fear) emotions among the readers. Overall, the research shows that the discourse of homelessness, constructed by the British newspapers, promotes the stereotypical views of homeless people as passive objects. Indeed, the active element in the narratives was in most cases given to the other people, not the homeless person. In the news storied of people experiencing street homeless they were talked about or seen but were not given the active voice.
  • Rosenkranz, Jade (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Social capital theory highlights the value of social networks in encouraging cooperation and facilitating change. However, research within this field rarely undertakes a communicative approach to social capital, which ignores the importance of communication in supporting understanding and connections in social interactions. The narrative paradigm is one facet of communication theory but it has considerable pertinence to this research because stories both define and connect us. When narratives are experienced they provide common purpose and action. Nonprofit organizations are another crucial element to understanding the interconnection between social capital and narratives because they provide a space for individuals to build a sense of belonging and solidarity. The primary objective of this paper is to analyze how a nonprofit organization’s narratives foster social capital. This research was a case study of the nonprofit organization HeSeta based in Helsinki, Finland. The data was collected through several in-person interviews, HeSeta’s website, HeSeta’s official Facebook page, and public organizational documents. The results indicate that narratives foster social capital by establishing reasons to connect and interact, creating basic responsibilities to one another and encouraging action together. The creation of shared goals, values, obligations, expectations, and identification helps to build norms of trust, honesty, reciprocity, which establish and sustain a social network and its narratives. The study encourages the development of more critical formations of organizational narratives in nonprofit organizations’ communication to their stakeholders and community, which prioritizes social capital, to help encourage greater interaction and collective action.
  • Liu, Xuefei Christina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    There is a saying in the disaster management field that all disasters are inherently local. Regardless of where the support originates or which body governs the emergency management, relief efforts are conducted locally to support communities in the vicinity. It follows that local and indigenous knowledge should be at the core of all disaster relief methods as indigenous people have observed and learned from their lands for thousands of years. They have studied various attributes of their environments and have passed down intimate knowledge of their surroundings. It is curious and even irresponsible therefore, that the international disaster management field largely fails to recognize the benefits of indigenous knowledge. This thesis examines the formation of government and media perception of indigenous emergency management through a post-colonial lens, applying Edward Said’s theory of orientalism. Through a comparative content analysis of legislation from both Canada and New Zealand, government produced documents and news articles, it is evident that existing models of governance and unintentional legislative oppression facilitate the inherent structures that work to marginalize vulnerable communities and keep them vulnerable. These structures are rooted in each country’s colonialist foundation and fail to adequately provide for the countries’ indigenous populations.
  • Niskanen, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    UNICEF Finland has an extraordinary habit. The organization replies or reacts to every comment they receive on Facebook. This thesis is a case study that examines the impact of UNICEF Finland’s dialogic communication style. The impact is examined through the concept of social media capital that is seen as the stock of social media-based faith-holders. Faith-holders refer to stakeholders who trust, like and support an organization. Social media capital can be acquired via communication actions that builds trust and increases frequency of contact. Social media capital can be directly expended or converted to other capitals, such as donations. Two methods were conducted: interview with UNICEF Finland’s digital producer Petteri Numminen and an online survey with 40 viable respondents. The interview aimed to distinguish how UNICEF Finland utilizes dialogic communications and for what reasons. The online survey was conducted to examine the commenting style’s impact on trust and behaviour among stakeholders. The survey included several multiple choice and open-ended questions and a Likert-scale with 20 items. The results imply that UNICEF Finland’s commenting tactic is linked to the acquisition of social media capital. The interview shows that UNICEF Finland utilizes a dialogic communication style to build social media capital among other objectives. Results of the online survey are remarkably positive: respondents indicate that UNICEF Finland’s commenting tactic builds trust, increases frequency of contact and encourages behaviour that is beneficial for the organization. The results need to be approached with some caution: the respondent group held highly positive approach to UNICEF Finland. Furthermore, the commenting tactic is only one part of UNICEF Finland’s presence on social media; it is difficult to understand or review its standalone role. This thesis adds to the literature by developing the concept of social media capital and investigating the impact of dialogic communication on organization’s stakeholders. The concept of social media capital is seen practical – it is highly recommended that the concept is developed and studied further.
  • Dande, Tichaona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Militarised politics remains a single danger to democracy. Coups and military interventions accounts for 75% of global democratic failures and mark transitions to military rule. Against this background, this study investigates the unconstitutional November 2017 military-assisted political transition in Zimbabwe that resulted in the ouster of Mugabe from power to understand the ramifications of the succession process, outcomes and impacts on democratic governance. The study examines the inherent political conflicts between the military and civilian leaders where the military seek to secure dominant control in the political society despite constitutional obligations that the military remains apolitical. The principal objective of the thesis is to interrogate the growing decisive role and influence of the military in Zimbabwe’s contemporary politics. The study starts by critiquing the colonial historical aspects to understand the institutions that created the military dimensions. Mugabe shaped the governance political and electoral systems based on militarised colonial structures that further advanced his political monopoly instead of building effective political institutions based on the rule of law. Three broad research questions examined whether the military is undermining a democracy based political system in favour of authoritarianism, explores the domestic, regional and international factors that motivated the transition and the impacts and implications on democratic governance. The political transition and objective civilian control theories are deployed to expand the understanding of the complex military role in politics. In analysing the strategic interaction of authoritarian regimes and their opponents, the thesis noted that the military acted as a bureaucratic socio-political system rather than a professional institution in national politics. The findings concluded that military practices and actions in the distribution of power, intervention or meddling in internal domestic politics, governance and representation under authoritarian regimes has cross-cutting effects on the broader concept of democratic governance. There is substantial evidence that highlights that the military and political elites have remained leading actors in political life that sustains and maintains authoritarian structures. The thesis also observed that as an instrument of power transfer, the military establishment’s active participation strengthens the military as an autonomous political actor against Huntington’s objective civilian control, strengthening ZANU PF power retention to protect the institution’s strategic interests at the expense of national interests and human security, value systems, national progress and sustainable development. The empirical analysis reflects that militarized politics is a threat on democratic governance principles hence the need for ambitious institutional, political, legal and security sector reforms based on a model that strengthens human rights and guarantees the protection of civilian society from external threats and from the military institution itself.
  • Hämäläinen, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Contemporary social movement leadership is a debated topic among social movement scholars. The social movements that organize action partly on digital platforms are often considered as leaderless and horizontal. However, recent research has revealed power dynamics and informal leadership within these movements. The scope of this master’s thesis is to build understanding of this informal leadership that concerns different levels and layers in the online and offline contexts. As a case study, the master’s thesis examines the yellow vests movement in France and seeks to discover what kind of similarities and differences emerge when comparing the dynamics of the yellow vests movement to other contemporary social movements. The research method was digital media ethnography that enabled efficient tracing of the phenomenon in different digital media platforms. The fieldwork that lasted for over a year concentrated on key Facebook accounts and French and English digital news media. Three key events emerging from the social media accounts were analyzed more closely to understand the dynamics of the yellow vests movement. The research findings reveal informal leadership within the yellow vests movement in France. This result supports recent research concerning the dynamics of contemporary social movements. However, informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is visible and thus differs from the leadership of anonymous social media administrators. Visibility enables new personalized communication tactics that are applied to strengthen emotional togetherness in the movement. The informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is also distributed between key figures and other participants in the movement network, highlighting collective action. Based on the research observations, it can be argued that the structure of the yellow vests movement is not horizontal, but key figures of the movement operate as central points or hubs in the network. Thus, it can be argued that the contribution and determination of the prominent figures in different contexts lay the foundation for the longevity of the yellow vests movement in France. The results indicate that informal leadership cannot be ignored in the research of contemporary social movements. Based on the findings, it is suggested that future research should concentrate more closely on how informal leadership is channeled in various ways to achieve the goals of the movement.
  • Toivonen, Kia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this research is to study how informal communication and information flow changed when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to transfer from working at the office to remote work at home. In the pre-pandemic world, informal communication occurred at the workplace on a daily basis, thus creating more opportunities for information exchange, whereas in the present, the new remote work mode has erased informal communication from the equation nearly completely. This research studies how the flow of information was impacted by the sudden lack of informal communication, and whether these changes were seen in the basic workflow of organization members. The study is conducted in collaboration with CSC – ICT Center for Science Ltd. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were used as the research method in this study. All interviewees worked in specialist positions, and the sample represented all units in CSC. The interviews were analyzed with qualitative content analysis, which was based on the coding frame built on themes that arose in the interviews. Such themes were meetings, silos, communicational environment and information flow. The results show that without informal communication, the organization members do not have as good of a comprehension of the organization’s projects and daily operation as they did before the pandemic. Furthermore, the individuals’ informal communication networks have reduced during the pandemic, and they no longer communicate with anyone who they do not work with consistently. The reduced communication network and informal communication have impacted the information flow to have become more formal and focused on the substance at hand. Information has become more difficult to access without informal communication to maintain an understanding of who works with what information. The results are corresponding with what is known by previous research. However, this study elaborates more on not only the relationship between informal communication and information sharing, but also on how the dynamics of that relationship works in a changing environment. Without informal communication, individuals are unaware of the information that is flowing elsewhere in the organization. This creates uncertainty and feelings of missing out on potentially relevant information.