The Finnish Leadership Style in Transition - A Study of Leadership Criteria in the Insurance Business, 1997-2004 (summary section only)

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-555-972-2
Title: The Finnish Leadership Style in Transition - A Study of Leadership Criteria in the Insurance Business, 1997-2004 (summary section only)
Author: Pöllänen, Kari
Contributor: Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Management and Organisation, Management and Organisation
Publisher: Svenska handelshögskolan
Date: 2008-01-08
Language: en
Belongs to series: Economics and Society - 174
ISBN: 978-951-555-972-2
ISSN: 0424-7256
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10227/265
http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-555-972-2
Thesis level: Doctoral thesis
Abstract: The aim of the study was to explore the importance of evaluating leadership criteria in Finland at leader/subordinate levels of the insurance industry. The overall purpose of the thesis is tackled and analyzed from two different perspectives: - by examining the importance of the leadership criteria and style of Finnish insurance business leaders and their subordinates - by examining the opinions of insurance business leaders regarding leadership criteria in two culturally different countries: the US and Finland. This thesis consists of three published articles that scrutinise the focal phenomena both theoretically and empirically. The main results of the study do not lend support to the existence of a universal model of leadership criteria in the insurance business. As a matter of fact, the possible model seems to be based more on the special organizational and cultural circumstances of the country in question. The leadership criteria seem to be quite stable irrespective of the comparatively short research time period (3–5 years) and hierarchical level (subordinate/leader). Leaders have major difficulties in changing their leadership style. In fact, in order to bring about an efficient organizational change in the company you have to alternate the leader. The cultural dimensions (cooperation and monitoring) identified by Finnish subordinates were mostly in line with those of their managers, whilst emphasizing more the aspect of monitoring employees, which could be seen from their point of view as another element of managers’ optimizing/efficiency requirements. In Finnish surveys the strong emphasis on cooperation and mutual trust become apparent by both subordinates and managers. The basic problem is still how to emphasize and balance them in real life in such a way that both parties are happy to work together on a common basis. The American surveys suggests hypothetically that in a soft market period (buyer’s market) managers employ a more relationship-oriented leadership style and correspondingly adapt their leadership style to a more task-oriented approach in a hard market phase (seller’s market). In making business better Finnish insurance managers could probably concentrate more on task-oriented items such as reviewing, budgeting, monitoring and goal-orientation. The study also suggests that the social safety net of the European welfare state ideology has so far shielded the culture-specific sense of social responsibility of Finnish managers from the hazards of free competition and globalization.
Subject: leadership
effectiveness
insurance market
measurement
criterion
longitudinal
subordinate
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