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  • 1.
    Alexius, Susanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Gustavsson, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Profit-Making for Mutual Benefit: The Case of Folksam 1945–20152017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The contribution of this paper centers on organizational conditions and mechanisms for long-term justification and survival of constitutional hybrids—organizations that not only integrate various institutional logics, but also integrate structural elements, ideal-typical of different types of organizations and societal spheres. Responding to calls for studies that relate macro-, meso-and micro-level analyses, we draw on Boltanski and Thévenot’s theory of justification and a 70-year mixed-method case study of the mutually owned Swedish insurance firm, Folksam. We describe how this mutually owned enterprise went from justifying its profitmaking during the social-democratic regime to justifying its principle of mutual benefit in the decades following amarket turn in the 1980s. Our multi-level, longitudinal analysis suggests that constitutional hybrids like Folksam may survive and avoid isomorphism by making flexible use of their two-sided “Janus face”of civic and market logics of justification.

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  • 2.
    Alexius, Susanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Gustavsson, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Redefining the Social Meaning of Mutual Insurance in Sweden (1945-2015): An Inquiry into the Justification of Surplus2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Alexius, Susanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Att organisera lite eller mycket, för en kväll eller för alltid? En organisationsteoretisk belysning av integrationsinitiativ2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den här studien syftar till en fördjupad förståelse för integration av nyanlända genom en sociologisk och organisationsteoretisk analys av utvalda integrationsinitiativ i Flens kommun. Två dimensioner graden av organisation (teori om partiell organisation) och typen av temporalitet (kronologisk respektive kvalitativ tidsuppfattning), har varit huvudspår i analysen av tre initiativ: Språkvän, Flen Världsorkester och Fester. De empiriska redogörelser som presenteras för att illustrera våra teoretiska resonemang vilar på insikter från intervjuer, dokumentstudier samt informella samtal i samband med studiebesök och deltagande observationer i Flen under hösten 2017- hösten 2018. Alla sätt att organisera har sina fördelar och nackdelar. Att sträva efter långsiktig och höggradig organisation har sina fördelar – men också sina nackdelar. Vår främsta slutsats är att det idag verkar finnas för lite insikt och diskussion om detta och om möjligheten att medvetet och strategiskt uppmuntra till en ”portfölj” av initiativ med varierande grader av organisation och temporalitet. Rapporten berör också förutsättningar för integrationsstrateger, integrationssamordnare och andra liknande formella positioner i offentlig sektor. Särskilt intresse riktas mot dessa gräsrotsbyråkraters förutsättningar att vara de ”möjliggörande byråkrater” som civilsamhällets ”eldsjälar” lovordar.

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  • 4.
    Alexius, Susanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Förpliktigande samspel som vardagsrutin – en fallstudie av Borlänge kommun2018In: Styra och leda med tillit: forskning och praktik: forskningsantologi från tillitsdelegationen / [ed] Louise Bringselius, Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik AB, 2018, p. 167-195Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Förändringsarbetet mot mer tillitsfulla relationer i den kommunala förvaltningen i Borlänge initierades 2008 och pågår fortfarande aktivt ett decennium senare. Studien belyser centrala förutsättningar för att bygga och underhålla tillitsfulla relationer inom den kommunala förvaltningen. Teoretiska utgångspunkter är dels teori om medarbetarskap och ömsesidigt ansvar genom ”förpliktigande samspel”, dels teori om förändringsarbete som vardagsrutin. Metodologiskt har dokumentstudier, deltagande observationer, intervjuer och fokusgruppsintervjuer genomförts. En fördjupning har gjorts till upplevelser hos personalen på Individ- och familjeomsorgen (IFO) inom socialtjänsten. En central slutsats är att tillitsfulla relationer tar tid, både att utveckla och att underhålla. Ambitionen att minska misstro och öka tillit kräver både uthållighet i en kultur- och organisationsförändring över tid och en mellanmänsklig tillgänglighet i vardagen. I Borlänge har ett framgångsrikt värdegrundsarbete skapat goda förutsättningar för detta.

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    Styra och leda med tillit
  • 5.
    Langhammer, Kristina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Hiring Managers’ Reliance on Intuition and Subjectivity in Employee Selection: An Agency Theory ApproachManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The present study investigated the factors influencing employers’ preference for non-standardized applicant data collection methods and data combination strategies based on the principal-agent framework (i.e. Agency theory). This is a qualitative study, based on semi-structured interviews with three categories of professionals, including hiring managers, corporate, and third-party recruiters. The data show that hiring managers (i.e. principals) strive to monitor corporate and third party recruiters’ (i.e. agents) behavior in order to overcome problems of opportunistic behavior and asymmetric information. Asymmetric information was perceived as a problem especially when related to the use of standardized data collection methods, of which the principals had little or no control. In addition, different agents’ affiliations (internal or external) trigger different degrees of assertive behavior by agents. A direct implication is that intuition can be a powerful tool in the hand of principals especially when confronted with more exertive agents, as for example, external ones (i.e. third party recruiters). The study expands the traditional principal-agent framework and contributes to the understanding of mechanisms and reasons behind why practitioners rely on their own subjectivity, which has been a central topic of discussion in the field of personnel selection in recent years. 

  • 6.
    Leviner, Pernilla
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    The Swedish Ban on Corporal Punishment of Children in a Multi-Cultural Context – Conflicting Logics in the Social Services2018In: Corporal Punishment of Children: Comparative Legal and Social Developments towards Prohibition and Beyond / [ed] Bernadette J. Saunders, Pernilla Leviner, Bronwyn Naylor, Brill Nijhoff, 2018, p. 145-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden was the first country in the world to introduce a prohibition against parental physical punishment of children, in 1979. The aim of this ban was to change attitudes, not to criminalise parents. Since then, studies have shown remarkable changes, in terms of both parental attitudes and the decreasing use of physical punishment. However, violence against children is still a problem in Sweden today. There are challenges connected to becoming a more multicultural society where negative attitudes cannot be taken for granted and where a tough-on-crime rhetoric is increasingly on the political agenda. A central question is how the ban, with its educational and proactive aim, is interpreted and implemented in this context. This question is analysed here from a socio-legal perspective, based on both legal sources and interviews with child protection representatives evaluating cases of violence against children. Results show that these professionals make use of two different and conflicting logics–one prospective logic, which is in line with socialwork ethics and the aim of the Social Services Act, and one retrospective, being influenced by the tough-on-crime political agenda. The conclusion is that there is a risk of the retrospective logic taking over–not least in a multicultural context, where trust and cooperation between the Social Services and families can be more difficult to achieve. Our study shows a need to attain a balance between the two logics without losing the strength of the message and aim of the 1979 ban.

  • 7.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Constructing Entrepreneurial Teams: The Role of Cognition and Interest in the Maintenance of Institutionalized Practices2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Crowdfunding in Sweden - Institutional Limits and Endogenous Possibilities2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A new source of funding for promising ideas and inventors has recently surfaced: crowdfunding. Crowdfunding may be defined as the financing of a project or venture by a group of people, “the crowd”, instead of professional actors. This operation is performed through the Internet and with the help of social networks, in the forms of donations, equity or loans.

    Crowdfunding supporters believe that the “wisdom” or “collective intelligence” of the crowd helps both to make sense of the potential of a project and to weed out the risks of frauds. This sense-making is usually achieved by the involved actors through communication (in chats and blogs on crowdfunding platforms and social media) and against the disadvantage of asymmetric information. In fact, information about the inventor’s background, as well as details about the business plan, is often only partially disclosed in the beginning of a crowdfunding. At the same time, many national platforms have not yet developed reputational systems capable of providing a safety-net for all parties.

    Sweden started to build national crowdfunding platforms in 2011 and their use to date has been cautious The few recent national investigations point at the fact that the Swedish crowds, in order to use their wisdom, need first to overcome some endogenous and institutional barriers. Among the endogenous ones is emphasized that complicated projects and specific forms of returns are not suitable for crowds (because of their non-professional backgrounds and high number of participants). As a matter of fact, IT-projects and equity funding are the forms most avoided by the Swedish crowdfunders, despite the fact that Swedes are IT-enthusiasts and avid Internet users, and that IT-innovation is one of the driving economic motors of the country. However, these non-choices could be related to institutional, more than endogenous, barriers as the inadequacy of the national legal system (limiting among other things the way in which information is displayed on a platform or the number of investors per project) or the lack of a critical mass of repeat funders legitimating good projects.

    The paper has two main aims. The first is to investigate the endogenous possibilities of the “wisdom of the crowd” when making sense of risks and opportunities that the financing of a project or venture may implicate. The second is to investigate the institutional (legal, normative, cognitive) preconditions in which Swedish crowdfunding is embedded so as to assess their role in limiting and empowering this funding system. The paper draws on in-depth interviews conducted with Swedish crowdfunding actors (inventors, funders and platform owners) as well as on the monitoring of chats and blogs on national crowdfunding platforms and social media where the involved parties exchange their ideas over a project and its potential. The data are analyzed in light of the Swedish institutional environment in which crowdfunding platforms and actors are embedded. The study is part of a larger project focusing on professional and non-professional forms of financing IT-innovation in Sweden.

  • 9.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Mot en medarbetardriven förvaltning - om inlärning och tillämpning av ett coachande förhållningssätt i Borlänge kommun2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna studie syftar till att kartlägga och analysera hur chefer i Borlänge kommun bemöter, bearbetar och använder sig av kunskaper de förvärvat under kurser i coachande förhållningssätt. Studien siktar också mot att belysa vilka organisatoriska förutsättningar som krävs för att dessa kunskaper ska kunna tillämpas och komma till sin rätt inom kommunen. En grupp chefer som deltog i en kurs i coachande förhållningssätt under hösten 2016 har följts och analyserats. Deltagande observationer och individuella semi-strukturerade intervjuer har använts som metoder.

    Kursdeltagarnas utsagor berättar om en ”inre resa” där fokus i början legat på deltagaren själv och därefter gradvis skiftat till samtalspartnern - medarbetaren. Vid kursens slut tyckte deltagarna att de hade fått en ökad medvetenhet som ledare om sin mångsidiga roll, där coachande är en del. Cheferna hade också fått en öppnare inställning mot andras potential att hitta egna lösningar och utvecklas i sin roll.

    Bland de största utmaningarna för användningen av metoden nämner intervjupersonerna tidsbristen, ogynnsamma organisationsstrukturer och rutiner, kulturella förväntningar om hur en ledare ska vara samt bristande information till medarbetarna om metoden och vad ett coachande förhållningssätt skapar för förväntningar på dem. Delade normer och strävan motsamma mål som avspeglas i värdegrunden och som alla chefer säger omfamna är förutsättningar för framgångsrik tillämpning av ett coachande förhållningssätt.

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  • 10.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Mutuality Stripped to the Bone: Nominating and Recruiting Board Members in Swedish Mutual Insurance Companies2020Report (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to shed light on the practices adopted by Swedish mutual insurance companies when nominating and recruiting board members, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of whether and how these practices embody the concept of mutuality. This topic was seen as particularly interesting when considering the complexity of the institutional environment surrounding mutual insurance companies. An environment characterized, among other things, by a skinny and at the same time hybrid legal framework, that at a first glance appeared too dry and confusing to infuse mutuals’ practices with a broader social meaning.

    Theoretically, the ambition is to complement the relevant body of literature on the various organizational aspects related to the nomination and recruitment practices targeting board members, by studying this process as a sense-making activity. The focus is then on how nominating actors, through their practices and in light of the surrounding institutional environment, engage in interpretations and meaning constructions of the concept of mutuality.

    The interviews conducted with twenty key actors in four Swedish mutual insurance companies Alecta, Länsförsäkringar, Folksam and Skandia, show that limited sense-making work is performed during the nomination process. The interpretation of mutuality can therefore be said to be “stripped to the bone” of the law, i.e. performed in purely legal terms, as a synonymous of customer-owner influence. Attempts to give mutuality a broader social meaning, that goes beyond the legal one, are made through argumentations that involve history-telling – i.e. the looking back at the social purpose that these companies once fulfilled in society – and the delegation of work of meaning construction to actors outside the company – such as supervising authorities, search firms, professional associations and last but not least the legislator.

    Nevertheless, the responsibility for the apparent failure to give mutuality a renewed meaning that goes beyond the legal one, cannot entirely rely on boards of mutual insurance companies. Despite some moderate criticism expressed by actors located in the normative sphere of the surrounding institutional environment, it seems that in Sweden mutuality, at a cultural- cognitive level, has become a forgotten topic. A topic that has lost its relevance once other new concepts, such as those of sustainability or the sharing economy, have entered the stage.

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  • 11.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Playing the Matching Game: An Institutional Analysis of Executive Recruitment and Selection in Software Start-ups: Silicon Valley and Stockholm2011Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Software start-ups make media headlines daily, suggesting that it may take only a garage and two engineering students to begin such companies, and that these same people will constitute the core of the executive team until these organizations become multinational giants. Despite these spontaneous starts, newly formed entrepreneurial ventures have many obstacles to overcome in their resource and cultural environments when establishing their practices. These obstacles vary depending on the local institutional contexts and can exert relevant pressures on how, where and why start-ups recruit and select certain candidates for their executive teams.

    Based on interviews conducted in Silicon Valley and Stockholm with 40 key hiring and intermediary actors – entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, board directors, CEOs and executive recruiters - the general aim of this work is that of disclosing step-by-step the process of executive recruitment and selection in start-ups. At the same time, this study seeks to analyze how institutional environments, through the actions of states, governments, universities, professional associations and society in general, shape start-up practices. Finally, the work aims at testing the explanatory power of institutional theories in sociology.

    The analysis of the interviews shows that different local institutional environments differently and crucially shape organizational actors' interests, roles and patterns of behavior when constructing their practices. Two distinct ideal-typical dominant logics surface among key actors in the two geographical contexts. On one side, Silicon Valley actors recruit and select their executives by using a business logic based on an efficiency rationale. On the other side, Stockholm actors make use of a personal logic based on a rationale of cultural fit when calculating which specific candidate better matches a certain executive position. 

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  • 12.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Alexius, Susanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Time for trust? Post-New Public Management reforms in the Swedish social services2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, the criticism of New Public Management (NPM) and its modes of management and governance has increased. As always when a ‘management fashion’ (Røvik, 2008) has been put to the test for some time in actual complex organizational practices, its’ downsides and problems appear. As demonstrated by reform scholars (Brunsson and Olsen, 1993; Røvik, 2008) fundamental ‘wicked problems’ (Rittel and Webber, 1973) such as that of the balance between centralization and decentralization and the question of how to prioritize and evaluate complex missions in the public administration, are always sensitive to new solutions. This is because they are, in a sense, unsolvable by nature (Brunsson, 2006). From this perspective, the current times may be seen as a formative ‘critical juncture’ (Djélic and Quack, 2007), in which it is expected that many will express the desire to leave the old (and now disappointing) management fashion (i.e. NPM) behind and open up for new and promising modes of public management and governance (Ivarsson Westerberg, 2017).

    This paper draws on an in-depth case study (Alexius and Sardiello, 2018) of attempts by a Swedish municipality to explore post-NPM modes of ‘trust-based management’ in its Social Services operations (e.g. Bouckaert, 2012; Bentzen and Jagd, 2014; Curry, 2014; Bringselius ed, 2018). 

    A first central conclusion of our paper is that it takes time to develop trust-based relationships. Building and maintaining trustful relationships require time both in the sense of endurance – to acquire the appropriate knowledge, such as for example coaching skills (Sardiello 2018) - and in the sense of accessibility in everyday work life - to make oneself psychologically and physically available for informal coordination with others (Alexius and Sardiello 2018).

    Regarding governance and culture, we found that the municipality of Borlänge has made a parallel governance and culture change in the last decade from distrust to increased trust. First and foremost, in the early days of the reform, politicians and senior managers were engaged in closer collaboration than ever before, which fostered trust. In recent years, relationships within the administration, among managers as well as between managers and co-workers have been in focus for the reform. Organizational core-values have also been successfully internalized and are extensively used in everyday interactions by co-workers at all levels.

    Regarding organization and working methods, we found interesting differences in how different staff groups perceive the ongoing reform towards more trustful relationships. These differences may be understood with reference to the degree of professional self-confidence and experience, and with reference to whether the individual has managerial responsibility or not. Time for dialogue and ability to improvise with judgement in light of given roles were two highlighted key conditions to develop and cherish trust-based relationships. In this sense we found Borlänge municipality has succeeded in relieving their first level social workers but a remaining challenge is staff turnover that often does not leave these officers enough time for supervision or coaching.

    Empirical evidence from our studies also shows that the unit managers have to bear a heavy administrative burden of sediments from previous reforms, and that this burden reduces their time for a more coaching leadership. A future challenge for the municipality will be to motivate and relieve the unit managers. A solution that has been tried so far, but has been insufficient, has been to create assistant roles and various staff functions. However this has been insufficient mainly because of the unclear division of labor and responsibility among these different positions, implying a waste of time in terms of coordination (Alexius and Sardiello, 2018).

    Despite the fact that the municipality's trust reform emphasizes decentralization, it requires the recruitment and formation of competent and responsible street-level bureaucrats who are willing and are put in the conditions to stay and take part in the committed interplay (Velten et al 2017). Clarifying the division of labor and responsibility between them and their managers and informing them (not only their managers) about the new coaching philosophy would save time in the already time-consuming work of building and maintaining more trustful relationships in the public administration.

  • 13.
    Sardiello, Tiziana
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Susanna, Alexius
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Furusten, Staffan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Governance Structures in Customer-owned Hybryd Organizations: Interpreting Democracy in Mutual Insurance Companies2019In: Managing Hybrid Organizations: Governance, Professionalism and Regulation / [ed] Susanna Alexius, Staffan Furusten, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter focuses on governance challenges in mutually owned insurance companies. We analyze the variation in how hybrids organize themselves and discuss why mechanism for institutionalization is not always in place. A comparative approach was chosen to study how democracy is expressed and the ownership governance system is organized in two Swedish insurance companies with a long history, where Folksam was always a mutual and Skandia only recently became a mutual. Departing from Stinchcombe's imprinting theory, the findings suggest that institutional conditions at the time of their establishment as mutuals may have imprinted governance practices in these mutuals that persist beyond the founding phase.

1 - 13 of 13
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