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Managing Intensity in Knowledge Work: Self-Leadership Practices among Danish Management Consultants

Bäcklander, Gisela; Rosengren, Calle LU and Kaulio, Matti (2018) In Journal of Management & Organization (JMO)
Abstract
This paper examines the sources of knowledge workers’ work intensity and the self-leading strategies they apply to deal with it. The paper is based on focus group interviews with management consultants in a Danish management consultancy firm. Work intensity was identified as resulting from a combination of: (1) a results-only focus, (2) vagueness, (3) boundaryless work, and (4) low control of the quantitative load. A framework for self-leading strategies is developed based on the dimensions of reactive/proactive and self-focused/externally-focused strategies in different combinations. The results indicate that while consultants expressed a belief in internal self-discipline strategies of a more reactive nature, in fact, external and... (More)
This paper examines the sources of knowledge workers’ work intensity and the self-leading strategies they apply to deal with it. The paper is based on focus group interviews with management consultants in a Danish management consultancy firm. Work intensity was identified as resulting from a combination of: (1) a results-only focus, (2) vagueness, (3) boundaryless work, and (4) low control of the quantitative load. A framework for self-leading strategies is developed based on the dimensions of reactive/proactive and self-focused/externally-focused strategies in different combinations. The results indicate that while consultants expressed a belief in internal self-discipline strategies of a more reactive nature, in fact, external and proactive strategies were the most effective in practice. In conclusion, the paper contributes to an extension of self-leadership theory to better account for current research on self-control. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
Journal of Management & Organization (JMO)
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85055550241
ISSN
1833-3672
DOI
10.1017/jmo.2018.64
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a8c50a6f-ad62-408c-a907-3c9aec425a9d
date added to LUP
2018-09-12 13:25:18
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:26:32
@article{a8c50a6f-ad62-408c-a907-3c9aec425a9d,
  abstract     = {This paper examines the sources of knowledge workers’ work intensity and the self-leading strategies they apply to deal with it. The paper is based on focus group interviews with management consultants in a Danish management consultancy firm. Work intensity was identified as resulting from a combination of: (1) a results-only focus, (2) vagueness, (3) boundaryless work, and (4) low control of the quantitative load. A framework for self-leading strategies is developed based on the dimensions of reactive/proactive and self-focused/externally-focused strategies in different combinations. The results indicate that while consultants expressed a belief in internal self-discipline strategies of a more reactive nature, in fact, external and proactive strategies were the most effective in practice. In conclusion, the paper contributes to an extension of self-leadership theory to better account for current research on self-control.},
  author       = {Bäcklander, Gisela and Rosengren, Calle and Kaulio, Matti},
  issn         = {1833-3672},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Management & Organization (JMO)},
  title        = {Managing Intensity in Knowledge Work: Self-Leadership Practices among Danish Management Consultants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jmo.2018.64},
  year         = {2018},
}