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Ethical leadership dilemmas in the open office environment Donatella De Paoli, Norwegian School of Management BI Perttu Salovaara, Arja Ropo, University.

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Presentation on theme: "Ethical leadership dilemmas in the open office environment Donatella De Paoli, Norwegian School of Management BI Perttu Salovaara, Arja Ropo, University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ethical leadership dilemmas in the open office environment Donatella De Paoli, Norwegian School of Management BI Perttu Salovaara, Arja Ropo, University of Tampere Bristol

2 Paper background Based on the project Leadership in Spaces and Places with 5 interdisciplinary projects: – Interior design, Disseminated work, Social space, Symbolic management, Office space design – How do spaces and places perform and construct leadership?

3 Lefebvre (1991), three spaces: -Planned -Practiced -Imagined Imagined: Subjective, atmosphere, feeling, experiences, likes and dislikes…

4 Panopticon (Foucault)

5 Practice of Panopticon

6 Organizational space as a resource of control? The work building facilitates managerial control of the labour process, enabling the co-ordination of production through the division of labour and the construction of systems of surveillance Workers are subjected to specific architectural and managerial constructions of organizational space – frontier of control over the working environment Halford 2004

7 Historical background Historically factories and offices (early 20 th c.) were open and controlled by leaders - Hawthorne studies drew attention away from physical facilities and conditions Renewed interest for space in organizational studies last 10 years However, little research on leadership &space

8 Analysis of materials It is a commonplace in traditional research that prisons, hospitals and similar total institutions have a set of informal rules, which are different from, and often oppose, the official ones (Potter Wetherell 1987, p. 19)

9 Tentative analysis

10 Ethical dilemmas Dilemma: double proposition, problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is practically acceptable Ethical leadership dilemmas at open office 1.Environment should promote communication and cooperation, but there are examples where it does the contrary e.g. How to give personal feedback (in professional Panopticon)? 2.Less distance between hierarchical levels: informality encouraged, yet being on stage (some leaders complain they are constantly watched at – and so do followers) 3.Social learning: unified perception of architecture, uniform culture, all end up doing same, fast integration to the code; afraid of breaking the rules, social control that leads to self-control

11 Thank you! Questions, comments, ideas?!


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