Den vanskelige sidemannen

 

Av Jon Arve Risan, Daglig leder NorStella

NorStella streber etter sømløst samarbeid på tvers mellom alle sektorer, offentlige som private. Vi erfarer at dette er vanskelig. Det er og blir enklest å tenke på seg selv og sin egen linje.

Forholdet er forsket på og en langvarig studie med finske, danske og amerikanske forskere viser at prosjekter på tvers av organisasjoner ble hindret av maktstrukturer og tilhørende adferd. Dette visste vi. Alle har jo stått midt oppe i det. Godt uansett å få det belagt med forskning.

Her har vi gjengitt en liten smakebit fra diskusjonen og konklusjonen i rapporten

Future research is still needed to better understand what kinds of power modes (episodic or systemic) appear in different conflict stages and how the power and conflict dynamics may change depending on the degree of relational embeddedness among IOIS project members.

It is also important to focus more clearly on the emotional aspects of conflicts. Scholars have argued that emotional conflicts are very difficult to identify because there is a tendency to rationalize disagreements and express them as substantive rather than emotional (Yeh & Tsai, 2001). It would be important to analyze more deeply how substantive conflicts escalate into emotional conflicts and what kinds of power practices and modes of power these conflicts reinforce (cf. Chaudhry & Asif, 2015).

For example, it would be crucial to understand how different negative emotions coincide with a lack of agency in projects (Murungi et al., 2019) and how different emotional conflicts may strengthen certain power practices (eg, possible disengaging) and modes of power (eg, voiced or muted) (cf. Meares et al., 2004). This kind of research would help us to understand interactor ties (relational embeddedness) (Jones & Lichtenstein, 2008), as well as actors' supportive and FIGURE 4 Overview of key theoretical implications of the power and conflict dynamics in IOIS development HEKKALA ET AL. 25 resistive actions (Stein et al., 2015) and their outcomes. Moreover, it would be interesting to ask whether emotional conflicts can help or hinder the introduction of changes in the foundational system of a project and the institutionalization of the changes through systemic power (Voronov & Vince, 2012).

In conclusion, through the lenses of systemic power and episodic power, together with an organizational conflict model, this longitudinal, qualitative case study analyzed the power and conflict dynamics in an IOIS project. We found that the project setup and its social embeddedness, or what we termed the foundational system in this study, played a complex and crucial role in these dynamics. Counter to the technical-rational ideal, this study suggests that designing a clear and fair foundational system that prevents power struggles and conflicts may be an impossible and unhelpful ideal for which to strive.

Publisert 23.8.2021