Dissertation: Dismantling an ivory tower – shared leadership and collective expertise in a museum

Uutisen oletuskuva
Kristina Ahmas' thesis provides a dismantling model, showing an alternative for open expertise and how relational practices have the power to make room for collective expertise. An aesthetic element present in the museum and in the data tones the study which responds to the question: How may shared leadership and collective expertise be constructed in a museum? The field of the study is management.
(kuva/picture: flickrcc)

The dissertation challenges and updates research of expertise in responding to demands from the environment. It produces an understanding on connections between expertise and leadership in a museum organization. The museum institution stands for a knowledge organization based on closure of expertise, the ivory tower.

The findings show that leadership and expertise are interlinked in an expert organization.

– The operation logic, however, creates a dualism where stagnant leadership unites with the closure of expertise, while dynamic leadership merged with open expertise makes the other end, Ahmas explains.

– Yet the ends of the dualism don’t stand as opposites, but keep up a common complementary dialogue lead by an innate aesthetic element.

The action research was conducted in the museum lead by the researcher. Along with the intervention data, ethnographic data was utilized. The analysis provides practices on leadership and expertise used and interpreted by professionals and partners. The data is reflected on theoretical discussions on leadership and expertise. Shared and relational leadership theories make the theoretical basis for the data. The background for interpreting open expertise arises from discussions on communities of practice and collective expertise. The aesthetic organization theory opens the understanding for the central role of sensuous elements in an organization.

Public defence

The public examination of M.Sc. Kristina Ahmas’ doctoral dissertation “Norsunluutornin purkajat – Jaettu johtajuus ja kollektiivinen asiantuntijuus museossa” is on Friday 19 December at 12 o’clock in auditorium Kurtén, Tervahovi. Professor Iiris Aaltio from the University of Jyväskylä will act as an opponent and docent Niina Koivunen as a custos.

Orders and pdf

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