Dissertation: How to distinguish a great leader in today’s increasingly competitive world?

Uutisen oletuskuva
It has long been understood that leadership behaviour plays a crucial role in keeping employees happy and loyal, which in turn makes a direct contribution to organizational success. But, in today’s increasingly competitive world, how can a great leader be distinguished in a crowded workforce?

Thanh Ha-Vikström has in her doctoral thesis introduced two novel ways to measure the effectiveness of leadership behaviour.
Thanh Ha-Vikström väittelee Vaasan yliopistossa perjantaina 15. kesäkuuta.

The first one is the improved Sand Cone Model and the second one is a completely new model, the People, Process and Goal Model, which can be used to measure the key focus areas of leadership behaviour.

“Both of the models can be utilized as guidelines for leaders/managers to follow and improve their self-awareness and leadership skills. Furthermore, the models can also be used for recruitment, selection or promotion purposes. Finally, the models enable the organization to develop more effective strategies for leadership training and development”, says Ha-Vikström who will defend her doctoral dissertation at the University of Vaasa.

The Sand Cone Model can be used for short-term purposes or in the present situation, whereas the People, Process and Goal model is best suited for long-term purposes or a future situation. Therefore, each leader/manager is recommended to apply the Sand Cone Model to identify their current strengths and weaknesses, while management teams are recommended to use the People, Process and Goal model to define the healthiest balance between different leadership focus areas for their own organizational success.

What is transformational leadership?

The sand cone model is based on transformational leadership theory, and the people, process and goal model is based on other dimensions of leadership behaviour, regardless of leadership style, beyond transformational leadership perspectives.

In brief, transformational leadership is a universalistic leadership approach, where leaders act as role models and are able to inspire, encourage and motivate their followers/subordinates, and treat their team members as partners, so that the whole team can work productively and loyally for their organization.

Why are leadership behaviour measuring tools important?

Without novel and precise measuring tools, many bad leaders/managers are promoted by chance or luck, despite lacking the right skills and competences. Consequently, many followers/subordinates will suffer, job satisfaction and motivation will decrease, productivity will fall, and talented employees will move to other competitive organizations. This will impact the bottom line and cause a negative effect in organizational performance.

“For that reason, now more than ever, in order to succeed in an intensely competitive market, and to master the global business arena, every organisation needs an innovative way to evaluate the performance of leadership behaviour, as well as investing in leadership training to make sure all leaders have the right skills and appropriate knowledge for the respective leading position”, says Thanh Ha-Vikström.

In fact, the sand cone model and the people, process and goal model have been developed independently for partially different purposes. Therefore, this research suggests that every organization should take and apply each model’s strengths to its own situation in order to maximize organizational effectiveness and success.

The dissertation consists of five peer-reviewed publications. The results are based on a triangulation approach, involving a combination of quantitative survey data, qualitative interview data and observational data collected from a multinational industry organization.


Further information

Thanh Ha-Vikström, +358 50 5165 009, email:  thanh.ha-vikstrom(at)student.uwasa.fi

Ha-Vikström, Thanh (2018) Measuring Leadership Behaviour in a Global Industry: Sand Cone Model of Transformational Leadership and People, Process and Goal Model. Acta Wasaensia 404. Väitöskirja. Vaasan yliopisto. University of Vaasa.

Publication pdf: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-476-815-3

Thanh Ha-Vikström was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1965. She has Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Economics and Master of Engineering in Technology Based Management from Novia University of Applied Sciences. During the last 22 years, she has been working in the supply chain management of a multinational company.

The public defence

The public examination of M.Eng Thanh Ha-Vikström’s doctoral dissertation in the field of Industrial Management “Measuring Leadership Behaviour in a Global Industry: Sand Cone Model of Transformational Leadership and People, Process and Goal Model” will be held on Friday 15 June at at 12 o´clock in auditorium Florence (Alere-building).

Associate Professor Dr. Magdalena Madra-Sawicka (Warsaw University of Life Sciences) will act as an opponent and professor Josu Takala as a custos.

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