Ledelsesmæssig håndtering af kulturel integration ved fusioner af offentlige organisationer - et kognitivt læringsperspektiv

Andreas Nyborg

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This dissertation deals with mergers of public organizations. The focus is on the potential cultural problems that can arise, and how the management can affect and handle the process of cultural integration. The relevance of this topic originates from the fact that the empirical evidence and research literature illustrate that confrontation and power struggles between organizational members, grounded in cultural differences, have the potential to create substantial negative synergy effects in mergers (such as declining morale, loyalty, commitment, and trust resulting in lack of productivity). The fact, that the Structural Reform in Denmark from 2007 brings about an extensive number of mergers of public organizations throughout Denmark, combined with an apparent lack of tools in the current literature to address and handle these problems, makes a thorough discussion of this topic necessary. An analysis is made of a selected part of the current practice in Denmark on how to handle the cultural integration process in public organizations. The chosen empirical practices are the guidance material made by the organization LGDK (Local Govern-ment Denmark), and the concrete strategy of the new municipality of New Roskilde, which explicitly has put the topic of cultural integration on their agenda and allocated a considerable amount of resources for the purpose. The analysis shows that the tools stem from a specific understanding of the concept of culture namely one inspired by functionalism. Here the main focus is on one organizational culture, which to some extent can be managed and shaped by the managers of the organization. The cultural understanding in this dissertation is grounded in what will be called a cognitive learning perspective. From this perspective culture consists of social cognitive models developed and anchored through negotiations of shifting coalitions. Organizational culture is dynamic, heterogeneous and fragmented. Many different cultures will exist in an organization, which will change and evolve over time. Culture therefore cannot be controlled or managed in itself, but it can be affected indirectly and lead by managers. The above leads to the following problem statement: Which theoretical implications can the application of a cognitive learning approach to culture have, in comparison to a functionalistic approach, in relation to characterizing the cultural based problems, that can arise, together with the practical handling of these, in mergers of public organizations? The cognitive learning approach is a synthesis of different theoretical perspectives. It is grounded in a theoretical paradigm of organizational learning and knowledge creation combined with an institutional and cognitive understanding of economic behavioral theory. The functionalist perspective is mainly discussed through the work of Edgar H. Schein. To achieve cultural integration in mergers of public organizations, in the perspective of the cognitive learning approach, it is essential that the development of new cultures is given good opportunities to flourish in the organizational context. This can be done by creating an organizational learning environment, facilitating individual learning, using cognitive leadership, and motivating employees through formal control and management. This entails the development of a merger-vision, balancing organizational incentives, creating a caring environment throughout the organization, and focusing the leadership tasks on handling the informal communication and relationships. This is in contrast with the functionalist approach, where the main focus is on uncovering the organizational cultures, thus enabling managers to shape the desirable culture through top-down communication and management. The value created by this dissertation is a unique learning and knowledge creation approach on how to lead the cultural integration in mergers of public organizations.

UddannelserOffentlig Administration, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatVirksomhedsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato15 maj 2007
VejledereAnnika Agger


  • offentlig ledelse
  • fusion
  • læring
  • Nonaka
  • Schein
  • kultur
  • kulturel integration
  • strukturreformen
  • kommunesammenlægning
  • Argyris
  • kulturkonflikt
  • kognitiv ledelse