Professor Maaja Vadi, University of Tartu
Professor Rainer Kattel, Tallinn University of Technology
Professor Mihaela Kelemen, University of Keele, UK
The aim of the thesis is to offer a framework of organisational control that bases itself on the synthesis of multiple paradigms (modernism, symbolism and postmodernism) on the example of University of Tartu. That said, chapter one will tackle with complex nature of organisational control by mapping the fragmentation of existing control studies, then bringing out the essence of control via multiple paradigms in theory. Second chapter bases itself on multiparadigm research, which applies multiple paradigms witnessed in literature to study organisational control in university management. Finally, metaparadigm theory building chapter can be regarded as a conclusion and discussion that summarises both theoretical and empirical study in order to provide novel theoretical insights at the metalevel.
Dissertation led to show how organisational control manifests in finding a strategic fit between sensegiving and sensemaking, a process, which is facilitated and negotiated by a paradox of sensekeeping and sensebreaking. By coupling sensekeeping with sensebreaking results in a paradox or a contradictory state of affairs where at one side there might be a need for a change, possibly with great reasons, yet from another side, these reasons or explanations are not strong enough to undermine the need to keep existing arrangements as they are.
According to empirical phases of the thesis, strategic change processes tend to be not only highly complex and politically laden (since they have a great effect of large parts of the organisation), but due to the fact that as a rule they are driven by upper level managers, the communication over the argumentation for and about the essence of the change may stand too far from the organisational members (interpretive realities). Thus, as fundamental change in organisation has wide effects to many, yet the change process is usually managed by few there are lot of hidden possibilities of resistance and dominating discourses to emerge as an attempt to seek organisational control over the perceived uncertainties.