Fredrika Swenson: Winner ‘Thesis of the Year’ 2022
The winner of Svenska ProjektAkademiens annual thesis prize, Fredrika Swenson from Karlstad University, won with the essay “No man is an island: About leadership in projects when the distributed work is forced“. The results of the thesis are also relevant for the period after Covid-19 to focus on how we can use work and leadership at a distance in parallel with the physical. The results are divided into three themes; Capture the day, No man is an island and the winds of change. The original title, “Ingen människa är en ö: Om ledarskap i projekt när det distribuerade arbetet är påtvingat.” is in Swedish and the thesis can be found, in Swedish by pressing this link.
Mats Ragnarsson from Wenell Management AB and Svenska ProjektAkademien had the honor of meeting Fredrika and to ask a couple of questions about the thesis.
“No man is an island: About leadership in projects when the distributed work is forced. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether, and if so, how, project managers are affected by a forced conversion to distributed project work due to Covid-19. The study was conducted on the basis of a qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews as a data collection method. A total of ten project managers from ten different organizations were interviewed. Collected data were analyzed using thematic analysis and the analysis resulted in three themes; Capture the day, No man is an island and the winds of change. The results of the study show that the forced distributed work is perceived to have a great impact. The shared experience is that the situation has a greater impact on a personal and social level than on the actual ability to deliver project results. Distributed work requires an increased amount of collaboration and increased digital presence to compensate for the absence of a common workplace. The conclusion is that the benefits of the forced distributed work are primarily the flexibility and efficiency experienced. The challenges with the distributed approach are increased demands for individual and situation-adapted leadership, the need for a clearer structure and more communication, as well as a perceived lack of closeness to colleagues and the energy and commitment they share together.”
– Fredrika Swenson to Svenska ProjektAkademien
If you prefer to listen to the interview in Swedish, press this link.
Svenska ProjektAkademien has the task of promoting the development and application of the project work form in Swedish working life. As part of these efforts, the academy announces an annual dissertation prize for students who have successfully defended a degree project at bachelor’s or master’s level (corresponding to C / D dissertation) with a focus on project management and project-organized companies.