Ethel Brundin (2002)

Emotions in Motion – The Strategic Leader in a Radical Change Process

This thesis offers an emotion perspective to the field of strategic change and leadership. Through a longitudinal study, following two strategic leaders in a real time setting of a radical change process, this study shows that emotions are all-embracing within such a process. The findings stress that strategic leaders are very emotionally committed and tied to the strategy of a company and feel personal responsibility for its progress.

Emotions evolve in daily interaction and are produced and reproduced in this context. They arise as a means to understand and relate to the on-going process and as a means to explicitly emphasise and stress the importance of different aspects of the change as well.The results of this study shows that emotions can be related directly to the change process where they serve as driving forces or restraining forces and as indirect driving or restraining forces in relation to the strategic intent. Furthermore, the co-production of emotions between the strategic leader and other organisational members has power implications such as power gain or power drain for the strategic leader, and thereby the strategic leadership. Emotions have also been proven to serve as constructors of emotion sediments, good-mood-setters and bad-mood-setters within the process.

Methodologically, this study opens up for further research on emotions. Through a series of micro-processes, the strategic leaders of this study have contributed by helping out with conversations prior to and after meetings and by offering their personal diary notes. Furthermore, a suggested classification of emotions is made in connection to a radical change process.