MODe in english

Business Finland funds the Minimalist Organizational Design project (MODe). 

The MODe project studies what kind of organization models make employees’ self-management possible.

Self-management and self-organization have been a hot topic lately both in Finland and in the world. Self-managed companies come with a promise of more motivated, more innovative and more productive employees. They have a more agile way of reacting to changes in customer needs and in competition. On the other hand, there are claims that employees in self-managed organizations are left alone and the organizations lose their ability to make decisions.

There is very little research data on self-organization.

“It’s fantastic that we can study how to manage self-management and what are the challenges encountered”, says Johanna Vuori from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences.

The research project involves Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Aalto University, University of Tampere and the following companies: Debora, JCDecaux, Metso Minerals, Suomen Tilaajavastuu and Telia. The project also unites Futurice’s and Reaktor’s own research and development projects.

Self-organization doesn’t mean that the organization lacks completely of structure. It’s actually quite the opposite, the organizations may have plenty of structures, but all of them support the power and the responsibility of everyone in recognizing what is needed to meet the goals.” states post-doctoral researcher Frank Martela from Aalto-University   

The two-year project studies what are the structures and management practices that make self-organization possible. What are the phases and challenges faced during the transformation process towards self-management? What are the weaknesses and biggest challenges of self-managed organizations? The researchers and the co-operating companies started a Master Class series in April 2019 in collaboration with Filosofian Akatemia. The goal is to support one another both in research and in development projects of the co-operating companies.  

There are questions, even fears, in moving towards self-management in different organizations. Decentralization of power to employees does not lead to chaos or ineffectiveness. If the employees have enough information on the company’s operations, why would they plan a bad and ineffective system?”, says Perttu Salovaara from the University of Tampere.

For further information:

Johanna Vuori, Principal Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, johanna.vuori(a)haaga-helia.fi tel. +358 50 3104011

Frank Martela, Post-doc Researcher, Aalto University, frank.martela(a)aalto.fi, tel +358 50 5707916

Perttu Salovaara, University Lecturer, University of Tampere, perttu.salovaar(a)uta.fi, tel .+ 358 40 718 7000

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