University of Oulu

Self-management and its part in knowledge workers’ experiences of high performance

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Author: Kälkäjä, Maria1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Kälkäjä, 2015
Publish Date: 2015-06-15
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Puhakka, Vesa
Reviewer: Puhakka, Vesa
Sipola, Sakari
This study focuses on knowledge workers’ experiences of high performance, and whether there can be found evidence of self-management in those experiences. In previous researches, there has been found that self-management practices can result in higher performance by increasing motivation, organizational engagement and satisfaction with their work. At workplace, employees are able to utilize the process of self-management to pursue their goals more effectively. Some of these goals are set by the organization, in which case the employee can optimize their strategies for ensuring their possibilities to achieve the goals. The employee can also set personal goals regarding their reputation or status at work, regarding their career advancement, or their development in specific skills. The aim of this study was to examine, if implementing self-management practices in employees’ work activities can improve their task performance. This was studied with a phenomenological approach by analyzing the participants’ descriptions of their experiences of high performance. The descriptions were collected through a written interview from employees, who had relevant experience from different knowledge working positions. The results were in line with previous researches about self-management; there was evidence that reducing control-oriented management orientation and including self-management practices in workplace can result in higher performance of knowledge workers. Circumstances of the work task, the work environment, and personal sovereignty and attitudes were the themes that arose from the participants’ answers as having an effect on their performance. Participants also stated, that the experience of high performance has a positive effect on their future work tasks. These findings contribute to the discussion of which kind of management orientation can be used to enhance performance of the employees, and therefore, the whole organization. Managers can utilize these findings about the positive effect of self-management in their organizations to improve the performance of their subordinates. Because the participants in this study were Finnish knowledge workers, these findings can confidently be generalized only to employees from similar cultures than in Finland. More research is needed on validation of these findings to other cultures, industries, and different personalities.
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Copyright information: © Maria Kälkäjä, 2015. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.