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Browsing by study line "Governance, Organizations and Communication"

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  • Saarinen, Iina Johanna (2021)
    This thesis examines employee perspectives about the concept of employee engagement and dialogical communication’s role in enacting it. It approaches simplistic and instrumentalist views with scrutiny and explores more complex and profound understandings of the definitions, value, outcomes, and antecedents of employee engagement. Employee voice has been largely absent in engagement discourse, and both engagement and communication research have overwhelmingly ignored communication’s role in enacting engagement. To expand these narrow views, the research questions in this thesis investigate how employees understand the concept of employee engagement, the tensions or problems it may entail, and the role of dialogic communication in enacting it. A case study in a Finnish energy company consisted of semi-structured, individual interviews with 10 employees from different units. Qualitative content analysis combining data-driven and concept-driven strategies functioned as the method of analysis for the interview data. The results of the analysis suggest that in addition to genuine opportunities to influence issues in a work community, employees appreciate transparency and open communication about how their voice had an effect. The interviewees considered features of dialogic communication as important antecedents of engagement, but other antecedents were meaningful as well, such as sufficient resources, clear structures and goals, and formal and informal meetings. In addition, the role of self-determination and autonomy were present in accounts of both the definitions and antecedents of employee engagement. The interviewees recognized both beneficial and adverse outcomes of engagement. Therefore, employee perspectives of engagement are more complex and versatile than suggested by previous research or hyperbolic discourses. However, the multiple meanings attached to the employee engagement concept sustains its previous problems of vagueness and indistinctiveness. The thesis highlights the need for expanding the previously narrow views of employee engagement. Demands for dialogic employee engagement challenges organizations to balance between different priorities, such as providing both agency and guidance, and encouraging diverse views while aiming for unity and shared culture.
  • Barre, Ahmed Saleban (2018)
    Abstract The Somali Republic (as it were before 1991) became independent nation state in July 1960. This was a result of a union between former British Somaliland Protectorate in the north and the Italian Somaliland at the south. That unification has practically ended in 1991, which is when Somaliland elders unilaterally declared withdrawal from and nullifying the union between the two entities in 1960. At present however, former Italian Somaliland is in deep turmoil, while Somaliland has been relatively stable and peaceful since 1991. I will examine throughout my thesis the reason for that stabilization and its European perceptions. I will also analyze what I called Somaliland model of state-building and following Jhazbhay (2009), will argue that, Somaliland illustrates the efficacy of internally driven, culturally rooted, bottom-up approaches to post-war [state] building, reconciling indigenous cultures and traditions and modernity. Jhazbhay (2009) contrasts this with the assumption that there need be a strong, centralized, post-colonial state. As such, my argument in this thesis is based on this premise which will argue that, the political system in Somaliland is sustained because of the interplay between modernity and tradition. Further, the EU is the largest donor to Somalia including Somaliland, therefore, based on EU documents on Somalia, I will also present the EU Perceptions on Somaliland’s state-building process. Under the EU perspective, Somaliland is perceived as a successful state building model in the Somali context that has something valuable to contribute. The EU’s perceptions of Somaliland will have positive impact on other actors’ image of Somaliland.
  • Lehtinen, Nadja (2019)
    This Master’s thesis explores sustainability indicators intended for corporations and how conceptual, policy related and methodological aspects are visible in the indicators. Sustainability has gone from being a marginal ecological idea, to a mainstream movement and can today be seen as one of the leading aspirations of the 21th century. Sustainability is apparent in political discussions, business actions and our everyday lives. One of the challenges of sustainability is that there are hundreds of definitions, the term is overused, and new indicators and measurements are created continuously. Based on the aforementioned facts, I wonder if it is even possible to measure this global concept and phenomena that has hundreds of different definitions. However, many definitions of sustainability are similar in the way that they are based on the three pillars: Economy, Environment and Society. The case study explores SDG Compass, which is a collaboration project between the international organizations United Nations (UN), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The project has gathered hundreds of business tools and thousands of business indicators in to a database that can be used by corporations. All the data included in the project are based on the framework of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations in 2015. With a mixed-methods approach I have conducted a thematic content analysis and quantitative analysis focusing on studying the conceptuality, policy relevance and methodology of the data. The aim of the study is to add to the transparency around sustainability indicators and show the complexity of a selection of indicators current indicators intended for businesses. When it comes to conceptuality the analysis showed that the three pillars Economy, Environment and Society are all visible in the data and balanced with equal amounts of indicators. When it comes to policy relevance the analysis showed that private, public and civil society institutions are all visible as indicator issuing organizations in the SDG compass. However, I argue that the role of The UN is the most relevant and powerful when it comes to sustainability indicators. When it comes to methodology the SDG compass data follows the general criterions recognized in the literature as criterions for good indicators, and the results suggests SDG compass indicators are of a high quality.  
  • Koivuniemi, Kalle (2023)
    The research questions of this paper are focused around how the discourse present within the discourse and policy regarding algorithmic governance in Finland is framed within a proposed bill regarding the topic. The questions concern what aspects of the subject matter are potentially being neglected or insufficiently examined in order to fulfill standards created by financialized logics of operation present within governance and promoted by algorithmic systems largely derived from the private sector. Also, to what extent is there a concern regarding issues such as transparency and accountability, and how is the adoption of algorithmic decision-making affecting how such principles are being framed? This paper offers a case study, utilizing a Finnish proposed bill regarding the wider adoption and application of algorithmic governance into the public sector. Algorithmic governance entails all forms of digitized data processing intended for the purposes of making decisions in an automated manner utilizing algorithmic technologies. The case study is examined by first establishing a sufficient context of the subject matter, detailing what exactly algorithms are, how the designing and operation of such systems is relevant and important to governance, after which a summarization of key sections the proposed Finnish bill will be presented, followed by an analysis of how many of the concerns and issues outlined in the paper are framed within the text. The framing is analyzed by examining how logics of financialization are present in the text, and using a framework of abstraction traps that provide structure for gauging how people tend to frame matters related to algorithmic governance. This examination will showcase how certain aspects and dimensions related to the framing of policy concerning algorithmic governance can be dominated by certain interests and logics, while neglecting other impactful and meaningful aspects as a result. The results of the research are that the framing operationalizes and prioritizes specific modes or logics of governance while neglecting others as a result of fixating only on certain aspects. Financialization and New Public Management reform influences are present throughout the text, leading to an overly reductive and limited framing of the issues regarding the use of, regulation and legislation of algorithmic governance and its increasing use in the public sphere. This kind of framing of the issues in policy and discourse concerning it will be unlikely to provide comprehensive and effective policy, as they will be inadequate to fully account for many of the other aspects and concerns about the subject matter highlighted within this paper.
  • Untamala, Sinituuli (2021)
    This thesis examines one of the most visible demonstrations of social exclusion: homelessness. The aim is to critically investigate the role of newspapers in constructing the discourse of homelessness. The focus of the research is on the United Kingdom, particularly England, where 4 677 (2019) people are estimated to sleep rough. The number has increased significantly during the 2010s, and the situation is likely to get worse. This paradox of a society with the world’s fifth largest economy as well as thousands of people without access to housing is an intriguing starting point for a critical analysis. Therefore, this master’s thesis analyses the role of British newspaper media in creating power, inequality and division into ‘us and them’, associated with street homelessness. When addressing social issues, such as homelessness, it is necessary to examine the role of media as it is the most important source of information for most of the people, Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in framing social issues for the public and influencing their opinions. The data was collected from three newspapers, representing both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. These newspapers are the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Sun. Articles containing the search terms “homelessness-England” were searched from the newspapers’ online databases from 2017–2020. A total of fifteen articles were selected for further analysis. These were considered most relevant to the topic in question; that is, they discussed the way the public interacts with and how they portray the people sleeping rough in England. The methodology applied in this thesis was Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework for critical discourse analysis. These dimensions are discourse-as-text, discourse-as-discursive-practice, and discourse-as-social-practice. Four overlapping categories were identified based on how they portrayed homeless people. These categories are 1. homeless people as objects of charity; 2. homeless people as security threats; 3. homeless people as demonstrations of inequality and 4. homeless people as victims. The research shows that these discourses are promoted in the articles by certain choices of vocabulary and discursive practice. Furthermore, it is argued that these narratives promote the dichotomy between ‘us’ (the people with housing) and ‘them’ (the homeless people). Based on the results, spoken and emotional driven language was more evident in the articles by Daily Mail and the Sun. Emotional discourses was used to create both positive (sympathy) and negative (fear) emotions among the readers. Overall, the research shows that the discourse of homelessness, constructed by the British newspapers, promotes the stereotypical views of homeless people as passive objects. Indeed, the active element in the narratives was in most cases given to the other people, not the homeless person. In the news storied of people experiencing street homeless they were talked about or seen but were not given the active voice.
  • Kallioinen, Emilia (2022)
    Artificial intelligence (AI), as a constantly developing technology that is difficult to define, strains a society not prepared for its impact. On the other hand, AI represents the future and comes with many opportunities. The European Commission has taken both views into account in its policy for AI, the European approach to AI. The European Commission’s AI policy, that introduces a regulation-based approach to AI as the first policy initiative in the world, offers a timely and intriguing topic of study. This thesis critically examines how AI is represented as a problem in the European Commission’s policy over the course of a four-year time frame from 2018 to 2021. It uses a combined set of methods: qualitative content analysis together with Carol Bacchi’s WPR approach to inspect five selected European Commission’s policy documents. Four of these policy documents are communication papers with an additional white paper. With the help of qualitative content analysis, the main repetitive themes of AI challenges and opportunities are teased out. The WPR approach is used to examine the progression of the AI policy and analyze the problem representations found in policy. Research questions are the following: how has the European Commission’s policy on AI come about and how has AI been represented as a policy problem by the European Commission? The thesis presents the formation of the AI policy by going through policy documents over the period of four years. Additionally, the thesis demonstrates how the Commission’s AI policy is one piece of the puzzle that is EU digital politics aiming for technological sovereignty. From the Commission’s problem representation of AI, the challenges and opportunities, it is possible to analyze the implicit representations of AI in policy. Although, the policy highlights trustworthiness and competitiveness through its regulatory actions there are other aspects present as well. AI has been represented in policy through eight perspectives, including safety and security, ethical, legal, competitiveness, AI leadership, socioeconomic, ecological, and education. All perspectives rationalize ways for AI to be embraced inside the European Union borders and participate in the shaping of how AI is to be approached. The analysis of each category shows that issues related to safety and security, ethical, legal, competitiveness, and AI leadership seem to stand out whereas socioeconomic, ecological, and education matters are not as strongly stressed. Overall, this thesis has demonstrated how AI has been represented as a problem in the European Commission’s policy.
  • Rosenkranz, Jade (2019)
    Social capital theory highlights the value of social networks in encouraging cooperation and facilitating change. However, research within this field rarely undertakes a communicative approach to social capital, which ignores the importance of communication in supporting understanding and connections in social interactions. The narrative paradigm is one facet of communication theory but it has considerable pertinence to this research because stories both define and connect us. When narratives are experienced they provide common purpose and action. Nonprofit organizations are another crucial element to understanding the interconnection between social capital and narratives because they provide a space for individuals to build a sense of belonging and solidarity. The primary objective of this paper is to analyze how a nonprofit organization’s narratives foster social capital. This research was a case study of the nonprofit organization HeSeta based in Helsinki, Finland. The data was collected through several in-person interviews, HeSeta’s website, HeSeta’s official Facebook page, and public organizational documents. The results indicate that narratives foster social capital by establishing reasons to connect and interact, creating basic responsibilities to one another and encouraging action together. The creation of shared goals, values, obligations, expectations, and identification helps to build norms of trust, honesty, reciprocity, which establish and sustain a social network and its narratives. The study encourages the development of more critical formations of organizational narratives in nonprofit organizations’ communication to their stakeholders and community, which prioritizes social capital, to help encourage greater interaction and collective action.
  • Holmström, Kaari Susanna (2023)
    Swedish migration policy has undergone a historic shift in the last decade. The aim of this thesis is to gain a deeper understanding of the role of research and researchers in Sweden’s migration policymaking process at a time of heightened politicization and policy change. Based on consensus, the Swedish policy process aims for informed decision making, drawing on research through governmental committees and research institutes. This mixed methods study utilizes a unique data set of 78 Swedish governmental committee reports that discuss migration and integration from 1980 to 2022. This quantitative data traces the number of committees and representation of researchers within these committees. Three expert interviews were conducted to address researchers’ perceived role in policymaking and how changes have impacted the use of research. This thesis employs Paul Sabatier’s Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), focusing on coalitions within the migration subsystem and viewing policy change as a change in values. The expert interviewees highlighted how most researchers hold liberal views on migration, striving for open policies. This thesis found that the influence of researchers was greater when their values aligned with the values of the majority coalition and that researchers’ role was minimal in the shift towards restrictive policies. As migration became a salient issue in Sweden in the 1990s, there was a clear peak in the number of governmental committees and percentages of researchers, indicating that researchers had influence in defining migration policy. These numbers continued relatively high until 2022, but with more significant gaps. Committee reports were increasingly published in the second or third year of the governmental cycle, allowing the reigning government to initiate the committee and to vote on the proposed legislation. As migration became politicized, legislation was expedited, leaving little time for researchers’ input and using research symbolically at best. This was especially evident in the dramatic migration policy changes following the refugee crisis in 2015. This thesis concludes that ACF is an underused theoretical framework for migration subsystems, as explaining the policy process and change through values and beliefs was relevant in the case of Swedish migration policy. The findings illustrate that politicization and shifts in values have limited the role and instrumental influence of researchers in migration policymaking. Nonetheless, Sweden’s committee system and organizations such as Delmi continue to provide a channel for researchers to inform policymaking.
  • Liu, Xuefei Christina (2020)
    There is a saying in the disaster management field that all disasters are inherently local. Regardless of where the support originates or which body governs the emergency management, relief efforts are conducted locally to support communities in the vicinity. It follows that local and indigenous knowledge should be at the core of all disaster relief methods as indigenous people have observed and learned from their lands for thousands of years. They have studied various attributes of their environments and have passed down intimate knowledge of their surroundings. It is curious and even irresponsible therefore, that the international disaster management field largely fails to recognize the benefits of indigenous knowledge. This thesis examines the formation of government and media perception of indigenous emergency management through a post-colonial lens, applying Edward Said’s theory of orientalism. Through a comparative content analysis of legislation from both Canada and New Zealand, government produced documents and news articles, it is evident that existing models of governance and unintentional legislative oppression facilitate the inherent structures that work to marginalize vulnerable communities and keep them vulnerable. These structures are rooted in each country’s colonialist foundation and fail to adequately provide for the countries’ indigenous populations.
  • Niskanen, Mika (2021)
    UNICEF Finland has an extraordinary habit. The organization replies or reacts to every comment they receive on Facebook. This thesis is a case study that examines the impact of UNICEF Finland’s dialogic communication style. The impact is examined through the concept of social media capital that is seen as the stock of social media-based faith-holders. Faith-holders refer to stakeholders who trust, like and support an organization. Social media capital can be acquired via communication actions that builds trust and increases frequency of contact. Social media capital can be directly expended or converted to other capitals, such as donations. Two methods were conducted: interview with UNICEF Finland’s digital producer Petteri Numminen and an online survey with 40 viable respondents. The interview aimed to distinguish how UNICEF Finland utilizes dialogic communications and for what reasons. The online survey was conducted to examine the commenting style’s impact on trust and behaviour among stakeholders. The survey included several multiple choice and open-ended questions and a Likert-scale with 20 items. The results imply that UNICEF Finland’s commenting tactic is linked to the acquisition of social media capital. The interview shows that UNICEF Finland utilizes a dialogic communication style to build social media capital among other objectives. Results of the online survey are remarkably positive: respondents indicate that UNICEF Finland’s commenting tactic builds trust, increases frequency of contact and encourages behaviour that is beneficial for the organization. The results need to be approached with some caution: the respondent group held highly positive approach to UNICEF Finland. Furthermore, the commenting tactic is only one part of UNICEF Finland’s presence on social media; it is difficult to understand or review its standalone role. This thesis adds to the literature by developing the concept of social media capital and investigating the impact of dialogic communication on organization’s stakeholders. The concept of social media capital is seen practical – it is highly recommended that the concept is developed and studied further.
  • Hämäläinen, Mari (2020)
    Contemporary social movement leadership is a debated topic among social movement scholars. The social movements that organize action partly on digital platforms are often considered as leaderless and horizontal. However, recent research has revealed power dynamics and informal leadership within these movements. The scope of this master’s thesis is to build understanding of this informal leadership that concerns different levels and layers in the online and offline contexts. As a case study, the master’s thesis examines the yellow vests movement in France and seeks to discover what kind of similarities and differences emerge when comparing the dynamics of the yellow vests movement to other contemporary social movements. The research method was digital media ethnography that enabled efficient tracing of the phenomenon in different digital media platforms. The fieldwork that lasted for over a year concentrated on key Facebook accounts and French and English digital news media. Three key events emerging from the social media accounts were analyzed more closely to understand the dynamics of the yellow vests movement. The research findings reveal informal leadership within the yellow vests movement in France. This result supports recent research concerning the dynamics of contemporary social movements. However, informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is visible and thus differs from the leadership of anonymous social media administrators. Visibility enables new personalized communication tactics that are applied to strengthen emotional togetherness in the movement. The informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is also distributed between key figures and other participants in the movement network, highlighting collective action. Based on the research observations, it can be argued that the structure of the yellow vests movement is not horizontal, but key figures of the movement operate as central points or hubs in the network. Thus, it can be argued that the contribution and determination of the prominent figures in different contexts lay the foundation for the longevity of the yellow vests movement in France. The results indicate that informal leadership cannot be ignored in the research of contemporary social movements. Based on the findings, it is suggested that future research should concentrate more closely on how informal leadership is channeled in various ways to achieve the goals of the movement.
  • Dande, Tichaona (2020)
    Militarised politics remains a single danger to democracy. Coups and military interventions accounts for 75% of global democratic failures and mark transitions to military rule. Against this background, this study investigates the unconstitutional November 2017 military-assisted political transition in Zimbabwe that resulted in the ouster of Mugabe from power to understand the ramifications of the succession process, outcomes and impacts on democratic governance. The study examines the inherent political conflicts between the military and civilian leaders where the military seek to secure dominant control in the political society despite constitutional obligations that the military remains apolitical. The principal objective of the thesis is to interrogate the growing decisive role and influence of the military in Zimbabwe’s contemporary politics. The study starts by critiquing the colonial historical aspects to understand the institutions that created the military dimensions. Mugabe shaped the governance political and electoral systems based on militarised colonial structures that further advanced his political monopoly instead of building effective political institutions based on the rule of law. Three broad research questions examined whether the military is undermining a democracy based political system in favour of authoritarianism, explores the domestic, regional and international factors that motivated the transition and the impacts and implications on democratic governance. The political transition and objective civilian control theories are deployed to expand the understanding of the complex military role in politics. In analysing the strategic interaction of authoritarian regimes and their opponents, the thesis noted that the military acted as a bureaucratic socio-political system rather than a professional institution in national politics. The findings concluded that military practices and actions in the distribution of power, intervention or meddling in internal domestic politics, governance and representation under authoritarian regimes has cross-cutting effects on the broader concept of democratic governance. There is substantial evidence that highlights that the military and political elites have remained leading actors in political life that sustains and maintains authoritarian structures. The thesis also observed that as an instrument of power transfer, the military establishment’s active participation strengthens the military as an autonomous political actor against Huntington’s objective civilian control, strengthening ZANU PF power retention to protect the institution’s strategic interests at the expense of national interests and human security, value systems, national progress and sustainable development. The empirical analysis reflects that militarized politics is a threat on democratic governance principles hence the need for ambitious institutional, political, legal and security sector reforms based on a model that strengthens human rights and guarantees the protection of civilian society from external threats and from the military institution itself.