Vuorovaikutteistuva kuntajohtaminen

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Simultaneous and intersecting flows and information feeds are encountered in the management of municipalities. This complexity is a societal feature that frames the entire public administration, particularly the context of municipal leadership. Complexity manifests as inconsistency, uncertainty, ambiguity and intertwined and layered networks of a management environment. It also occurs almost everywhere. Increased complexity in an operating and management environment is reflected in the development of municipal management. A changing society and its complex phenomena require a special leadership approach as a solution.

In consideration of the above-mentioned issues, this study examined the interactivity of municipal management in a stratifying complexity. On the basis of four sub-publications, this research was aimed at exploring how changes in an operating and management environment affect municipal management, especially from the perspective of leadership-related interactivity. This doctoral thesis also sought to shed light on how municipal leadership evinces the complexity of a municipal operational environment and how municipal leadership is constructed in complexity.

The results form a description of how municipal management is becoming increasingly interactive. That is, interactive municipal leadership is not limited to management carried out as administrative work but is also closely intertwined with political leadership. Changes in operating environments over the past decades have affected municipal management in many ways. The dissolution of municipal boundaries, the cooling of relations between the state and municipalities, the altered role of residents from participating community members to more demanding residents and the fragmentation of local politics have rendered the overall picture of management progressively complex. The disintegration of traditional power coalitions and the emerging single-issue movements, with their protest groups, challenge leadership and increase the unpredictability of politics, thereby also developing political leadership. Interaction is used to manage the fragmentation of operating environments and ensure unity and predictability.

Ever-transforming work relationships have replaced historical regimes and established partnerships, and cooperative alliances are now described by situationality. Municipal management appears, to a large extent, as a movement between these numerous interactive activities. The importance of managing different activities arises from the need to build trust and social capital, which seem to accumulate in an interactive and negotiating climate. Leadership is built on identifying a framework’s conditions, ensuring the suitability of operating methods and expectations and interpreting them appropriately.

Interactive municipal management shapes the image of leadership as an interactive agency in response to the challenges presented by a complex operating environment. Interactive municipal management is also defined by action as a supporter of dialogue between other parties. Influence is strengthened by supporting interaction between others, thus promoting the dissemination of information and highlighting the collective perspective in problem solving rather than focusing on the interests of individual or limited-interest groups. These outcomes pave the way for increased influence beyond a formal position. Leadership is regarded as a process of influence, in which this role is a continuous and repetitive building of leadership conditions. Multi-directional complexity has become an integral part of municipal management and has elevated interactional needs many times over. The use of interaction has become a key shaper of municipal leadership, both at the administrative and political levels.

The results of this study can be interpreted as a shift from managerial positions towards interactive leadership, which supports the concept of leadership as a collective activity in a network of many actors. Instead of a concentration on individual management actions, attention turns to social processes and interactive leadership. To achieve sufficient understanding, a collective interpretation of future directions, policy options and objectives must be carried out. Multi-functionality and processing lie at the heart of leadership. Under prevailing complexity, leadership takes place by shaping conditions for interaction. In a complex operating environment, a useful measure in addition to influence is the increased sharing of responsibility for utilising and managing different feeds. The role of leadership is to enable learning, creativity, support adaptability and knowledge sharing among those involved. The focus of municipal leadership is to act as an assembling force and coordinator instead of an individual performer.
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationTampere
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-2664-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (articles)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028

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