PhD thesis are rarely read. Especially business people seldom have time for academic masterpieces. The approach between academic and business people is different as is the purpose of the information. Academics want it broad and deep while business people want to keep it short and focused. Lately I have read several thesis and academic articles for my dissertation. In my blog I try to sum up and highlight some of the key aspects of these academic text s for the benefit of both academics and business people.
One of the best PhD thesis I have read so far is Mattias Nordqvist’s thesis “Understanding the role of ownership in strategizing”. The topic fits perfectly in my own research and Nordqvist has done a remarkable job in developing the theory and concept of ownership. This thesis is worth of reading for anyone interested in ownership.
In his abstract Nordqvist states that he sets out to investigate how ownership is channeled through different actors and arenas in the detailed work on strategic issues. The dissertation emanates from the increased interest in the role of visible and active long-term ownership in the strategic development of firms, an interest that grew out from the corporate governance movement starting over twenty years ago.
According to his abstract the strategizing perspective draws attention to the micro-level strategic work, e.g. who the actors involved are, as well as how, where and when they meet and interact in order to work on strategic issues. Adopting such a perspective in order to understand the role of ownership means to investigate how and why ownership is channeled in the social interaction between different actors on different arenas in the work on strategic issues. An important assumption that will be further developed in his dissertation is that ownership has not only legal and structural attributes, but is expressed and interpreted also in social and symbolic relations between individuals. This means that rather than studying only the role of owners as actors, he sees ownership as a social and symbolic phenomenon that is expressed and plays a role, i.e. is channeled, through different actors and arenas in the strategic work. In doing this, he draws on a symbolic interactionist framework and develop what he calls a socio-symbolic understanding of the role of ownership in strategizing, where he also uses inspiration from theories on psychological ownership.
In upcoming posts I will present some personally interesting parts of Nordqvist’s thesis. The full paper can be downloaded here for free.