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Knowledge-Intensive Companies and Leadership - Two Empirical Case Studies
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Business, Economics and Design, Linnaeus School of Business and Economics.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The overall topics within the research are Human Capital and Leadership and my aim has been to examine two knowledge-intensive companies and scrutinize in what way these companies practise leadership. The purpose has among other things been to examine which challenges arises when manage/lead the employees within knowledge-intensive companies, how the knowledge-intensive companies can develop and retain their employees and which needs and requirements exists regarding leadership within these. The empirical data has been collected through interviews, both personal interviews and telephone interviews; therefore, I have interviewed one manager and seven employees from two knowledge-intensive companies. The companies which have been scrutinized are two knowledge-intensive companies; accordingly two case studies have been conducted. The thesis partly consists of two cases and these two companies will be presented within the appendix of the thesis. Besides, the introduction chapter, the methodology chapter, the chapter which is called the Frame of Reference and a conclusion chapter, a fourth chapter consists of the empirical study, analysis and renderings. The empirical study is presented in a flowing text connected with the analysis and renderings.


My aim has also been to study literature and theory regarding knowledge-intensive companies since knowledge-intensive companies constitute a major part of my study. Moreover, the organisational structure called adhocracy has been examined as Alvesson (1995) portray, that it is a characteristic of knowledge-intensive companies and which seems to play a big role for how leadership is executed within these. Knowledge Management, Human Resources Management, Human Capital Management, Talent Management and some criticism towards Talent Management are four concepts as well as one important part regarding critique towards one of the concepts that has been scrutinized. Why I have chosen to write about these concepts is because I think these are suitable for my study regarding knowledge-intensive companies and leadership. Another concept that has been examined is whether there is a new trend within leadership according to what some authors promote. I have examined the issue and I have made a comparison between my collected empirical material and the studied theory. A figure that I have used is the figure illustrated at page 18, by Alvesson (2000) and by implementing the figure a comprehension and illustration can be set forth based on where the examined knowledge-intensive companies turn out to be positioned.


A fifth chapter contains the conclusions and the empirical findings reveal that a knowledge-intensive company might encounter varying challenges as well as I state which leadership style is convenient within knowledge-intensive companies. The concepts of Knowledge Management, Human Resource Management, Human Capital Management and Talent Management are utilized within knowledge-intensive companies as the employees within these are rather autonomous. Social features as well as the outcome of knowledge-intensive companies are reflected, to sum up.         


Knowledge-intensive companies are considerable in our society today as Seo et al. (2011) explain. Thus, I think it is crucial for potential leaders as today’s leaders and managers to gain an insight in what way leadership is practised within knowledge-intensive companies as these companies are composed of or made up by an immense part Human Capital. I, as well as many other people, hold competencies in the form of for example experiences and education and although these are valuable resources for a company, especially for a knowledge-intensive company, these companies can never own this kind of resources. This is consequently a fundamental issue within companies. Hence, my thesis aim is to support people with deep knowledge and interesting aspects regarding the research question, consequently I have endeavoured at creating a valuable thesis which can be of significance for me and for others. I want individuals to gain a deep knowledge and thereby enhance their knowledge about knowledge-intensive companies and leadership within these by reading my thesis, as I have.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Knowledge-Intensive Companies, Leadership, Management, Human Capital, Knowledge Management, Human Resource Management, Human Capital Management and Talent Management
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-12665OAI: diva2:424093
Subject / course
Business Administration - Organization Leadership
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-16 Last updated: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved

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