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New report: Towards a model for value based matrix leadership


New report: Towards a model for value based matrix leadership

Coordination between departments within local government and between different administrative levels is a bottleneck for social housing efforts. This report takes the need for coordination of such efforts as a starting point. Based on experience from several social housing research and development projects, we reflect upon leadership of social housing efforts within local government.

We chose leadership as our topic, because knowledge about management and leadership of matrix organisations within local government is not well developed. Our experiences show that there is a need for more knowledge about leadership in this kind of organisation. We therefore present a starting point for what we call value based matrix leadership of local government. By matrix leadership, we mean coordinating efforts across formal structures of the organisation. Because of lack of supporting formal structures matrix leadership is, in our opinion, dependent on building a common set of values - thus the name value based matrix leadership.

To develop a common set of values within local government there has to be a common understanding of what social housing efforts are and what role different departments and employees have in such work. This understanding has to be entrenched in the administration, with politicians and with people connected to social housing outside local government. In value based matrix leadership, work is directed towards common goals by: 1. A set of common values 2. Formal structures 3. Solving problems. The reason for choosing these three elements is that our experience show that:

  • A common set of values is fundamental to solve challenges connected to social housing efforts
  • A degree of formal structure is necessary to coordinate efforts
  • If you solve definite challenges it brings the work forward and also gives support for social housing efforts in the organization

In this report, we discuss elements that are important for value based matrix leadership and end up with questions to whom the matrix leaders should take a stance. We argue that through this, we point at important elements connected to matrix leadership of social housing efforts in local government. We, however, do not see the list of questions as exhaustive in any way, but we argue that some of the points made may well be applied in other contexts and for other purposes such as public health issues, for instance.

The complete report is available in Norwegian only.