Complexity, interdisciplinary dialectics and collaborative leadership in team formation and project initiation (MBA)

Traditional theories of leadership emphasize the particular actions of an individual in a leadership position as a monolithic, ‘particular’ or elevated to greater strategic oversight, splitting the idea of agency into binary currents of leader and followers. This case study investigating the initial two months of a research project in the higher education sector analyses processes of project initiation and team formation in interaction with project management discourses from three alternative perspectives to account for the complexities of interaction within systems and sub-systems of teams.

Utilising Driver’s (2012) application of Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory of ‘fundamental lack’ to deconstruct the monolithic concept of ‘leadership’, the analysis shifts from binary relationship to Raelin’s (2014) adaptation of Hegel’s phenomenology of intersubjectivity as applied to an idea of relational, collaborative, pluralist leadership. Accounting for the non-linear, dynamic nature of team interactions and idea generation and implementation, the third component of the analysis focuses on Stacey’s (2007) and Mittleton-Kelly’s (2003) theories of complex adaptive and complex co-evolving systems in organisations, looking at a move away from the strategic choice approach towards states of bounded instability as a source of emergent multi-agent innovation and creativity. This theoretical positioning is paired with a brief analysis of Granovetter’s (1970), Freeman’s (1977) theories on network composition regarding weak ties, bridges and the role of centrality, and is applied to the core team relations. 

‘Re-presentations: discourses of nation, historicity and normalisation surrounding David Chipperfield's and Julian Harrap's restoration of the Neues Museum, Berlin.’ (MPhil)

Despite a comprehensive amount of research conducted into the historical background, and museological and architectural aspects of the Museumsinsel and the Neues Museum, no academic account of the recent developments of the Museumsinsel, in particular the restoration of the Neues Museum, exists. However, as the Neues Museum appears as a public building of Prussian heritage with continuing importance for representations of the past in the public domain, the discourses evident in both restoration practice and the ensuing public controversies surrounding these can provide valuable insight into contemporary issues regarding German national self-understanding.

This is particularly viable with regard to notions of 'normalisation' of Germany's past in its public discourses during the past two decades, as well as the particular status of Central Berlin in relation to critical representations of its layers of history. Through an examination of the parameters of its historical context, the practices employed by authorities and architects, and the discourses of the controversies surrounding the restoration, notions of official critical positions towards representations of the pasts inscribed in the Neues Museum's historical fabric, and the more nostalgic historicist tendencies in the public sphere become apparent, allowing valuable insight into perspectives on German histories and their contemporary representation.

Discourses of citizenship and democracy in European Union political communication. A case study of Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate.

Subject of research of this dissertation is the European Commission’s Plan D campaign following the rejection of the constitution in the 2005 European referendums (Spain, France, Netherlands, Luxembourg), with focus on the core policy documents, outreach events practices, and the online initiative Debate! Forum. Through Critical Discourse Analysis, it was possible to analyse an aspect of communication between a political organisation and a selection of citizens to explore the wider context of contemporary meanings of citizenship, democracy and ‘Europeaness’, and gain a deeper understanding of the opposing discourses and problems of political communication and the formation of European and national identities in Europe today.