A logotherapeutic work philosophy and using transformational leadership to establish it

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Pinni A building, Paavo Koli auditorium, address: Kanslerinrinne 1.


Doctoral defence of M.Sc. (Health Sciences) Anne-Katri Kemppainen

Logoterapia työfilosofiana ja transformatiivinen johtajuus sen juurruttajana :  Tapaustutkimus sosiaali- ja hoivapalvelualan organisaation palveluyksiköistä  (A logotherapeutic work philosophy and using transformational leadership to establish it: A case study on service units of a social care and nursing services organisation)

The field of science of the dissertation is Administrative Science.

The opponent is professor Esa Hyyryläinen (University of Vaasa). Professor Jari Stenvall acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is Finnish.

A logotherapeutic work philosophy and using transformational leadership to establish it

The aim of this study was to describe and understand logotherapy as a work philosophy and also the use of transformational leadership to establish this philosophy at elderly care service units with the help of supervisors, staff members and documents. The goal was to produce new knowledge on logotherapy as a work philosophy and on using transformational leadership to establish it at the service units. The background to this study is an educational and development project that focused on introducing a logotherapeutic work philosophy at the aforementioned units. This was a qualitative case study that was based on thematic and field interviews involving ten unit supervisors, field interviews involving twenty employees and also on organisational documents from between 2012 and 2014. The interviews and documents were analysed using content analysis.

The results show that transformational leadership manifests itself as  being interactive, positive and close to people. It supports and guides a  supervisor in the process of changing the work philosophy. The value-based point of view of a work philosophy opened new doors to humanity and to being humane in the roles of a supervisor and an employee. It raised the issue of how a work community does its job. It also helped create a better understanding of the clients’ individual needs and wishes. The employees in every unit experienced a transformation in their way of thinking and carrying out procedures. The combination of a work philosophy and transformational leadership can offer empowering elements to both one’s personal growth and to being a leader. Three units continued with the work philosophy on their own after the project had ended. However, there were a number of factors seen as challenging: understanding the principles of the work philosophy and applying it to the work of supervisors and those working together, the administrative nature of supervisory work, the readiness of the staff members to change and the organisation’s executives’ lack of participation. There was also a negative attitude towards the work philosophy.

This study provides a theoretical contribution that combines transformational leadership with logotherapy. It is seen as a clear vision of joint work. It is also seen as encouragement for making developments together and also for the ability to lead employees to self-fulfilment and self-determination. Furthermore, the ethical and moral aspects to supervisory work are within the scope of this vision. It includes the notion of the human ability to change and evolve, stressing that interaction is important.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2422, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2018. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1932, Tampere University Press 2018.

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