Marianne Döös

Marianne Döös

Professor emerita

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Works at Department of Education
Telephone 08-16 31 59
Visiting address Frescativägen 54
Room 2418
Postal address Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Marianne Döös is Professor in Education and a researcher within Organisational Pedagogics at Stockholm University since 2008. Her research deals with the processes of experiential learning in contemporary work settings, on individual, collective and organisational levels. Topical issues concern interaction as carrier of competence in relations, shared and joint leadership, conditions for competence, organizational learning and change. Two research projects: Shared leadership - An alternative narrative, and Functionally shared leadership - A model for sustainable school leadership?.

Marianne Döös previously worked as a senior researcher at the National Institute for Working Life (Arbetslivsinstitutet), originally studying the aetiology of accidents within automated production in relation to organisational factors, human errors and actions. She has also served as a program manager at the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova) drawing up research calls within the areas of competence and leadership. She has been Adjunct Professor at Lund University, Department of Design Sciences.

Marianne Döös has authored and co-authored many articles and books. For full publication list see document below.

Current research projects are in the field of shared leadership between managers, currently we study shared school principalship in its varying forms.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Marianne Döös (et al.).

    This paper provides insight into the legislative process behind the current Education Act of Sweden. The aim is to shed light on how and why it came to prohibit joint leadership for principals. Joint leadership is a sub-form of shared leadership between managers characterised by complete formal authority, hierarchic equality and merged work tasks. The sharing of a principal’s position is, in previous research, identified as potentially favourable for principals and schools as it decreases principals’ often heavy workload. Five retrospective interviews were done with people involved in the legislative process. The analysis points out both distrust in the governing line and uninformed notions of leadership among legislators as explanations behind the prohibition. In the legislative work, joint leadership was at most a marginal issue. Thus the legal prohibition was an unintended side-effect, yet completely in line with traditional and uninformed notions of leadership. The principle of singularity ruled and joint leadership was extinguished for principals without considering whether this favoured or harmed the overarching aims of the Education Act: increased pedagogical responsibility and leadership with a focus on the students’ learning, results and democratic upbringing.

  • 2017. Marianne Döös (et al.). Leadership and Policy in Schools

    This paper presents a study of five schools with shared principalship. It contributes knowledge about how shared principalship is experienced by people who work closely (“close subordinates”) with the shared principalship constellations. Data consists of 20 semi-structured interviews. Close subordinates describe that the shared principalship meant a reasonable workload for their principals and welcome their level of accessibility. Confidence in the leader collaboration was heightened if close subordinates were able to witness that collaboration in action with their own eyes. The findings are discussed in relation to the conditions introduced by current school legislation in Sweden.

  • 2017. Marianne Döös, Helene Vinell, Mia von Knorring. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing

    Objective: To explore nurse manager experiences of working in leadership constellations where more than two managers share leadership, and to compare this multilateral sharing form to what is known about experiences of working in joint leadership in pairs.

    Design and setting: A qualitative design based on semi-structured interviews with nurse managers in two multilaterally shared leadership constellations at two intensive care units at an emergency hospital in Sweden. Data were analysed using a thematic and comparative approach.

    Findings: The comparative analysis identified four aspects that differ decisively from the positive picture in the literature on joint pair leadership: the perception of mandate with reduced decision-making power and reduced access to forums, the way of working with a strict division of tasks and a rotating schedule, a need to cope with the increasing number of internal relations and a feeling of doubt concerning trust.

    Conclusion: Shared leadership between nurse managers has gone from being a tight collaboration based on a feeling of “two-getherness”, to being an organisational solution multilateral in character. In this transformation, a weakening of leadership qualities has occurred. Further research is necessary on how this new organisational solution impacts the nurse managers, their staff and the care provided in healthcare organisations generally.

  • 2017. Marianne Döös (et al.). International Journal of Leadership in Education, 1-19

    A school principal’s workload is recognised as being heavy, with an imbalance between demands and resources. This paper contributes to the development of collective leadership. The principalship constellations of six schools in Sweden were studied with the aim of strengthening the current knowledge about structures and experiences of shared principalship. The empirical basis is qualitative data from interviews with principals and vice-principals. The analytical focus was on how the sharing structures were organised and how the shared principalship was experienced. The results point to a considerable variation in the organisational structures of shared principalship. Despite the type of model, form and constellation, the principals and vice-principals voiced a striking sense of relief in not feeling alone in their duties, as problems and troubles became manageable. An intensified interaction level in the principalship constellation created opportunities to develop competence. Theoretically, this study broadens the invited leadership concept to include horizontal invitations across unit boundaries between principals in different units within the same school. The knowledge contribution of this study is useful in discussing the legal possibilities for shared principalship, which may be especially relevant in times when the Swedish school system is being criticised for not delivering good student outcomes.

  • 2017. Lena Wilhelmson, Marianne Döös. Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige 22 (1-2), 101-123

    Syftet med denna artikel är att bidra till kunskapen om delat ledarskap mellan chefer och mer specifikt att belysa och diskutera delat rektorskap. Delat ledarskap mellan rektorer har i andra länder beskrivits som en lösning på rektorers trängda arbetssituation och höga arbetsbelastning. Teoretiska utgångspunkter är lärteori och teori om kollektiva ledarskapsformer. Kvalitativa data från rektorer, biträdande rektorer samt arbetslagsledare vid fem skolor med delat ledarskap är empirisk grund. Resultaten visar på värdet av att som rektor inte vara ensam med arbetsuppgifterna, problem blir hanterbara vilket ger en hälsosam trygghet. För skolor som var uppdelade i flera skolenheter tillkom svårigheter med visst dubbelarbete samt oklarhet angående skolan som helhet. Ett teoretiskt bidrag till kunskapen om delat ledarskap mellan chefer är förståelsen av invitering som horisontell över organisatoriska gränser. En kritisk granskning av dominerande föreställningar om organisation och ledarskap efterlyses i avsikt att ge skolor möjlighet att välja gemensamt ledarskap.

  • 2017. Marianne Döös (et al.).

    The sharing of a principal’s position by two people on equal footing is described as a way of decreasing an often heavy burden and as favourable to principals and schools. However, when Sweden’s current Education Act (2010:800) became operative in 2011, it wetblanketed the issue of shared principalship. The act states the principle of singularity in that there must be a person with the title of principal in each, so-called, school unit and that this principal must be one. Thereby the collaborative potential of joint principalship (i.e. complete cooperation, where formal hierarchic equality is in place and work tasks are merged) was extinguished. This paper aims to shed light on how and why this prohibition was introduced in the legislative process. The fact that the prohibition of joint principalship came into effect may be understood as a con­sequence of the length, forms of work, extent and political prestige of the legislative process; shared leadership was at most a marginal issue. In the cathedral-building project there was no intent to question traditional ideas about leadership. The important lines of argument concerned lack of trust in the way the municipalities organised their schools. Therefore, there was a wish for increased direct state control by going via the principals as the appointed responsible authority., This, together with the late invented school unit concept had unforeseen effects for the organising of the principal’s position. The principle of singularity ruled and a ban on joint leadership was the consequence – with­out consideration whether this favoured the overarching aim of the law: increased pedagogical re­sponsibility and leadership with a focus on the students’ learning, results and democratic upbringing.

  • 2016. Lena Wilhelmson, Marianne Döös.

    Dialogkompetens för utveckling i arbetsliv och samhälle är en introduktion för den som vill använda samtalet och dialogen i organisations- och samhällsutvecklande sammanhang. Att mötas genom att göra olika perspektiv synliga, att samtala om de faktiska arbetsuppgifterna och att hjälpa varandra att sätta in dessa i ett större sammanhang, att få överblick och se sin roll i helheten är exempel på vad dialogiska gruppsamtal kan användas till. Dialog kan användas för att utveckla och förändra olika verksamheter.

    Författarna Lena Wilhelmson och Marianne Döös tar upp begrepp, idéer och tankar om vad det innebär att samtala dialogiskt i grupp. De ger sin syn på hur det går till när människor – individuellt och gemensamt – lär genom erfarenhet och tar upp hur förändring av perspektiv kan ses som en drivkraft för lärande. Boken beskriver vad som menas med dialogkompetens och hur en sådan kan tränas upp. Här finns även praktiska råd för den som vill arrangera dialogiska gruppsamtal.

  • 2016. Lena Wilhelmson, Marianne Döös. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy 2 (1), 1-11

    The aim of this paper is to discuss the apparent loss of potential for enhancing democratic practice in schools.The findings of previous research about joint principalship stand in contrast to recent changes to the law thatregulates the work of principals. Three examples of successful joint principalship were used as illustrations toilluminate how joint principals may support democratic practice by influencing teachers and pupils. In theseexamples, several qualities of the ways of working and their consequent achievements emerged: thecoordinating process between the principals, productive sharing, role models, the importance of relationshipsand the focus on pedagogic issues. In each of the three examples, joint principalship was found to promotedemocratic practice by serving as a model of democratic cooperation. The conclusion is that the currentEducation Act weakens the possibility of achieving one of its own main goals the ‘democracy assignment’ by hindering the practice of joint principalship.

  • 2016. Marianne Döös, Lena Wilhelmson. Kollektivt lärande, 123-150

    Kapitlet presenterar en del av en större studie angående lärande över intra-organisatoriska gränser. I studien utvecklades tankar om organisatoriskt lärande i vardagens myller av interaktioner och rela­tioner samt om hur vågor av förändring sveper igenom och sätter ny färg på myllrandet. I såväl var­dagsmyller som förändringsvågor identifierade vi ett lärorienterat ledarskap som påverkar bland annat riktning och styrka. I den studerade organisationen, här kallad Ypsilon, arbetar cirka 5000 per­soner och verksamhetsuppgiften är att utveckla mjukvara för kommunikationssystem. Utveckling av mjukvara går där hand i hand med utveckling av ledarskap och arbetssätt för att verksamheten ska vara konkurrenskraftig. I detta kapitel ges orga­nisationspedagogisk belysning avseende mellan­chefers tankar och handlingar när de som en del i sitt vardagsarbete avsiktligt försöker påverka och därigenom förändra, såväl människors tanke- och arbetssätt som organisationens strukturer.

  • 2016. Lena Wilhelmson, Marianne Döös. Att leda mot skolans mål, 151-164

    Enligt vårt sätt att se tvingar man genom lagstiftning in en komplex verksamhet i artificiella ramar som begränsar möjligheterna till samarbete. Kravet på tydlighet handlade i lagstiftningsprocessen om att staten så att säga ville runda huvudmännen genom att rikta befogenheter direkt till rektorer respektive förskolechefer i stället för till huvudmännen (Örnberg 2016). Tydlighet antogs kunna åstadkommas genom att peka ut en (1) ansvarig. Kunskap om ledarskapsforskning lyser med sin frånvaro i intervjuer med personer som deltagit i lagstiftningsprocessen. Det är snarare oreflekterade ledarideal som lagstiftaren har utgått ifrån. En omprövning behövs enligt vår mening för att synliggöra alternativa vägar och möjligheter som betonar interaktion och samarbete i chefers ledarskap. Möjligheten att organisera själva chefsuppdraget annorlunda bör ges fortsatt uppmärksamhet genom forskning som bygger på erfarenheter bland chefer och medarbetare i dagens organisationer. Vi efterlyser att man, på statens styr- och kontrollnivåer, även reser frågor som har med nytänkande rörande chef- och ledarskap att göra samt frågor om hur förutsättningar kan skapas för organisationsutveckling och ansvarstagande samarbete. Spännande nydaningar bör tas till vara som seriöst utvecklingsarbete, gjort av erfarna och kunniga personer med både ambition och dokumenterad förmåga att leda en verksamhet som gynnar barns och ungas lärande och utveckling. Avslutningsvis reser vi två frågor: dels hur långt det är rimligt att juridiken styr vardagsarbetet i skolor och förskolor, dels vad det ställer för krav på kunskap i lagstiftande arbete.

Show all publications by Marianne Döös at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 27, 2019

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