Breaking with the past.Team leaders’ approaches on leadership, maintaining organizational culture and hybridity
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As the beginning of a new decade began, the world experienced a global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to unforeseen changed within our daily lives such as social distancing and travel restrictions. However, organisations also had to adapt to new ways of doing work overnight. Thus, the purpose of this study is to investigate team leaders’ approaches to leadership, maintaining organisational culture during the pandemic and future perspectives on adapting to a hybrid workplace. The study adapted a mixed method approach for collecting data from the chosen sample of six team leaders from two Norwegian companies. A revised version of Bass and Avolio’s (1992) multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ) was used to determine the leader’s leadership style. The results from the survey allowed me to create the semi-structured interview guide, where more in-depth questions tackled the three research areas within this study. The results of the MLQ suggest that leaders align more towards of having a transformational leadership style, with some elements from transactional leadership behaviours. As for the results from the interviews, it can be suggested that the leaders experienced some challenges with regards to their leadership approaches some of them where: maintaining informal communication and accommodating to everyone’s needs. There has been little evidence from the responses that the leaders have experienced cultural change during the pandemic. However, what could be highlighted is that role-modelling and strong organisational cultural practices contribute to maintaining the overall cultural environment of the organisation. Lastly, the team leaders are open for breaking with the past by re-inventing better workplace practices, such as giving more work flexibility to their employees. The finding can help organisations to take actions where it is most needed when it comes to dealing with one of the three concepts outlined in the study and thus, contribute to the overall success and well-being of the organisation.