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Satu Teerikangas

In this chapter, I explore middle managers as agents and recipients of change, when they face radical organizational change. My focus is on one of the most enduring and impactful radical changes shaping organizations: mergers and acquisitions (M & A). The aim of the chapter is to capture the characteristics of middle managers, who faced amidst radical organizational change, as in cross-border M & A, not only having to personally thrive amidst this change, but moreover, to act as the driving force of this change. The middle managerial challenge is embedded in this double-hatting – simultaneously delivering, whilst personally living through the same change. This leads me to argue that a middle manager’s development toward global leadership that makes a difference depends on one’s ability to personally undergo and lead such changes, when and where they arise. This requires learning to both implement change and to personally make sense of change. Going forward, the chapter calls for academic, pedagogic and practitioner interest in (1) change as an inherent feature of today’s workplace, (2) the role of middle managers in organizations and (3) the “inner world of change”, i.e., the personal experience of making sense of change and remaining resilient amidst change.

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Satu Teerikangas and Liisa Välikangas

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Satu Teerikangas and Liisa Välikangas

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Satu Teerikangas, Marja Turunen and Liisa Välikangas

This chapter explores the resourcing of intuition. While studying work engagement, we serendipitously captured intuition in flight. This leads us to argue that intuition occurs in a rhythmic dance consisting of high-engagement edges balanced against lower-engagement retreats. Intuition can be resourced by the self, engaging colleagues, managers, work contexts, and physical spaces. Our empirically derived model of intuiting-as-practice offers opportunities for resourcing intuition in organizations. Set amidst increasingly demanding work contexts, is intuitive engagement the intelligence of the future?

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Satu Teerikangas, Katariina Koistinen, Tiina Onkila and Marileena Mäkelä

This chapter synthesizes the findings on sustainability agency gathered across the handbook’s chapters. Each of the handbook’s chapters reviewed a particular type or angle to sustainability agency, within a discipline or literature, often crossing disciplines. In this synthesis chapter, based on a meta-review of the handbook’s chapters, we integrate the findings from across the handbook, thus offering an integrative perspective on sustainability agency. This chapter starts with a methods-based overview of the review approaches adopted across the handbook’s chapters, alongside methods-related future research directions. The second section offers a meta-review of the handbook’s chapters as regards the concepts of sustainability, agency, and sustainability agency, alongside the chapters’ theoretical underpinnings. This meta-review leads us to define sustainability agency and to identify its characteristics and paradoxical nature. In the third section, we discuss research gaps and offer directions for future research on sustainability agency. Section four concludes the handbook.

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Edited by Satu Teerikangas, Tiina Onkila, Katariina Koistinen and Marileena Mäkelä

This innovative Research Handbook answers crucial questions about how individuals and organisations can make a difference towards sustainability. Offering an integrative perspective on sustainability agency, it reviews individual, active, organisational and relational forms of sustainability agency, demonstrating the capacity of individuals and organisations to act toward sustainable futures.
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Satu Teerikangas, Katariina Koistinen, Tiina Onkila and Marileena Mäkelä

If sustainability transitions are to succeed, the role of actors, i.e. agency, is critical. This research handbook reviews prior academic research on sustainability agency across disciplines in view to developing an integrative perspective on sustainability agency. This introductory chapter starts by theoretically motivating the question of why an interdisciplinary review-based handbook on sustainability agency is needed. In a second section, the concepts of sustainability and agency are introduced. As regards sustainability, the focus is on the origins of the concept, its dimensions, the United Nations Development Goals and sustainability in organizational contexts. Our overview on the study of agency builds on sociology, social cognitive psychology, and management studies. The final section reviews the handbook’s 25 chapters, as structured into five themes (1) individual agency, (2) active agency, (3) relational agency, (4) governance, and (5) the synthesis section titled sustainability agency, offering a meta-review and integration of the handbook’s findings and future research directions.