Research by Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard

Research in management and collaboration across departments, functions, and teams in organizations

Why do we choose a particular direction or practice when many things indicate that another would make more sense?

My research focuses on social practice and how it is governed by dominant logics (in my research called Dominant Ideological Modes of Rationality). Dominant logics cause us to choose one particular practice over another, often without thinking much about it. Our choices typically have roots in our past actions, habits, education, functions, and competencies, hence we know the outcome of these actions. Both actions and outcomes are experienced as familiar and risk-free as they are well-known and involve no surprises. All in all, the implementation of well-known solutions provides an experience of control, and that in turn provides a sense of comfort and security. As a leader, manager, or employee, we know how to launch the strategy and in this way, we also demonstrate our ability to produce a particular outcome. However…

Old Solutions Rarely Match New Problems

The problem with old solutions is that they rarely match new problems.

When we reuse old solutions, we often – at best – reproduce the status quo and at worst we produce an even worse result than the previous.
Dominant logics as a driving force are about professional identity, power relations, and rationality. Together, they often become so strong that social practices are formed on the basis of them (Baunsgaard and Clegg 2012). Power relations must here be understood as both potentially positive and repressive; that is – both productive and repressive. Power in this sense refers to ‘an ability’ – ‘a way of mastering’ something. In this light, leadership and management are by definition power. In everyday spoken language, the word power is commonly used a little differently and with negative associations. Examples of productive power are mastering to convey something, having the ability to implement strategy, mastering to educate people, and so forth.

By becoming aware of dominant logics and their content, we can learn to navigate social relations and act appropriately in ways that serve people, organizations, and thereby society best. The theory and method of dominant logics are published in Organization Studies, which is ranked by the Financial Times as one of the most influential management journals in the world.

My first field of research is in general organizational studies, management, and leadership processes. More specifically, I have researched management processes and barriers to cross-functional collaboration. Digging even deeper, it concerns how dominant logics govern social practice, where logics arise through professional identity, power relations, and rationality. The theoretical framework of dominant logics is an analytical tool that comes from practical studies. Thus, with the understanding provided by this analytical tool, it is possible to diagnose an organization – and identify barriers to cross-functional integration as well as potentials for well-being, innovation, and growth.

The second field of research is Conscious Life Leadership. This area of interest was a necessary second step in order to provide answers as to – how do we teach leaders and managers to become great – and how do we create leadership development that teaches how to increase cross-departmental leadership and collaboration?

Conscious Life Leadership – the Solution to Cross-Functional Integration, Leading across Units and Departments, Collaboration and Cooperation across Units, Departments, Trades, and Professional Identity

While we can identify problems with management, leading across units towards a greater goal and purpose, cross-departmental collaboration, and thus collaboration across professions – there is a need for answers to – how do we solve the challenges these issues present? To cast light on this, I have in recent years delved into an in-depth study of how we as humans can get to know ourselves so well that we can lead both ourselves, others, and organizations to succeed with ease and elegance. It’s a new way of thinking, which I call Conscious Life Leadership. Conscious life leadership helps us to increase our level of awareness and our understanding and thus provides insights that – with the massive support of research – give us the solutions to overcoming barriers and challenges. So, for example – we may identify lack of communication, poor cross-departmental leadership, or close-mindedness in the creative process as barriers. This raises the question – how do we solve these problems? Without impact, nothing is accomplished.

List of Research Publications for Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard





  • Baunsgaard, Vibeke Vad (2011). Dominant Ideological Modes of Rationality: Cross-Functional Integration in the Process of Product Innovation. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur (Ph.D. Series; No. 18, 2011).


  • Baunsgaard, V.V.,  Cleg S.  ‘Managing in the Dark: The Micro-Politics of Cross-Functional Integration in SMEs Product Innovation Processes During Crisis’ (work in progress).


  • Baunsgaard, Vibeke Vad. A New Life: Conscious Life Leadership – The Path to Personal and Professional Success. (Book project in progress).


  • Baunsgaard, Vibeke Vad and Tyrone Pitsis: ‘Live-Affective and Cognitive-Reflective Modes of Intelligence: Influencers of Social Practice for Understanding Leadership Navigation Skills’ (work in progress ).


Further Publications by Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard






  • Baunsgaard, Vibeke Vad; Franziska Gunzel and Helle Neergaard. Danish Growth Houses: Report for the OECD. In: AN INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARKING ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC PROGRAMMES FOR HIGH-GROWTH FIRMS. Prepared by the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme in collaboration with the Danish Business Authority. LEED: OECD. The full report is available at PURE and an overview is provided by OECD.




©2024 Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard, PhD

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