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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Arelia E. Gudmundsdottir and Svala Gudmundsdottir

This paper aims to present the case of Jón Gnarr's leadership as he served as a mayor of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. The authors’ view is that his leadership style…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the case of Jón Gnarr's leadership as he served as a mayor of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. The authors’ view is that his leadership style illustrates a case study of how a “new” leadership style can emerge in times of crisis. Iceland was significantly affected by the financial crisis in 2008, which led to political and economic crises, which were fuelled by the public's anger and lack of trust. In 2010, Jón Gnarr and his new party, the Best Party, were unexpectedly elected. Before he became known as an unorthodox leader, he worked as a comedian. However, he influenced the discourse in politics in the country and raised trust in the system again while empowering the public managers and simplifying the system while downsizing it. This paper explores and sheds light on the leadership abilities that crises can birth.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses qualitative methods. Seven in-depth interviews were conducted, and the interviewees included Jón Gnarr, three key political leaders who were in office at that time and three executive-level leaders from the city administration.

Findings

Evidence suggests that Jón Gnarr and his political party became a part of the political arena due to extreme social and economic factors, which might indicate the factors that can give rise to an unorthodox leader. At the same time, the research portrays the image of a leader that closely matches the theories of authentic leadership, and his leadership style at the time made a lasting impact. When Gnarr stepped into the role of mayor of Reykjavík, he used novel tactics. His political discourse was different; his manner with the public as well as within the system was different. When he became mayor, he demonstrated trust, respect and care as his underlying values. His unorthodox political behaviour appears to have empowered public officials. Thus, gradually, he inspired his followers to change their own communication style. He also addressed traditional political issues such as downsizing, mergers and financial undertakings.

Research limitations/implications

Its limitation is that it is difficult to generalize based on one case.

Practical implications

The case can shed a light on how unorthodox leadership style can unlock the potential of empowering and trust in a traditional political system. Leaders who dare to be different can raise awareness of those who work within the system as well as the public.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the understanding of authentic and unconventional leadership as an efficient vehicle in unusual circumstances in a public leadership position.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2019

Svala Gudmundsdottir, Thorhallur Orn Gudlaugsson and Gylfi Dalmann Adalsteinsson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between adjustment, social support and satisfaction with life for expatriate spouses. The sample consists of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between adjustment, social support and satisfaction with life for expatriate spouses. The sample consists of European diplomatic spouses, residing all over the world.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study. The sample consists of European diplomatic spouses, residing all over the world. The sample consists of 268 participants: 231 females and 44 males.

Findings

The findings of this study reveal that there was a significant relationship between adjustment and emotional and instrumental support as well as satisfaction with life. Furthermore, a multiple regression was performed to predict the level of satisfaction with life. Both adjustment and emotional support were statistically significant and they explained nearly 50 percent of the variability in participant’s satisfaction with life.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the paper include, for example, method bias, language and geographic location.

Practical implications

Foreign Ministries within the European Union (EU) will be in a better position to improve their expatriate programs and policies. Furthermore, this study indicated that the well-being of diplomatic spouses can be enhanced by considering how social support is provided, the level of adjustment and satisfaction with life.

Social implications

This study highlights the importance for diplomatic spouses to belonging to various groups, and group membership serves as a means to gain access to social networks. Therefore, being part of support groups of other expatriate spouses can aid cross-cultural adjustment.

Originality/value

Little is known about diplomatic spouses. This paper will be an important first step in examining the relationship between adjustment, social support and satisfaction with life for the spouses of diplomats working for the Foreign Ministries within the EU and European Economic Area.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 April 2019

Jan Selmer

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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