Early-career and positive-deviant leaders in practice - A qualitative study of Sales Executives at CHG-MERIDIAN
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- Master of Science 
Given the general importance of leadership in today’s rapidly changing business world, our thesis aims to investigate early-career success in the framework of a case study at a company that operates in the sales and service sector. Utilizing qualitative research, we collected data through semi-structured interviews from seven Sales Executives at CHG-MERIDIAN who were recently promoted to a leadership position and are considered as positive deviant within the organization. By enriching the insights from the leaders with external and team perspectives, the research question: ‘What do early-career and positive-deviant leaders do that makes them successful?’ was approached from a multi-perspective view. We identify six relevant practices presented in the proposition of a conceptual model that shows the two main findings of our thesis. The first finding states that a strive for continuous improvement and a constant challenge of the status-quo are crucial for the success of early-career leaders. With initiative behavior and continuously evoking personal and team development, the leaders gain acceptance within the team and also contribute to overcoming their lack of experience through the pursuit of improvement. The second finding indicates that collaborating and building trust with and within the team is another major factor of success for leaders at an early stage of their career. Even though CHG-MERIDIAN is an organization that is driven by sales, which is known to be a competitive and goal-oriented landscape, we find that the investigated sample emphasizes collaborative and supportive practices, in order to achieve maximum potential, mutual benefit and development for themselves as well as for their subordinates.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Leadership and Change - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2020