Academic dissertation 23.4.2010: Ms. Seija Nykänen

Leadership and management in guidance and counselling networks: conceptions of actors. Moving towards leadership and management in networks?


Nykänen, S. University of Jyväskylä. Institute for Educational Research. Research Reports 25
ISSN 1455-447X, ISBN 978-951-39-3838-3 (printed version), ISBN 978-951-39-3839-0 (pdf)

Publication is available on the Internet (in Finnish) or

In this study, guidance and counselling are seen as services that are inclusive and promotes learning and life planning. In parallel and in conjunction with other networking support services, such as pupil and student welfare, it constitutes a set of networked services that are multiprofessional and multiadministrative.

The research task is to examine the management and leadership of cooperation between the guidance and counselling services available at different phases of the individual study path. The study, which takes a qualitative and phenomenography based approach, examines leadership and management as a multi-level phenomenon.

The research data were collected in nine focus group interviews conducted in five regional development networks. From 2004 to 2007 the regional networks took part in a Finnish National Board of Education project for the development of guidance and counselling. In the interviews conceptions of managing and leading guidance and counselling networks were collected from 61 people active in service delivery. The interviewees provide or manage multiprofessional and multiadministrative guidance and counselling services. The conceptions of the actors are significant in the development of management.

Conceptions of the management of guidance and counselling services crystallized into four dimensions. Leadership and management creates the following aspects of services: 1) structures: define the area of cooperation, map out the network with its actors and secure operational preconditions, such as resources. Leadership and management identifies and promotes services 2) processes in organizations and at their interfaces. The processes include strategic planning, cooperation, the formation, monitoring and evaluation of information; 3) personnel management enhances opportunities for cooperation, attends to the division of work and responsibility, know-how and coping. It is important that managers work at different levels of activity in multiprofessional and multiadministrative cooperation. Guidance and counselling professionals also take part in management according to the principles of shared management in networks; 4) Special questions on client service in management
were collected from the concepts provided by guidance and counselling actors, not from those of clients. According to the actors, services should be developed for all client groups. Attention should be paid to the accessibility and achievability of services for citizens outside training and work and at transitional phases on their study path.

Keywords: leadership and management, multiprofessionalism, multiadministration, multidisciplinarity, guidance and counselling service provision, study guidance and counselling, student guidance and counselling, pupil welfare, student welfare, study path, inclusion, network

Research Reports 25 (pdf)

Research Reports 025 Abstract, printable pdf