Preconditions for Integrated Planning - a study of coordnination, trust, and power distance in Petrobras
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This master’s thesis seeks to explore the concepts of the coordination, trust and power distance situation within one unit in the energy company Petrobras, and how these factors affect the implementation of Integrated Planning (IPL). The general research question is what the possibilities and limitations for IPL are in light of coordination, trust and power distance. The data was gathered through observation and interviews with ten informants inside the company. Coordination, trust and power distance provide the conceptual framework, and the material is discussed and analyzed with the intention of finding the possibilities for, and limitations of the implementation of IPL when these are considered. The analysis shows that there are differences in coordination, trust and power distance within the company, and that these influence the potential for successful implementation of IPL in different ways. Trust and power distance takes place within a national cultural context, which sets the frame for how it degenerates (Svendsen & Svendsen, 2006, House et al, 2004), which has been discussed as part of this study. The use of a coordination mechanism that involves supervision and monitoring of the employees is related to a low level of trust and a high level of power distance. This limits the possibilities for the implementation of IPL. Examples of the opposite situation are also prevalent within Petrobras. The use of a coordination mechanism that involves informal communication and collaboration is related to a high level of trust and a low level of power distance. This improves the likelihood of the successful promotion and implementation of IPL. My conclusion is that there as there are significant variations in coordination, trust and power distance within the unit that was studied. These are challenges that will increase the difficulty employees face in developing a common understanding of the processes and overall goals of the company. These are challenges related to the organizational culture of Petrobras that may prevent efficient implementation of IPL. The company could benefit from increasing the use of autonomous coordination mechanisms and pursue a high level of trust and a low level of power distance in order to achieve a successful implementation of IPL.