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Johan Hvenmark

Center for Civil Society Research




+46 76 636 51 31 


Adress: Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College
Box 11189, SE-100 61 Stockholm


Erstagatan 1N


Johan Hvenmark (PhD Business Administration) finished his undergraduate education at Södertörn University College in 2000 with a Master in Business administration. He also holds a Bachelor in Spanish.

He began his doctoral studies in 2001 at the Stockholm School of Economics after having worked as research assistant for almost a year. He presented his thesis in 2008 at the Stockholm School of Economics and the Center fro Organizational and Management Studies. The title of his thesis is ”Reconsidering Membership – a study of individual members’ affiliation with democratically governed federations”, and concludes as an organizational study that from a leader perspective problematizes the meaning of membership in a context of associations and national federations. In 2010 he received the Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award of Honorable Mention from the International Society for Third Sector Research for his dissertation.

With a backdrop in his dissertation and his longstanding interest for organizational and leadership issues related to the world of civil society organizations (CSOs), Johan received, in 2009, a larger post doc grant from the Bank of Sweden Tertiennary Fund.


Research and Teaching

Currently, Johan is involved in research that departs from a perspective of institutional change that affecting our conceptual perception of both civil society as a specific societal sphere and its more concrete empirical phenomena. This involves a particular focus on the relatively unexplored borderland between civil society and its organizations (CSOs) on one hand and corporations and the market on the other.

In this borderland it is possible to find e.g. all kinds of co-operations and fierce conflicts between private for-profit firms and CSOs. One may also encounter new organizational solutions in which competing structures, logics and activities are supposed to blend or to be re-assembled in sometimes new and innovative ways. Moreover, from arguments that CSOs e.g. needs to become more efficient or rational in their behavior or simply renew themselves it is also possible to come across tendencies through which both ideas and practices typical for the corporate world are promulgated and adopted by civil society actors. What ever happens in this borderland, it tend to almost always challenge both established theories and taken for granted “truths” regarding civil society and its organizations.

From this overall focus, I am today involved in several both Swedish and international research projects aiming at study e.g.:
• the change process often referred to as managerialism and the consequences it may produce within and among CSOs
• governance issues in relation to CSOs
• hybrid organizations or organizational bricolages, i.e. the mixing, balancing, and re-arrangement of more or less contradictory organizational forms, logics, and activities in either new or already existing organizations
• changing discourses and practices regarding core concepts and phenomena related to civil society, e.g. citizenship, membership, and voluntary work
• the development of management and leadership programs and courses both in Sweden and elsewhere

The teaching (both in- and outside academia) in which Johan currently is involved concerns above all CSO leaders and executives. Johan is also a frequently hired lecturer in relation to all kinds of organizational and leadership issues related to civil society and its organizations.

Apart from research, which he conducts part-time, Johan also holds a position as R&D Coordinator at the Swedish Sports Confederation.


Publications (selected)

Hvenmark, J. and Segnestam Larsson, O. (fortcoming) Part of or a Counter-Discourse to Managerialism? The best place and curricular content for civil society leadership and management education programs in Sweden, in A New Nordic Light in Scandinavian Civil Society? (working title), Wijkström, F. and Zimmer, A. (eds), Baden-Baden: Nomos

Hvenmark, J. and Wijkström, F. (forthcoming) The Red Cross, in Encyclopedia for Global Studies, Anheier, H. and Faessel, V. (eds.), London: SAGE.

Hvenmark, J. (2010) Members as Democratic Owners and Profitable Customers: on Changing Perceptions of Membership and the Commercialization of CSOs, in A Panacea for all Seasons? Civil Society and Governance in Europe, Freise, M.,
Pyykkönen, M., Vaidelytem E. (eds.), Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Hvenmark, J., In the Borderlands Between Business and Civil Society: On the Use of Management Models in Civil Society Organizations, presented at Governance of Civil Society Organizations, CNAM Paris, France, September 7-8 2009 and the 9th International Conference of the ISTR, Istanbul, Turkey, 7-10 July, 2010

Hvenmark, J and von Essen, J. A Civic Trinity in Transformation? Changing Patterns and Perspectives on Membership, Volunteering, and Citizenship in Swedish Civil Society, presented at the 9th International Conference of the ISTR, Istanbul, Turkey, 7-10 July, 2010

Hvenmark, J. (2008) Reconsidering Membership: A Study of Individual Members’ Formal Affiliation with Democratically Governed Federations, Stockholm: EFI, SSE

Hvenmark, J. & Wijkström, F. (2004) The Popular Movement Marinade – the Dominant Civil Society Framework in Sweden, SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration No 2004:18

Wijkström, F. & Hvenmark, J. (2002) Symbols Protecting Lives. On Emblems, symbols, and Ideology as well as the Local and Global Challenge to the Red Cross, in Identity, Trademarks, Logotypes and Symbols, Holger, L. & Holmberg I. (eds.), Stockholm: Swedish National Museum of Fine Arts and Raster Förlag

Hvenmark, J. (2001) Varför slocknar elden? Om utbrändhet bland mellanchefer i ideella organisationer (Why does the fire go out? On the burnout syndrome among middle managers in non-profit organizations), Stockholm: EFI, SSE

Höök, P., Gillberg N., Holgersson, C., Hvenmark J. & Lindgren M. Under Attack – Faculty’s Experience of Encouraging Critical Reflection in Business School Education, presented at 4th International Critical Management Studies Conference, University of Cambridge, UK, 4-6 July 2005

Hvenmark, J., Changing Structures of Thought: A Study of Employment Policy in the Swedish Red Cross 1989-1999, presented at the Nordic Network Conference in Oslo, Norway, 2000, ARNOVA, New Orleans, USA, 2000 and ANZTSR, Sydney, Australia, 2000


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