The potential and challenges of the new working model for part-time careers.

Modern Working Environment with Topsharing


Traditional working models are undergoing significant transformation in our rapidly evolving digital landscape. The new working model Topsharing is a collaborative way, where two or more individuals share the responsibilities and leadership of one management position. This model aims to create a more balanced workload, bring diverse perspectives, and promote diversity and inclusivity. But working part-time in a management position also poses challenges. While analyzing three successful Topsharing models, this exploration elaborates on the best practices and essential factors for organizations to implement Topsharing roles holistically and agile for long-term success.


A new paradigm in leadership is crucial for attracting talents, meeting the demands of the future workplace, and fostering inclusivity and diversity, while enabling everyone to advance in their careers. However, existing studies on Topsharing have predominantly focused on individuals and collaboration, overlooking the holistic perspective. This research seeks to bridge this gap by considering the viewpoints and needs of all stakeholders involved. By adopting a comprehensive approach, a deeper understanding of the wider implications and potential benefits of implementing Topsharing can be achieved.


The study revealed that company strategy and acceptance are pivotal in fostering Topsharing. Enhanced visibility, starting from the recruitment phase and explicit support from the management, leads to increased adoption of Topsharing. Organizational benefits like work-life balance and working part-time are significant factors for individuals entering Topsharing arrangements. Conversely, intrinsic motivators like shared responsibility and support are vital drivers for individuals staying in Topsharing. To successfully implement Topsharing, companies must define its purpose, develop a suitable strategy, and consider the interests of all stakeholders. Clear responsibilities, continuous adjustment, analysis of results, and leveraging the strategy are essential for demonstrating benefits and addressing drawbacks.

Implication for practitioners

  • Find the “Why”: Understand why and how you want to introduce Topsharing. Define its clear purpose to ensure added value and alignment with the existing culture.
  • Choose the suitable model: Establish a clear strategy for implementing Topsharing. Determine acceptable FTE overlap, job posting methods, community-building, and generate awareness.
  • Start with a pilot: Swiftly initiate Topsharing, learn, and adapt. Showcase successful examples to demonstrate all its benefits. Experience often reveals advantages beyond initial organizational reasons, encouraging wider adoption.
  • Provide ongoing support: Address compatibility challenges by supporting and guiding the Topsharing duo. Make necessary adjustments and ensure clear expectations. Seek advice, share experiences, and learn from others.
  • Share success and raise awareness: Highlight successful Topsharing examples to counterbalance attention on dissolved duos. Promote awareness by management, publicizing the topic, and encouraging part-time applications.


For the study, qualitative research was conducted using purposive sampling. Three organizations within a similar environment that had successfully implemented Topsharing positions were selected. Each case involved 3-5 semi-structured interviews to capture a comprehensive view of the experiences and statements of all stakeholders involved, such as employers, employees, subordinate employees, management, and families. The collected data was analyzed using MAXQDA through thematic analysis and an elaborated coding system to identify patterns and relationships within the data. To ensure the validity of the study, the results from the data analysis were further discussed with a subject expert in the field.