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  • Public defence: 2018-09-28 13:15 Filharmonin, Eskilstuna
    Talman, Lena
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Participation in everyday life for adults with profound intellectual (and multiple) disabilities2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Adults with profound intellectual (and multiple) disabilities need society’s support to live under “as normal circumstances” as possible. Support should be carried out in accordance with the Swedish disability policy vision of full participation in community and equality in living conditions.

    Aim: To highlight and problematise the conceptualisation of participation, and how participation is achieved in implementation plans and in everyday life for adults with profound intellectual (and multiple) disabilities living in a group home or in their own home with support from personal assistants.

    Method: Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to gain a deeper understanding of participation. In study I, 17 implementation plans were analysed. In study II, 27 social care managers and staff members were interviewed. In study III, 4 adults with profound intellectual (and multiple) disabilities living in a group home and their 13 staff members were observed.

    Results: Documentation of participation focused on self-care and community, social, and civic life. In interviews with staff members and managers, the results showed that participation is abstract and hard to handle. Participation for the adults was about doing or being present in general daily activities. The conditions needed for facilitating participation were the adults’ capabilities, staff members’ knowledge, and resources in the social division. Moreover, the adults were listened to, supported in expressing their views, and their views were taken into account. However, they were not involved in decision-making processes nor did they share the power and responsibility for decision-making.

    Conclusions: Participation for the adults is conditional, seldom involves decision-making processes, and is hardly ever connected to social contacts and leisure activities. In addition, attitudes about the adults’ capability present a barrier to participation. The social care division need to better enable and facilitate participation by changing the conditions as well as educating the staff around changing their attitudes about the adults’ capabilities. Managers and staff members need to have a shared understanding of what participation entails so that they all work in the same direction. Furthermore, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) can be used as a tool when drawing up individual plans so that the adults’ wishes and preferences are considered. Shier’s ladder of participation can be an instrument to increase participation in daily life for adults with PI(M)D.

    Keywords: everyday life, participation, profound intellectual and multiple disability, social care

  • Public defence: 2018-10-02 13:30 Gamma, Västerås
    Sljivo, Irfan
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Assurance Aware Contract-based Design for Safety-critical Systems2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Safety-critical systems are those systems whose malfunctioning can result in harm or loss of human life, or damage to property or the environment. Such systems usually need to comply with a domain-specific safety standard, which often require a safety case in form of an explained argument supported by evidence to show that the system is acceptably safe to operate in a given context. Developing safety-critical systems to comply with safety standards is a time-consuming and costly process. It can often be the case that the development of the safety case is more costly than the development of the system itself.

    Component-based development is a method that separates the development of the components of a system from the development of the system itself. The latter is done by composing reusable components that are developed independently of the system. Safety-critical systems require that the safety case of such components is integrated in the overall safety case of the system. For this purpose, the reusable components, together with their safety case, can be described via specifications called contracts. By checking the contracts of each component of the system against each other, it is possible to determine if the components can be composed together and still fulfil the contract specifications. Contract-based design combined with component-based development has the potential to reduce the cost and time needed to develop both the system and the accompanying safety case. Such contract-based design can then be used to facilitate reuse of parts of the system as well as verifying that the system fulfils certain requirements. While contract-based design can be used to verify that a system meets certain requirements based on its contract-specification, actually assuring that the system behaves according to the verification results require additional evidence. Hence, reuse of safety-relevant components via contract-based design is not sufficient without the reuse of the accompanying safety case artefacts, which include both the safety argument and the supporting evidence.

    In this thesis we focus on developing the notion of safety contracts that can be used to make a contract-based design aware of the needs of safety assurance. The goals of such assurance aware contract-based design are to promote reuse of the assurance-related artefacts such as arguments and evidence, as well as to automate creation of parts of the safety assurance case. To address this, we explore the following research goals in more detail: (1) to facilitate automated contract-driven assurance, (2) to facilitate reuse of safety-relevant components and their accompanying assurance-relevant artefacts, and (3) to align such assurance-aware contract-based design with existing failure logic analysis. To meet the first goal, we identify the additional information needed for contract-based assurance and structure it in form of argumentation patterns of reusable reasoning. Then, we define a meta-model to connect the system modelling elements related to the contracts with the safety case elements, such as evidence and arguments. Based on this meta-model, we define an algorithm for automated instantiation of the proposed argumentation patterns from system models compliant with the proposed meta-model. To facilitate reuse of the assurance-related artefacts (goal (2)), we define variability on the contract level to distinguish between contracts that are relevant for all systems and those that are system-specific. Furthermore, we align the assurance-aware contract-based design with the ISO 26262 automotive safety standard and its reuse concepts. Finally, in addressing the third goal, we connect the assurance-aware contract-based design with an existing failure logic analysis and show how such combination can be used to automate instantiation of existing argumentation patterns. In a number of real-world examples we demonstrate and evaluate the feasibility of our contributions.

  • Public defence: 2018-10-05 13:15 A407, Eskilstuna
    Sandberg, Karin
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Att lära av det förflutna: Yngre elevers förståelse för och motivering till skolämnet historia2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To learn from the past- younger pupils´ understanding of and motivation for history as a school subject

    When pupils take part in schools´ history teaching they encounter a school historical culture, which is a part of society’s historical culture. Historical culture is here defined as the specific and particular way in which a society relates to its past. How pupils understand and motivate history as a school subject is a part of how they perceive society’s historical culture. This study examines younger pupils' historical culture based on Jörn Rüsen's defined dimensions of historical culture, which are: cognitive, political, moral, religious and aesthetical. The aim of this study is to examine younger pupils’ historical culture and how they perceive the historical culture they encounter in history as a school subject. In the study, the pupils´ historical culture is defined as the pupils' definition, perception and understanding of history, and primarily, of history as a school subject.

    The results show that all of Rüsen's five dimensions of historical culture become visible in the pupils’ expressed historical culture, albeit to a different extent. Both the cognitive and moral dimensions become visible in the pupils' main motivation for and understanding of history as a school subject: that they should learn from the past. The pupils say that they can learn from the major events and of peoples’ mistakes and achievements in the past. The pupils also believe that they can learn from the past on a practical level. They also emphasis that they need to learn from the past in order to understand the society they live in since it builds on the past. The pupils also express that school history has an entertaining aspect. They mainly emphasise the exciting and dramatic events in the past. The pupil’s historical culture appears to be homogeneous and mainly based on the teaching they received in history as a school subject, but also with an imprint from a social history culture with an interest in, primarily, World War II.

    The pupils primarily identify with the historical culture they meet through education at school, and mean that the history conveyed to them at school is the same as they encounter in society. The different historical cultural identities the pupils acknowledged that they belonged to seem to overlap and complement one another. The pupils trust the representations of history they encounter both inside and outside school.

  • Public defence: 2018-10-12 09:15 Beta, Västerås
    Eklund, Caroline
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Development and evaluation of a web application for stress management: Supporting behaviour change in persons with work related stress2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Stress is the most common reason for sick leave in Sweden. Stress can lead to health-related problems such as burnout syndrome, depression, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease and pain. It is important to handle stress at an early stage before it could lead to health-related problems. The web enables to reach many persons at a low cost. Web-applications have proven to be effective regarding several health-related problems. However, adherence is often low and many of the available stress management-programs have not been based on evidence. The overall aim of the thesis was to develop and evaluate a fully automated, evidence-based web-application for stress management for persons experiencing work related stress. The thesis compiles of four studies. Study I contained the systematic development of the program in three phases. Phase one included the development of the program's theoretical framework and content, and phase two consisted of structuring the content and developing the platform to deliver the content from. The third phase consisted of coding the behaviour change supporting content, validation of the program among experts and testing it with one possible end-user. The result was an interactive web-application tailored to the individual's need for stress management supporting behaviour change in several ways; My Stress Control (MSC). In study I, MSC was also tested regarding how to proceed through the program. The results showed that the participants had trouble to reach the program’s end. In study II the feasibility of the coming RCT study procedure was investigated as well as how feasible MSC, the web-application, was to be applied in a larger study. 14 persons participated in study II. The findings proved the scientific study procedure feasible with minor changes, but some changes were required for the web-application to increase the chance for success in a larger, more costly study. In study III nine of the 14 persons that participated in study II were interviewed. The interviews aimed for a better understanding of how the participants experienced the program to further develop it. One theme was identified: Struggling with what I need when stress management is about me. It described an understanding for that stress management takes time and is complex but that it was difficult to find the time for working with it. In study IV, a randomized controlled trial, MSC was evaluated regarding its effect on stress. One group with access to MSC was compared to a wait-list group. 92 persons participated in study IV. The results showed that there were no significant between- or within group differences on perceived stress. A small effect size of MSC on perceived stress was shown between intervention- and wait-list groups, but adherence to the program was low.

    These studies support that a web-application based on the evidence within multiple fields may have effect on perceived stress. However, to handle stress on one’s own is complex and the paradox in having one more thing to do when already stressed contribute to a conflict on how to handle the task. How to facilitate adherence to the fully automated program should be further investigated in future studies.

    The full text will be freely available from 2018-09-28 08:00
  • Public defence: 2018-10-18 13:15 Beta, Västerås
    Jägemar, Marcus
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Utilizing Hardware Monitoring to Improve the Quality of Service and Performance of Industrial Systems2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The drastically increased use of information and communications technology has resulted in a growing demand for telecommunication network capacity. The demand for radically increased network capacity coincides with industrial cost-reductions due to an increasingly competitive telecommunication market. We have addressed the capacity and cost-reduction problems in three ways.

    Our first contribution is a method to support shorter development cycles for new functionality and more powerful hardware. We reduce the development time by replicating the hardware usage of production systems in our test environment. Having a realistic test environment allows us to run performance tests at early design phases and therefore reducing the overall system development time.

    Our second contribution is a method to improve the communication performance through selective and automatic message compression. The message compression functionality monitors transmissions continuously and selects the most efficient compression algorithm. The message compression functionality evaluates several parameters such as network congestion level, CPU usage, and message content. Our implementation extends the communication capacity of a legacy communication API running on Linux where it emulates a legacy real-time operating system.

    In our third an final contribution, we implement a process allocation and scheduling framework to allow higher system performance and quality of service. The framework continuously monitors selected processes and correlate their performance to hardware usage such as caches, floating point unit and similar. The framework uses the performance-hardware correlation to minimize shared hardware resource congestion by efficiently allocate processes on multi-core CPUs. We have also designed a shared hardware resource aware process scheduler that makes it possible for multiple processes to co-exist on a CPU without affecting the performance of each other through hardware resource congestions. The allocation and scheduling techniques can be used to consolidate several functions on shared hardware thus reducing the system cost. We have implemented and evaluated our process scheduler as a new scheduling class in Linux.

    We have conducted several case studies in an industrial environment and verified all contributions in the scope of a large telecommunication system manufactured by Ericsson.%We have deployed all techniques in a complicated industrial legacy system with minimal impact. We show that we can provide a cost-effective solution, which is an essential requirement for industrial systems.

    The full text will be freely available from 2018-09-27 08:00
  • Public defence: 2018-10-19 13:15 Delta, Västerås
    Ramsten, Camilla
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Participation through ICT: – studies of the use and access to ICT for young adults with intellectual disability2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The right to full participation in society is stated in law to ensure that vulnerable groups such as people with intellectual disability have the same rights and possibilities as the general population. Technological development has changed the conditions of participation in society, including the types of interactions, information and societal services. Many young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability require support in daily life. In Sweden, this is provided by the government, and each municipality is responsible for the provision of social care for people with disability. The changes in society and technology require that the providers of social care adopt technologies to enable participation.

         The overall aim of the thesis was to identify the prerequisites for and aspects that enable the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and their effects on participation in daily life among young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability (ID) resident in municipal disability services.

         Using a quantitative descriptive approach, this thesis starts by mapping the organizational support throughout the country. This is followed by three qualitative studies. Focus group interviews with staff in residential care were conducted and analysed in Study II (a narrative analysis) and Study III (a content analysis). These studies focused on staff perceptions of the use of ICT by these young adults and how staff’s way of work enabled or hindered ICT use by these young adults. Study IV included interviews of young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability living in municipal residential care about their daily ICT use.

         The thesis findings show that the municipal organizations lack a comprehensive strategy of support for the use of ICT and instead trust staff to provide the needed support to the young adults in daily life situations. Staff members described the difficulties they encountered when providing this support for ICT, which were partly because of the lack of organizational resources. Despite these perceived problems, staff members displayed enthusiasm about introducing and supporting ICT use for young adults with mild to moderate ID if adequate resources would be provided by the organization. They described both positive and negative aspects of ICT use by these young adults in relation to service provision and the young adults’ private lives.

    The full text will be freely available from 2018-09-28 08:00
  • Public defence: 2018-10-22 13:00 Filen, Eskilstuna
    Bozic, Nina
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Choreographing innovative practice in everyday work2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis argues for a humanistic and democratic approach to innovation management that puts employees and their engagement in the center of organizational efforts for innovation. It proposes that a culture for innovation can be built by enabling all employees to develop their innovative practice as part of their everyday work and not as an extra activity on top of their existing responsibilities. The aim of this approach to innovation is to build more human-centered organizations that help employees improve their own motivation, creativity, well-being, and self-fulfillment at work. This presupposes that they need to be able to connect with their body, feelings, fantasy, intuition, and will, and to be able to innovate more from within, balancing external expectations from management and users with their own personal needs. Since there is a lack of discussing embodied aspects of knowledge and learning in connection to innovative competence in the current innovation management literature, knowledge and methods from contemporary dance and choreography are explored to support a more holistic approach to innovative competence development. Based on integrating research from both innovation management and contemporary dance fields, a model of innovative practice in everyday work is developed. The model suggests what kind of skills and activities can enable employees develop their personal innovative practice that is adjusted to their work context and their specific needs. It is proposed that as employees practice innovating in everyday work, they will slowly move from innovating incrementally towards developing the competence for more radical innovation. Different practical tools and exercises for enabling innovative competence development that were inspired by choreographic practices, and adjusted and tested in organizational context are described. Ideas around how contemporary dance and choreography can be used to design and implement long-term art-based interventions in organizations that can create value on strategic level are proposed.  The research approach used in the thesis is participatory action research done by several iterative cycles between practice and theory. Two empirical and two theoretical studies that were part of the research process are presented. The empirical studies were implemented in the Eskilstuna municipality and at the Art of Management and Organization conference. The theoretical studies were performed in the fields of innovative competence and contemporary dance and choreography. 

  • Public defence: 2018-10-25 13:15 Filen, Eskilstuna
    Sjögren, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Towards a Learning Process for Ad hoc Engineering Change Teams2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering changes disrupt plans, can affect technical solutions negatively, and put project organisations under strain. However, engineering changes are a crucial part of the design process and a prerequisite in adapting to a dynamic project environment.

    Prior research has suggested the efficacy of the pre-emptive actions of reducing the number of, and front-loading, changes. However, pre-emptive measures to stop engineering changes from materialising are difficult to achieve if there are shortcomings in the project processes. Even with formal processes in place, they often fall by the wayside when changes occur, replaced by ad hoc practices. In such cases, when a change is raised, an ad hoc team of practitioners is formed to manage it. In the informal handling of the change that follows, practitioners tend to focus on risk aversion rather than weighing risks against the opportunities.

    To improve the performance of ad hoc teams in managing engineering changes, an organisational-learning approach has been developed. This research is based on the fields of both project- and engineering-change management and applies a multiple case study design with cases from product development and engineering-type projects. Research results are based on data from over 40 interviews with project managers and engineers as well as over 100 change requests, the contents of which were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The research methodologies both of soft systems and projects-as-practice were used to analyse results from qualitative data.

    This research further develops the concept of ad hoc teams in the context of engineering design, thus contributing to the field of strategic guidelines and organisational issues regarding engineering-change management. The strength of the suggested process lies in its capture both of the specific and the practical. It is specific in the sense that it focuses on issues related to emergent changes and its sibling initiated changes to raise awareness of their differences and how they relate to possible opportunities within changes. It is practical in that it acknowledges the importance of an active line-management organisation that supports project planning, execution, and development to sustain a culture of learning as it relates to the engineering-change management process, pre-, in- and post-change. Through a systems view, the process also incorporates change types and the concept of change carriers. Finally, the suggested process includes practical management guidelines for emergent changes and initiated changes. To that end, this research specifies a workshop structure to heighten practitioners’ awareness of their practices and praxis in handling engineering changes.