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  • 1.
    Gherardi, Silvia
    Univ Trento, Trento, Italy.;Aalto Univ, Espoo, Finland..
    How the Turn to Practice may contribute to Working Life Studies2015In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 5, no 3A, p. 13-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Working life studies and practice-based studies have a common interest for work, and how work is accomplished in situated working conditions. The turn to practice may contribute to renew the study of work. The main concern of a practice-based approach to working practices is to understand the logic of the situation and the performance of action as practical knowledge, which connects working with organizing and knowing with practicing. The article will first illustrate the basic assumptions of an approach to working practices based on a post-humanist practice theory and second it will focus on a specific contribution from it. I shall argue that a practice approach to innovation as a continuous process contributes to a better understanding of how working practices change or persist. In fact, the study of work in situation is not only descriptive in its purpose, but it is also intended to yield practical outcomes for empowering practitioners in their attachment to practicing.

  • 2.
    Larsson, Robert
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Stier, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Åkerlind, Ingemar
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Sandmark, Hélène
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Implementing health-promoting leadership in municipal organizations: Managers' experiences with a leadership program2015In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 93-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to analyze how line and middle managers experience and describe barriers and enablers in the implementation of a health-promoting leadership program in municipal organizations. A qualitative case study design was applied to examine the leadership program in a case involving implementation of an organizational health intervention. Data were mainly collected using semi-structured interviews with line and middle managers participating in the leadership program. Interviews with senior managers, notes from meetings/workshops, and written action plans were used as complementary data. The interview data were analyzed using a thematic analysis, and the complementary data using a summative content analysis. The findings show that the interviewed line and middle managers experienced this leadership program as a new approach in leadership training because it is based primarily on employee participation. Involvement and commitment of the employees was considered a crucial enabler in the implementation of the leadership program. Other enablers identified include action plans with specific goals, earlier experiences of organizational change, and integration of the program content into regular routines and structures. The line and middle managers described several barriers in the implementation process, and they described various organizational conditions, such as high workload, lack of senior management support, politically initiated projects, and organizational change, as challenges that limited the opportunities to be drivers of change. Taken together, these barriers interfered with the leadership program and its implementation. The study contributes to the understanding of how organizational-level health interventions are implemented in public sector workplaces.

  • 3.
    Lindell, Eva
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.
    Crevani, Lucia
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Employers’ Relational Work on Social Media2022In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 63-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Given how social media are commonly used in contemporary Nordic countries, social media platforms are emerging as crucial for relational work between employers, employees, and potential employees. By means of a discursive psychology approach, this study investigates employers’ constructs of relational work on social media through the use of two interpretative repertoires: the repertoire of loss of control and the repertoire of ever-presence. The consequences of these interpretative repertoires are a masking of power relations, especially between employers and young employees in precarious labor market positions and those with limited digital knowledge or financial means. Further, the positioning of social media as part of a private sphere of life means the invasion of not only employees’, but also managers’ private time and persona. The result of this study hence calls for the need to understand relational work on social media as part of normative managerial work.

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  • 4.
    Persson, M.
    et al.
    Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Ferm, L.
    Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Redmalm, David
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Iversen, C.
    Department of Social Work, Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Working with Robotic Animals in Dementia Care: The Significance of Caregivers’ Competences2023In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 49-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Robotic animals are increasingly discussed as a solution to challenges connected to the aging population and limited resources in care. While previous research focuses on the robots’ effect on the patients’ well-being, there is a general lack of knowledge regarding the hands-on experience of caregivers’ use of robots. Therefore, the aim of the study is to explore the competences that caregivers draw upon when facilitating interaction between residents and robots. The study was conducted through ethnographic observations and interviews with caregivers at dementia care homes in Sweden. The notion of ‘competence’ is understood as knowledge about the ways of working and social norms that are valued within a community of practice, which members develop through engagement in the community. The findings show that caregivers’ use of robotic animals as caregiving tools rests on embodied, social, and ethical competences.

  • 5.
    Wihlman, Thomas
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Hoppe, Magnus
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Wihlman, Ulla
    Independent Researcher, Sweden.
    Sandmark, Helene
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Employee-driven Innovation in Welfare Services2014In: Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, E-ISSN 2245-0157, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 159-180Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a growing interest in both employee-driven innovation (EDI) and innovation in welfare services, but a lack of empirical studies addressing innovation from the employee perspective.

    Accordingly, this study was designed to contribute with well-grounded empirical knowledge, aiming

    to explore the barriers to and opportunities for participation in innovation experienced by employees of the Swedish welfare services. In order to reach the aim, a qualitative thematic analysis of

    27 semi-structured interviews with employees in four municipalities was performed.

    The study identified three main themes, with a great impact on the innovative performance of the studied organizations: support, including leadership and innovation processes; development, including creativity and learning; and organizational culture, which includes attitudes and communication, all essential ingredients in EDI. Experienced barriers for innovation were unclear or non-existing innovation processes with ambiguous goals, insufficient learning, and deficient organizational slack, thus creating a tension between day-to-day work and innovation and hindering reflection and exploration.

    Attitudes of colleagues and lack of communication were also barriers to implementing innovation, suggesting the need for better management support for a communicative and open culture.

    Opportunities were found, including commitment to innovation and willingness to try new ideas, but the employees must be given the mandate and sufficient time to develop the potential that emerges from continuous learning, time for reflection, and user dialogue. The conclusion was that incremental innovations existed, but the full potential of these did not benefit the entire organization due to inadequate communication and lack of innovation processes.

    The study improves our understanding of how employees regard their involvement in innovation.

    It also discusses how to make better use of employees’ resources in innovation processes andcontributes to important knowledge about EDI in the public sector. On the basis of our results, we suggest a model of EDI for use in practice.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Employee-driven Innovation in Welfare Services
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