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Det flexibla arbetets villkor - om självförvaltandets kompetens
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Self-governing competence for flexible work (English)
Abstract [en]

New conditions for work, involving demands for quick adjustment and increased flexibility, have underpinned a discourse of work-based and lifelong learning in which continuous competence development is often viewed as beneficial for both the organisation and the employees. These flexible work arrangements rely heavily on the individual’s capacity of organising and structuring her own work and performance, and the thesis addresses the question of the individual’s ability to adapt to and handle these flexible work conditions. The aim is to contribute to an understanding of the competencies required in flexible work settings, and the thesis asks two questions: (1) What characterises the work conditions in flexible forms of work? (2) How does the individual handle these flexible work settings in terms of competence? The theoretical frame of reference is constructivist and is contextually oriented. Empirical data emanates from two case studies. The first encompassing teleworking civil servants in a government authority and the other freelance reporters. Data collection included questionnaires, interviews and e-mail questions.

Results show that the flexible work settings in the case studies were relatively disintegrated and deregulated in the sense that the conditions were no longer lucid and well defined. It also appeared to open up a space for regulation of a more implicit kind. These conditions require a metacognitive competence characterised as a self-governing competence. This refers to the guiding, supervising function needed for the individual to be able to define, structure and discipline her own performance and, ultimately, her ability to manage and govern herself in a wider, functional sense. Thus, what seems to be characteristic for the flexible and delimited work conditions is that the preconditions of work do not appear in forms of an independent environment. Instead of formal directives and limitations, the regulation of work takes place to a large extent through implicit regulation processes, continuously negotiated in interaction between individuals and the environment. In conclusion it is argued that the flexible work conditions are characterised by intersubjective regulation processes, discursively and interactively constructed without perceptible coercion. The self-governing competence required involves transformation in terms of continuous learning as well as a development in terms of higher levels of cognitive complexity, integration and differentiation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: AlbaNova universitetscentrum (Tills m KTH) , 2004. , 179 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 127Arbetsliv i omvandling, ISSN 1404-8426 ; 2004:8
Keyword [sv]
kompetens, flexibilitet, lärande, arbetsvillkor
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-242ISBN: 91-7045-718-2OAI: diva2:191404
Public defence
2004-10-09, Philipssalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2004-09-14 Created: 2004-09-14Bibliographically approved

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