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  • 1.
    Döös, Marianne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Johansson, Peter
    Wilhelmson, Lena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Beyond being present: learning-oriented leadership in the daily work of middle managers2015In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 27, no 6, p. 408-425Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – In their daily work, managers influence the organisation’s learning conditions in ways that go beyond face-to-face interaction. Neither the influencer nor those influenced are necessarily aware that they are engaged in learning processes. This paper contributes to the understanding of learning-oriented leadership as being integrated in managers’ daily work. The particular focus is on managers’ efforts to change how work is carried out through indirect acts of influence.

    Design/methodology/approach – The research was part of a larger case study. The data set comprised interviews with nine middle managers about ways of working during a period of organisational change. A learning-theoretical analysis model was used to categorise managerial acts of influence. The key concept concerned pedagogic interventions.

    Findings – Two qualitatively different routes for indirect influence were identified concerning social and organisational structures: one aligning, that narrows organisational members’ discretion, and one freeing, that widens discretion. Alignment is built on fixed views of objectives and on control of their interpretation. The freeing of structures is built on confidence in emerging competence and involvement of others.

    Research limitations/implications – The study was limited to managers’ descriptions in a specific context. An issue for future research is to see whether the identified categories of learning-oriented leadership are found in other organisations.

    Practical implications – The learning-oriented leadership categories cover a repertoire of acts of influence that create different learning conditions. These may be significant for the creation of a learning-conducive environment.

    Originality/value – The study contributes an alternative way of thinking about how work conditions are influenced that impact on learning in organisations. Managerial work that creates conducive conditions for learning doesn't need to be a specific task. Learning-oriented elements are inherent in aspects of managerial work and managers’ daily tasks can be understood as expressions of different kinds of pedagogic intervention.

  • 2.
    Döös, Marianne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Wilhelmson, Lena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Collective learning: Interaction and a shared action arena2011In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 23, no 8, p. 487-500Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The paper argues for a theoretical contribution that deals with the detection of collective learning. The aim is to examine and clarify the genesis processes of collective learning. The empirical basis is a telecom context with task-driven networking across both internal and external organizational borders.

    Methodology/approach: The research draws upon an integration of organizational learning theory and a relational and contextual branch of experiential learning theory framed as organizational pedagogy. A case study of R&D work serves as the empirical foundation. Four teams were studied through interviews, focus groups, and observations. Data were analyzed in interplay between empirical findings and theoretical concepts.

    Findings: Collective learning does not only occur within the boundaries of well-defined groups where previously identified. Characterized by distributed work processes and rapid changes in the telecom context, collective learning is associated with individual distribution of tasks, insufficiency as a foundation, a question-and-answer space, and the imprints of others in a shared action arena.

    Research limitations/implications: Conclusions concern how collective learning can be comprehended. The paper points to the importance of interaction and a shared action arena. The way in which knowledge develops is, to some extent, context-dependent. This indicates that the characteristics of the shared action arena vary.

    Practical implications: Differentiating learning processes have a practical significance for organizations wanting to focus upon competence issues.

    Originality/value: This study identified the importance for collective learning of the presence of a shared action arena. The theoretical contribution fills a gap in the understanding of how collective learning arises when moving from face-to-face learning within local teams, to networking across both internal and external organizational borders. This contributes to the understanding of how the learning of individuals links with the learning of an organization.

  • 3.
    Falkenström, Erica
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
    Ohlsson, Jon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Höglund, Anna T.
    Developing ethical competence in healthcare management2016In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 17-32Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to explore what kind of ethical competence healthcare managers need in handling conflicts of interest (COI). The aim is also to highlight essential learning processes to develop healthcare managers’ ethical competence.

    Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative study was performed. Semi-structured interviews with ten Swedish healthcare managers from different care providers were carried out twice and analysed through step-wise categorisation.

    Findings: Four categories of COI were revealed and two ways (passive and active) in which COI were handled. Ethical guidelines did not help the healthcare managers to handle the COI, and none of the managers made use of any sort of systematic ethical analysis. However, certain ethical competence was of great importance to identify and handle COI, consisting of contextual understanding, rational emotions, some theoretical knowledge and a suitable language. Organising work so that ethical analysis can be carried out is of great importance, and top management needs to clearly express the importance of ethical competence and allocate resources to allow adequate learning processes.

  • 4.
    Lantz, Annika
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hansen, Niklas
    Antoni, Conny
    Participative work design in lean production: a strategy for dissolving the paradox between standardized work and team proactivity by stimulating team learning?2015In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 19-33Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore job design mechanisms that enhance team proactivity within a lean production system where autonomy is uttermost restricted. We propose and test a model where the team learning process of building shared meaning of work mediates the relationship between team participative decision-making, inter team relations and team proactive behaviour. Design/methodology/approach: The results are based on questionnaires to 417 employees within manufacturing industry (response rate 86 per cent) and managers’ ratings of team proactivity. The research model was tested by mediation analysis on aggregated data (56 teams). Findings: Team learning mediates the relationship between participative decision-making and inter team collaboration on team proactive behaviour. Input from stakeholders in the work flow and partaking in decisions about work, rather than autonomy in carrying out the work, enhance the teams’ proactivity through learning processes. Research limitations/implications: An investigation of the effects of different leadership styles and management policy on proactivity through team-learning processes might shed light on how leadership promotes proactivity, as results support the effects of team participative decision-making – reflecting management policy – on proactivity. Practical implications: Lean production stresses continuous improvements for enhancing efficiency, and such processes rely on individuals and teams that are proactive. Participation in forming the standardization of work is linked to managerial style, which can be changed and developed also within a lean concept. Based on our experiences of implementing the results in the production plant, we discuss what it takes to create and manage participative processes and close collaboration between teams on the shop floor, and other stakeholders such as production support, based on a shared understanding of the work and work processes. Social implications: Learning at the workplace is essential for long-term employability, and for job satisfaction and health. The lean concept is widely spread to both public bodies and enterprises, and it has been shown that it can be linked to increased stress and an increase in workload. Finding the potential for learning within lean production is essential for balancing the need of efficient production and employees’ health and well-being at work. Originality/value: Very few studies have investigated the paradox between lean and teamwork, yet many lean-inspired productions systems have teamwork as a pillar for enhancing effectiveness. A clear distinction between autonomy and participation contributes to the understanding of the links between job design, learning processes and team proactivity.

  • 5.
    Ohlsson, Jon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Team learning: collective reflection processes in teacher teams2013In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 25, no 5, p. 296-309Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to contribute to further studies of theoretical and conceptual understanding of teachers' team learning processes, with a main focus on team work, team atmosphere, and collective reflections. The empirical study was designed as a multi-case study in a research and development project. The case studies include three teacher teams from different schools. Data were collected through observations and in-depth interviews and analysed qualitatively. The main findings show that the teams differ with regard to collaboration and team atmosphere, and willingness to learn collectively. The analyses of talk at team meetings show the importance of collective reflection loops through which the teachers transform the contents of their conversations. A facilitating team atmosphere seems vitally important for the emrgence of the identified collective reflection loops. Collective reflections potentially increase team learning. Case study and conversation analyses which were mainly focused on verbal cpmmunication have certain limitations. A multi-case design and different methods for data collection were used to offset these presumed weaknesses. One of the purposes with the research and development approach was to support teachers' team learning processes. The findings provide insights and model of team learning with further practical implications for teacher teams. The findings show that a facilitating atmosphere support collective reflection loops, with potential to increase the team's collective competence. These findings provide valuable contributions to further conceptual understanding of team learning.

  • 6.
    Wilhelmson, Lena
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Moström Åberg, Marie
    Backström, Tomas
    Bengt, Köping Olsson
    Enabling transformative learning in the workplace: An educative research intervention.2015In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 219-238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to discuss the potential of an educative research intervention toinfluence the quality of the learning outcome in the workplace as interpreted from theperspectives of adult learning theory. The research project was designed as a quasiexperimental,mixed-methods study. In this article, quantitative survey data weretaken as the point of departure, and qualitative data were used for the purpose ofanalyzing aspects of learning. An educative research intervention may support a transformativelearning quality when the manager and employees have to deal with severedifficulties, and they succeed in doing so by sharing responsibilities and having thestrength to engage in the development process in the workplace. It is possible to supporttransformative learning in the workplace through an educative research interventionthat encourages managers to educate themselves and their employees to think and act innew ways, aiming at integrated autonomy, increased interaction, and learning.

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