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Browsing by Subject "Object-oriented Activity"

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  • Hiltunen, Riitta (2012)
    Goals. The main focus of my Master's thesis was to discuss knowledge management as a part of activity and learning in the networked and diverged business. The research sites composed of two companies operating in separate (packaging and energy) branches. Thus it was interesting to study what possible influences and consequences diverse branches, products (package and electric component) with their life cycle and production processes might have in knowledge management. The aim was also to comprehend similarities and differences in object of activity, knowledge management and network in order to see the possible impacts on the development of the company's operations and activities as well as learning of the personnel. Theoretical framework. The thesis is based on developmental work research which has its roots in cultural-historical activity theory. The core concept of the framework is object-oriented, culturally mediated activity. It is an approach which combines scientific study, practical development work and learning. Essential is the role of the object that motivates human activity and its development. The key notions, knowledge management and network, have been discussed in the light of economics and educational sciences. The concept of learning in the thesis rests on expansive learning and investigative learning. Methods. The data for my thesis was gathered in dialogical workshops which are based on the socio-technical theory and method called work conference. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used for the analysis of the data. Quantitative analysis was used to become familiar with the structure of the discussion in the workshops. The themes of research questions' - object of activity, knowledge management and network were analysed using qualitative analysis. The comparison of the two companies was carried out also by qualitative method. The thread of my analysis was to connect the findings into the production processes and the common object of the companies' activities. Results and Conclusions. The products of the researched companies proved to be technically demanding and competence-based items. The package is a separate product where as electric component is one part in an energy production entity. The life cycle of these products were different which meant that knowledge management related to them was diverse. The stress of knowledge management was in the phase of product design in both cases. The need of knowledge shrank when the package moved to the production phase. In case of the electric component the knowledge management was essential through the product life cycle since the development of the electric component continued also in the production phase. The customer's role as a knowledge producer is of paramount importance, also in case of knowledge held by the customer's other partners. External networks were stratified including the company's internal net, the external immediate net and the external remote net. Furthermore in the Electric company there was a bipolar internal net around which the knowledge management was intertwined. Expansion and deepening of network collaboration came up clearly as one way to improve knowledge management. Product and activity concepts showed also to be possible methods to develop networks and their knowledge management in order to support collaboration within network partners. The internal networks can be developed in a similar manner. The development of the concepts as co-development with network partners would make it possible to share competencies in order to contribute learning and expertise. The motives of learning would be embedded in the motives and interests of the common activity as the motives gears the learning actions.