Skip to main content
Login | Suomeksi | På svenska | In English

Browsing by Subject "zone of proximal development"

Sort by: Order: Results:

  • Yu, Zhifeng (2015)
    Objectives. Cleantech, as an emerging new industry, its development involves the influences from various aspects. As a small to medium-sized cleantech company, the activity in China can be very challenge to study holistically. This research is aimed to provide a holistic view of the challenges and possibilities of a small to medium-size cleantech company's activity in China from the expansive learning perspectives. The purpose of this research is threefold. Firstly, it analyzes the object and network to uncover the three historical phases of GreenStream's long trajectory leaning process. Secondly, it analyzes learning actions and contradictions to uncover the driving forces of development and the expansiveness of the activity. Thirdly, based on the historical analysis an analysis of expansive learning cycles is made, with the purpose to sketch the zone of proximal development across the learning cycles and address the future possibilities and challenges. Methods. The research case Company is GreenStream, a small to medium-sized Finnish cleantech company in China. 8 Interviewees were chose from the different parties involved in its China activity. 4 of the interviewees from the case company GreenStream, 1 interviewee from its Chinese partner, and 3 interviewees from the third parties. The data is firstly analyzed by the historical analysis, namely analysis of object of activity system and analysis of network, following the analysis of expansive learning cycles, namely analysis of learning steps and analysis of learning actions and analysis of developmental contradictions. The zone of proximal development is sketched based on the historical analysis and analysis of expansive learning cycles. Results and conclusions. Interesting findings emerge through the systematic analysis. Three historical analyses reveals the object and network transformed in 3 phases. The object has transformed in 3 historical phases with the unchanged main motivation, the evolving economic imperative, and other emerging forces from different element of the activity. The partnership activity emerged and consolidated with the network development. Object formation and network development thus form the criteria to divide the 3 historical phases from "Small Spark in China", to " Great Success in China" and then to "Standing on Two Feet in China". Analysis of expansive learning cycles reveals that the 3 historical phases contours 3 expansive learning cycles. The first learning cycle was disrupted, the second learning cycle completed and expanded, and the third learning cycle is under development. Each learning cycle has its own character, and within each learning cycle, different levels of contradictions emerged as the driving forces of the development of GreenStream. Through tracing different levels of contradictions through the 3 expansive learning cycles, the expansiveness of GreenStream's activity could be detected with regard to the expansion of the object and expansion over interruption. Object formation, partnership and policy over clean-tech industry become important three elements for the zone of proximal development of GreenStream's activity in China. Through the understanding of these dynamics and momentum of the China activity in the past and present by means of expansive learning aspects, the subject can better master and build the development of the activity system in the future.
  • Ma, Qian (2014)
    Objectives. This research addressed the problems and prospects of Lean Six Sigma (LSS), one of the world's most popular organizational development methods at present. The study enriched this method by suggesting a more sustainable way of organizational development. The previous research on LSS mainly focused on the technical tools in utilizing the production process. Drawing on the theory of Expansive Learning, this research evaluated the learning process of LSS by focusing on the practitioners. The purpose of the research was twofold. First, it analyzed the contradictions of LSS project activity in the research site. It was expected to uncover the problems that jeopardized the learning process of the practitioners. Second, it discussed the zone of proximal development (ZPD) of LSS project activity for the research site, with the purpose of shedding light on the possibilities of future development and learning. Methods. The research site was an international aircraft manufacturer in China. Eleven LSS practitioners were interviewed, including eight Green Belts, one Black Belt, one Master Black Belt and one Green Belt team member. The data were analyzed by adopting three methods: the analysis of conceptions, the Analysis of discursive manifestations of contradictions, and the analysis of action-activity transformation in expansive learning. The ZPD was sketched from two dimensions: the first one by analyzing the action-activity transformation of the practitioners; the second one by evaluating the conception of "what have expanded" in the practitioners due to the project experiences. Results and conclusions. The analysis uncovered eight contradictions in LSS project activity system. Five were scattered in the project activity itself between or within varied elements of activity. Three were between the project activity, the department-based work activity and the LSS training activity. One case in which the GB's trials in breaking the constraints in his own project resulted in collective expansive learning efforts cross projects was analyzed as the representation of action-activity transformation. In addition, some practitioners had re-conceptualized their work motivation through the project experience, seeing Lean Six Sigma as a conceptual tool for understanding strategic work planning and gaining long-term work motivation. In conclusion, two dimensions of the ZPD were suggested: first, an integrated top-down and bottom-up approaches for organizational transformation; second, transcending from LSS as the "concrete tool in individual skill appropriation" to the "conceptual tool in collective work reconceptualization". The organizations adopting the LSS method can reflect on this thesis to improve their LSS practices by paying attention to the "critical transition agent" for cross-functional processes' interaction, the employees' learning initiatives and work motivation.