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Browsing by discipline "Adult education"

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  • Fonseca Silva, Paulo de Tarso (2017)
    This masters' thesis explored the use of the body, tools, and the environment in craftwork from an embodied cognitive perspective. More specifically the activity studied was wooden boatbuilding. Activity theory was used to map the elements and the dynamics of the wooden boatbuilding activity in relation to the object of work (a wooden gunboat). The research interests (related to body, tools and environment) were positioned among the different elements of the wooden boatbuilding activity (tools, subject, object, outcome, rules, community and division of labor) by following an activity theoretical structure. Previous research has shown that the abilities of the body are quite often overshadowed by the abilities of brain alone, even though cognition is embodied due to its dependency on the characteristics of the agent's physical body. The objective of this research was to seek further understanding on the position of the body and its role in an activity of craft with the use of tools and environment. By having an embodied cognitive perspective, the research looked at the types of materials from the environment that were applied for work, and how material artefacts have contributed to the body's performance during craft. In addition, the research took into account the characteristics of the work environment that enabled the body of craftsmen to work more efficiently. Specifically, the thesis captured a two-day data collection of videos and interviews in the dockyard of Suomenlinna Fortress, based on the method of ethnography. The data collection gathered material for the analysis of the craftwork on a wooden gunboat model, during a process of craft called caulking. For the analysis, the work of five subjects (wooden boat builders) was observed closely. The method applied for analysis of data was thematic analysis, which required a selective process of data, based on relevant or reoccurring themes identified throughout video files. The most representative themes of the activity were framed in sets of images for further interpretation, and in that way enabling the validation of themes and their relevance to the research questions. As a result, the themes identified in the activity of wooden boatbuilding were (1) the abilities of the body, (2) the limitations of the body, (3) the body and the process of sensing, (4) the affordance of tools, (5) tools as mediators, and (6) the affordances or the environment. All these themes were building blocks for conceptualising the role of the body in the craft of wooden boatbuilding, the role of tools in the craft of wooden boatbuilding, and how the environment is used in the craft of wooden boatbuilding. This research concluded that, while activity theory allowed a holistic understanding of a craft activity, such as wooden boatbuilding, embodied cognition was vital for conceptualising the role of the body as a starting point in relation to all elements of the activity, including tools and environment. In addition of certifying the usefulness of this combination (embodied cognition and activity theory), perhaps the most relevant finding of this research was the so-called APDCS (area of potential development of craft skills), which could contextualise the integration among body, tools and environment in the craft of wooden boatbuilding through the development of various tasks.
  • Huang, Jing (2017)
    Objectives. This research investigates the challenging changes, learning processes, and strategic adjustments made by consulting companies in Finland during the recent global economic crisis of 2009 onwards. In particular, this research aims to answer the following questions: a) What major changes have consulting companies encountered in the economic crisis? b) What strategic adjustments did the companies make in response to these changes? Were novel strategies developed in response to the changes? c) how can the changes and strategies be interpreted from an Activity Theory perspective? d) did the companies exhibit Expansive Learning in the development of novel strategies and in what forms? Methods. This work analyzed five management consulting companies of different sizes and business scope with representation in Finland. The data for the reported analysed consisted of interviews with managers from these firms. The analysis of the data proceeded in three steps: First, themes relating to changes and strategies were extracted from the transcribed interviews using Thematic Analysis; second, the themes identified were interpreted using the framework of Activity Theory in order to identify changes encountered and strategic responses developed by the companies; third, the themes were interpreted within the Expansive Learning framework, identifying individual Expansive Learning cycles and the overall structure of the learning processes. The empirical analysis was complemented by a discussion of the origins and characteristics of management consulting and consulting companies. Results and conclusions. Several of the consulting companies displayed features of Expansive Learning in understanding and responding to the changing economic situation. Deviating from the historically established consulting culture, these companies implemented systematic and proactive selling and marketing of their services. In addition, several companies changed the structure of their products and services. However, when reflecting on the situation of their companies, most managers primarily emphasized cost pressures and a need for improved efficiency. Efficiency improvements not accompanied by structural changes were not generally considered representative of expansive learning. It is found that the interviewed companies fail to engage in expansive learning process and are unwilling to make feasible changes until pressured by the economic crisis. Indeed, a greater sense of threat appears to have made companies more likely to embrace expansive learning.
  • Humaljoki, Hanna (2014)
    Objectives: The Finnish social and health care system is currently under transformation. The objective of this thesis was to chart the on-going concept change of the development system of Finnish social and health care and Innovillage's role in it within the theoretical framework of the third generation activity theory. Innovillage is a new national open innovation environment for developers in the field of health and welfare developed during the years 2009–2013. The research studies this issue through two research questions: (1) How the development system of Finnish social and health care's object and division of labor are changing?; (2) What does Innovillage tell about the concept change of the development system? The aim is to chart the features of the new emerging activity concept of the development system by depicting the changes in the object and the division of labor as well as to examine the development system's contradictions as manifested in Innovillage. Methods: The research questions have been analyzed through historical analysis and empirical data. The empirical data of this thesis constituted of nine individual interviews which were gathered during the summer and early fall of 2013. Six interviewees were representatives of the funding and developer organizations of Innovillage and three represented grassroots professionals involved with Innovillage. The research method was empirical and qualitative and the research process has been primarily guided by the data. The qualitative results were derived from the empirical data through content analysis. Historical analysis of this thesis was made based on the literature. The findings were interpreted with activity theoretical notions of activity concept, object, division of labor, and contradiction. Results and conclusions: The division of labor in the new emerging activity concept of the development system is, ideally, open and networked and the object of developing takes the customer or the client as well as the implementation phase of the created services or solutions into account. Currently, cross-sectorial co-operation has increased slightly especially between funders of the development system but, simultaneously, co-operation between grassroots professionals has diminished. Innovillage itself as well as its tools have supported co-operation within the development system but, according to the results, still fail to take the customer or the client into account. The current secondary contradictions between the division of labor and other elements of the development system seem to stem from the new tools that have been implemented to the development system by Innovillage.
  • Paavilainen, Tuula (2018)
    This study reviews co-production with citizens in the context of working-life projects of higher education. Studies on the topic in question and on the outcomes of co-production with citizens are rare and, the study serves both needs. The object of study is the Until Now project, realised by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. In it, an art performance was co-produced with the working-life partners and citizens for the Finnish National Opera. The project participated especially the elderly but also children and young people. The research problem covers the interests of the participants and resources brought by them into the project, as well as the challenges and possibilities of the project. The study was realised as qualitative case study. The analysed data, gathered especially for this study, was based on the semi-structured interviews of five individual participants of the project. The method of thematic analysis was deployed in the data analysis. Four separate analyses were carried out, altogether, one for each of the specific research questions. The results of them were reflected against activity theory and the prior research on co-production with citizens. The results showed the multi-layered nature and variety of the interests of the participants. The significance of sufficient and appropriate material resources and of qualities of the immaterial resources were emphasised. Various challenges emerged during the project, the productional and practical ones being stressed. The possibilities and positive effects of the project were multiple and expanded also beyond it. The focal meaning of the community, joint activity and encounter between the generations for the citizen participants also came up. The role of the elderly was of critical importance from the standpoint of the artistic work and meeting the learning objectives. Expansions of the activity caused additional challenges but also allowed positive outcomes to emerge. The activity theoretical angle highlights characteristics of expansions of activity, knot-working and distributed agency in the results. The main conclusion is that co-production with citizens is a relevant form of collaboration in the context of working-life projects of higher education. The results of the study add knowledge on the outcomes of co-production with citizens, which is scarce so far. The results also can be applied in the practical work, especially in the development of higher education and public service production.
  • Hagos, Elias Nahusenay (2015)
    Ethiopia is Africa's biggest coffee exporter nation with deep history. Coffee discovered in Ethiopia and it continues to be pivotal for the country in many fronts till to date. The coffee linkage with Ethiopia is deep-rooted many historians believe back in 9th century coffee discovered by Kaldi, a goat herder. He discovered it after noticing coffee's energizing effect on his goats. The word coffee itself also derived from place called 'Kaffa' where the trees blossomed. Coffee gradually became a world obsession by spreading from highlands of Ethiopia traveled along spice routes to Yemen, Turkey and Europe. Coffee exporting is a significant portion of Ethiopian economy. It accommodates more than twenty five million peasants which indicate its magnitude for the country. It is one of the leading sources of income for the government and other stakeholders. The establishment of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) has seen the Ethiopian coffee trade system being transformed. It created a platform of primary, secondary and tertiary market divisions. In a way that the coffee can be traded based on value addition from one division to the other. Unlike the previous centralized warehousing system, it introduced decentralized warehousing and liquoring centers across the country where the coffee quality checked by use of laboratory tasting. It gives a temporary produce storage services until the coffee is sold and ownership of the produce transferred from seller to buyer. The introduction of modernized and transparent system enabled economic gain and helped farmers to enhance their life conditions. The objective of this study was to identify some of the contradictions that are solved in Ethiopian coffee trade activity by the establishment of ECX. In addition, the emerging contradictions and prevailing disturbances at present as well as the overall benefits it brought in relation to farmers' day to day life conditions were analyzed.
  • Kapanen, Heini (2011)
    Objectives. The thesis objective was to analyze how person-centred planning is applied to develop short term care in interaction between the disabled children, their families and the workers of the family service centre of Eteva Järvenpää. The thesis contributes to developing the methods of person-centred planning. I applied theoretical frameworks of activity theory and developmental work research, family-based work framework and disability phenomenon. The research questions were: What development needs did the families of disabled children have for the services? How were viewpoints of disabled children, their families and Eteva workers noticed in person-centred planning in the interaction between the disabled children, their families and Eteva workers? What disturbances and development challenges emerged during the person-centred planning? Methods. I first analysed the local history of the disability sector and the short term care to analyse challenges arising from the local history. The actual research material consisted of interviews with four families, two person-centred planning discussions and two discussions where the person-centred planning was reflected by the families.I used interaction voice analysis as defined by the activity theory and developmental work research. From the recorded interviews and discussions I analysed scripts, disturbances, innovation attempts and innovations. From the discussions I analysed also the interaction types (cooperation, coordination and communication). Results and conclusions. As problems, the families considered the scarce resources and the inflexibility of services. The challenges of developing the short term care were how to transfer information from short term care to home, how to develop activities for the children and how to take into account the individual needs of the children in the short term care. Both from the local history analysis and from the family interviews arised the conflict between caring and fulfilling the individual needs. In person-centred planning, the voice of the child was either interpreted by other family members or guided by family members or workers. I modelled the progress of person-centred planning in a two-dimensional coordination. Person-centred planning should be deepened in cooperation between the child, the family and the workers in everyday situations at home and during the short term care. The challenge is to expand person-centred planning to become cross-organizational cooperation connecting the actors of the child's service network in everyday life.
  • 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.
  • von Becker, Eini (2014)
    Objectives: The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has developed a method of Change Workshop to promote occupational well-being in organizations. Change Workshop is based on the activity theory and developmental work research methodology. The aim of this study was to analyse the emergence of an expansive learning cycle in the Change Workshop and to ascertain what share interventionists and participants have in the learning process. The second objective was to analyse the developmental cycle of one developmental project called "Annual Clock" during the different phases of the Change Workshop. The Annual Clock was developed as a tool to distribute work load among persons in different Services. Methods: The research data was from a Change Workshop conducted for the Finnish Forest Centre during 2012-2013. The Change Workshop consisted of five sessions each lasting about three hours and which were attended by 12-25 persons and 2-3 interventionists. The Change Workshop sessions were videotaped and audio-recorded. Transcriptions were made from video and audio recordings. There were a total of 1,190 speaking turns. Thematic analysis was applied to analyse the transcriptions. Since the first objective of the study was to examine the emergence of an expansive learning cycle (questioning, historical- and actual - empirical analysis, modelling, examination of the new model, implementation of the new model, reflection on the process and consolidating the new practice), so these formed part of the coding. This was supplemented by some additional codes based on the data: non-expansive learning, organizational issue, Change Workshop method and off-topic or non-related issue. Each speaking turn was first analysed to ascertain if it could represent any phase of the expansive learning cycle. If this was the case, a closer analysis was made to decide which phase in the expansive learning cycle. Quite a number of speaking turns were classified into several classes of expansive learning cycle, e.g. including elements of questioning, the prevailing situation, analysing the actual empirical situation and modelling. If the speaking turn did not indicate any traces of expansive learning, it was coded under the other headings: non-expansive learning, organizational issue, Change Workshop method or off topic (non-related) issue, and only in one of these headings. Since one speaking turn could be coded under several subcategories of expansive learning actions, the number of discursive elements was 1,378. In addition, a distinction in coding was made between interventionists and participants (except for the off-topic). For the analysis of the developmental cycle of the Annual Clock, a separate table was constructed by collecting all the speaking turns including the word "Annual Clock" and all such disturbances expressed in which the Annual Clock provided a solution. Results and conclusions: Expansive learning comprised 52% of the discursive elements. The learning process proceeded mainly according to the expansive learning cycle, but some of the learning actions, such as questioning, historical, actual-empirical and modelling, appeared throughout the Change Workshop process. The consolidating phase was not discovered during the Change Workshop, but was discussed in an evaluation meeting of the Change Workshop process two months later. The share of participants in discursive elements was 60% and the share of interventionists 37%. In the expansive learning category, the share of discursive elements by the participants was 81% and the share of interventionist was 19%. The Annual Clock as a germ cell appeared already during the first Change Workshop meeting, but it was mentioned not at all in the assignment for the second Change Workshop meeting, whereas afterwards the Annual Clock was again appearing in the discussions and the development of the idea continued according the expansive learning cycle until the 5th Change Workshop meeting.
  • Tapio, Soile (2002)
    Tutkimuksen tehtävänä oli selvittää Helsingin yliopiston Heila-tietojärjestelmän kehitysprojektin kulkua vuosina 1994-1999. Toisena tutkimustehtävänä oli selvittää minkälaisia ongelmia projektissa oli esiintynyt. Tutkimuksen aineisto oli projektin dokumentaatio, jossa pääaineistona olivat projektin johto- ja projektiryhmien kokouspöytäkirjat, tilanneraportit ja muut määrämuotoiset projektidokumentit. Lisäksi käytettävissä oli muuta aineistoa, kuten Heila-projektia käsitteleviä sähköpostiviestejä ja yleisönosaston kirjoituksia. Tutkimuksessa aineistoa kuvattiin kertomuksellisesti, projektin tapahtumat kirjattiin kertomukseksi kronologisessa järjestyksessä. Aineistoa analysoitiin toisen tutkimustehtävän mukaisesti sisällön analyysillä, ja tästä tuloksena oli projektin ongelmien luokittelu. Lopuksi tarkasteltiin projektin etenemiskertomuksen ja ongelmien luokittelun suhdetta. Kohteena ollut projekti viivästyi aikataulustaan kaikissa vaiheissa: toteutus- ja käyttöönotot viivästyivät useita kuukausia. Projektissa ilmeni resurssipulaa, välillä toimittajan ja välillä asiakkaan eli Helsingin yliopiston puolella. Lisäksi ohjelman sisältöalue oli niin monimutkainen, että se aiheutti vaikeuksia toteutuksessa ja käytössä. Järjestelmän suorituskyky ei vastannut sovittua, käyttöönottojen jälkeen jopa yksinkertainen tallennustoiminto saattoi kestää useita minuutteja, eikä normaaleja työtoimintoja saatu hoidettua. Helsingin yliopisto teki useita kirjallisia huomautuksia ja korvausvaatimuksia toimittajalle. Ongelmat jakautuivat toimintatapoihin liittyviin ongelmiin ja teknisiin ongelmiin. Toimintatapoihin liittyvät ongelmat sisälsivät käyttäjien huomiointiin ja projektin läpivientiin liittyviä ongelmia. Tekniset ongelmat jakautuivat kolmeen alakategoriaan: suorituskyvyn ongelmat, ohjelman ominaisuuksiin liittyvät ongelmat sekä yhteyksiin liittyvät ongelmat. Kukin alakategoria jakautui luokkiin. Projektin etenemistä arvioitiin suhteessa sen toteuttamista ohjanneeseen Helsingin yliopiston yhteistyöprojektien laatuohjeeseen, sekä Niemen (1993) malliin tietojärjestelmäprojektien läpiviennistä. Ongelmien luokittelua verrattiin Niemen (1993) arvioon projektien ongelmista. Projektin onnistumista arvioitiin Saarisen ja Sääksjärven (1992) projektin onnistumisen teorian avulla. Tulosten perusteella on mahdollista tarkastella muita projekteja, ja ongelmaluokitusten perusteella havaita potentiaaliset ongelmat. Siten voidaan parantaa työskentelyolosuhteita ja onnistumisen edellytyksiä tietojärjestelmäprojekteissa.
  • Kinnunen, Laura (2016)
    The study presents international academics working in the University of Helsinki and their access to the work environment language-wise. The transformations encountered by the higher education systems, like the University of Helsinki, have changed the face of the academic profession. Many of the goals of internationalization, such as increased international cooperation and ability to operate in international and intercultural environments, are connected to the need to use languages. This is why the meaning of language has come relevant to the access to different work environments. The data for the study came from the research subproject "Foreign professional's access to Finnish labour market" in the project "Opening up pathways for competence and employment for immigrants" by the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Helsinki. The questionnaire survey was carried out among employees from abroad on the payroll or on a grant (n=236) at the University of Helsinki in spring 2010. The method to analyze the data was quantitative for closed questions and statistical analysis was utilized. For open-ended questions qualitative analysis was used. The study subject was approached from the theoretical point view of second language acquisition, international communication competence, and concept of stranger. The research questions address more closely on what are the perceptions of the foreign academic professionals on their current level of language skill as well as learning and using language, what conditions related to language limit the access and possibilities to the commitment in the work environment of the University of Helsinki, and what are the perceived needs and development suggestions related to language that would improve the commitment to the work environment of the University of Helsinki. The study showed that there has not really been development in the Finnish skill during the time and to attend Finnish language courses did not have remarkable affect especially to the usage of Finnish in more official work situations. The most used language at work was English and change using Finnish came around after ten years in Finland. For accessing the work environment, Finnish language barrier, difficulties in finding ways to participate in decision making and social sphere, and difficulties in understanding one's rights and obligations in the working environment were evident among the international academics working at the University of Helsinki. The improvements on how international academics perceive working environment would language-wise require systematic changes in the University of Helsinki that go beyond surface level actions that have taken place, despite of the existing discussion on internationalization of higher education, strategic plans, and policies. The language policy in a multilingual work environment works in an excluding manner by blocking access of certain employees without sufficient Finnish skill.
  • Korhonen, Satu-Mari (2004)
    I studied discussions during development project. Aim of the study was to analyse, what way workers represented their work: how normalized way of interpretation - myths - appeared in discourse and what consequences these utterances caused to drift of discussion. Change laboratory, which is a development method, is based to developmental work research methodology. Development is designed to be successful by learning activity and learning acts. Preventing factors of learning have been studied widely. Research has leaned to concept of resistance to change. Phenomenon of learning has been interpreted to be successful only if everybody has an agreement about the situation. There is also a new kind of concept of resistance. Resistance can be seen as a part of learning, normal processing of the learning activity. Another preventing factor can be seen as disorders of discourse, which are verbal ways of telling something that aren t real. Theoretically I consider these verbal ways as myth interpretations, which can be used as argumentative tools. I used analysis of discourse as an analytical method. Results of analysis revealed four different myth interpretations in workers discussions. Character of work was been described with myths "unforeseen situations" and "disturbances are normal". Work was also described to be functional with myths "system works" and "workers cause disturbances". Change laboratory discussions can be described as different social languages, which caused diverse perspectives to workers and researchers representations. Social languages also affected the way people analysed disturbances and system. Critical phase of change laboratory method seems to be analysis of disturbances and planning new mode of action. Myth utterances were used to reject ways of developing, analysis of system level and need of development. Myth utterances worked three different ways: ineffective, active or passive.
  • Pekkarinen, Virve (2007)
    Objectives. The purpose of this study was to examine the development of high-quality university teaching among the teachers of the University of Helsinki. Furthermore, the relation of university pedagogical training to development of teaching was analyzed. This study introduces a new perspective to the research of quality of university teaching by considering quality from the teaching development perspective. The individual level examination was done from teacher's perspective. The development of high-quality university teaching was approached through three factors of teaching development defined by Biggs (2003). These factors are 1) the level of thinking about teaching on which the teaching development is based on (can also be called the quality model), 2) the methods for and 3) the impediments to teaching development. The research of Trigwell and Prosser (1996), Lindblom-Ylänne, Nevgi and Postareff (2004) and Postareff, Lindblom-Ylänne and Nevgi (2007) and the ideas of Ramsden (1992) have been central sources to this study. Methods. This study was a survey study. The data was collected with an electronic questionnaire in the spring of 2007. The sample consisted of 655 person of which some had and some had not university pedagogical training. Total of 251 answered the study. The data was mainly analyzed with SPSS statistical programme. Item analysis, principal component analysis, nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests, correlation and crosstabulation were the methods used to analyze the data. Results and conclusions. According to the results it seems that the teachers of the University of Helsinki have good basis for developing high-quality university teaching. The 3rd level of thinking about teaching, which emphasizes student-centred features, could be identified on majority of the teachers. The use of teaching development methods was comprehensive. Most frequently used methods were related to the enhancement of content knowledge. In general the impediments to teaching development were not considered to be very significant. The most significant impediments were the factors related to lack of appreciation of teaching and factors related to lack of time meant for the planning and developing of teaching. Differences were found according to sex, teaching experience, degree, position and faculty. This study also showed that university pedagogical training seems to have a positive relation to the development of high-quality university teaching among the teachers of University of Helsinki. According to the results when the amount of teachers' university pedagogical training increased, the 3rd level of thinking about teaching could be identified more often. Teachers also used more often teaching development methods related to cooperation and active participation and enhancement of pedagogical skills. Furthermore, they considered the factors related to lack of pedagogical skills and motivation to be lesser impediments to teaching development.
  • 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.
  • Raiskio, Sanna (2005)
    Widespread changes in the travel industry means an upheaval for business practices. Of concern to this particular study, which is based on activity research, is the work of business travel consultants and their training needs. At first glance it seems best to investigate individuals’ training needs as primary points of research. On further reflection, training needs per se are insufficient, even misleading, owing to the fact that they do not necessarily mirror the contextual demands of work. For one thing, work is not conducted according to a pre-conceived script. For another, training needs are usually defined individualistically, without consideration of the developmental needs a community. For a more authentic investigation the research evolved to the phenomenon of learning needs. The richness of the topic was revealed in several important ways: from an historical case analysis of a particular Finnish travel organization and its work and changes from the 1970’s until 2003, from a thematic analysis of the problems consultants encounter in everyday work, and from investigations into the images of the future of the organization from a managerial perspective. The methods for investigating the learning challenges of this particular organization were developed and validated. Three workshops with consultants were conducted during which time consultants analyzed their work, learning positionality and future in a collective and cumulative manner. Moreover, three managers were interviewed until saturation was achieved. The data were analyzed qualitatively for thematic construction and six distinct themes relating to learning challenges emerged. They reflect the contradictions between the old working ways and the new, as the travel industry changes irreversibly in technological, economic, sociological, and cultural ways. Learning challenges relate to demands associated with contextual changes, such as when business travel services are purchased from a travel agency, when a division of labor is reorganized, when knowledge transfer within the organization is rechanneled or when common rules become uncommon. During times of organizational disruption, survival is paramount, both for an individual and for an organization itself. Those challenges can certainly be met, provided mechanisms for instilling flexibility and building a sense of community are available. The analysis offered in this research serves as the basis from which an organizational readiness and development model can be formed. How we gain ongoing information regarding organizational learning depends on the extent to which workers analyze and develop their own work. The unique methodology presented here, and the subsequent examination of learning challenges, creates a framework to inspire stakeholders of an organization to discuss and discover common developmental challenges.
  • Valjus, Sonja (2006)
    Starting point for the study was the notion made in previous studies that the Finnish educational practices are not sufficient in multicultural teaching. The main objective of the research was to find out good multicultural teaching practices developed by experienced teachers. The subject of the research was teachers' narratives about the problems, solutions and the development of multicultural academic teaching. Previous research has shown that disturbances in multicultural activity can be caused among other things by cultural and linguistic differences, racism and prejudice and stress related to immigration. The management of multicultural teaching can be examined from the individual point of view as intercultural competence and from the collective point of view as management of the disturbances of multicultural teaching. The development of the management has been illustrated with the models of adaptation and transformative/expansive learning. The methodological approach of the research was narrative. I interviewed six teachers with narrative methods. Half of the interviews were pair interviews. As an analytical framework I used the basic story model by Labov (1972). I analysed critical incidents, resolutions and evaluations of the stories. According to the results the problems of the multicultural academic teaching are diverse. Most often mentioned problems were cultural differences and racism. Problems were managed by developing practices that support the multicultural activity broadly and by reacting to sudden problems intuitively or reflectively. In the management of the academic multicultural teaching the experienced teachers emphasised flexibility, group building and trust, intensified guidance, acting against racism and prejudice and characteristics of the teacher, like patience and sense of humour. The management of multicultural teaching has developed through the accumulation of intercultural experiences, reflection of experiences, cooperative problem solving, following the research of the field and experimenting different approaches. In accordance with the previous studies, this research showed that continuous learning is needed in the management of multicultural teaching. The results can be used in developing academic multicultural teaching and education.
  • Helenius, Jaana (1999)
    Tutkimuksen tarkoituksena oli selvittää, voidaanko oppimispäiväkirjaa käyttää kliinisen laboratoriotyönkäytännön opiskelijaohjaustoiminnassa oppimisen apuvälineenä. Tutkimuksessa lähdetään liikkeelle teoreettisten tietojen ja käytännön taitojen yhdistämisen tärkeydestä. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan oppimista kokemuksellisen oppimisen näkökulmasta ja kuinka se auttaa laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijaa laatimaan mieleensä käytännön opiskelun skeemoja ja kuinka ne toteutuvat heidän käytännön taitojen karttuessa. Tutkimukseen osallistui vuoden 1997 aikana HYKS:n laboratoriossa käytännön opiskelujaksolla olleita laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijoita. Heitä pyydettiin laatimaan käytännön opiskeluohjauksestaan oppimispäiväkirja. Laatiminen oli vapaaehtoista. Oppimispäiväkirjamerkinnöissä kiinnitettiin huomiota, kuinka he oppivatkäytännön taitoja ja kuinka heidän oppimisprosessinsa kehittyy heidän itsearvioimana. Jotkut laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijat halusivat laatia useammalta käytännön opiskelujaksoltaan oppimispäiväkirjan, joten oppimispäiväkirjoja (n=9) on enemmän kuin tutkimukseen osallistuneita laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijoita (n=6). Tutkimuksen keskeisenä menetelmenä on kvalitatiivinen analyysimenetelmä. Sisällönanalyysiä ja luokittelumenetelmää käyttäen pyrittiin löytämään käsityksiä ja niistä edelleen käsitysluokkia. Käsitysluokat tukivat sitä käsitystä, että oppimispäiväkirjaa voidaan käyttää apuvälineenä laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijoiden oppimisen tukena kliinisen laboratoriotyön käytännön opiskelussa. Tutkimustulokset osoittavat, että oppimispäiväkirjat toimivat laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijoiden tiedon jäsentäjinä käytännön opiskelujakson aikana. Oppimispäiväkirjan avulla laboratoriohoitajaopiskelija selventää itselleen kokonaiskuvaa kliinisen laboratoriotyön prosessista. Oppimispäiväkirjan avulla voidaan kerrata jo opittuja asioita ja voidaan suorittaa itsearviointia ja reflektoida oppimiskokemuksien antamia hyötyjä ja haittoja. Oppimispäiväkirjoissa tuli esille se, että laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijat selkiyttivät oppimiaan asioita ja omiaajatuksiaan suhteessa työelämään silloin, kun he kirjoittivat oppimispäiväkirjojaan. Oppimispäiväkirjojen kirjoittaminen koko käytännön opiskelujakson aikana tuki myös muiden käytännön opiskelujaksojen tavoitteiden asettamista. Oppimispäiväkirja on ammatillisen kehittymisen kannalta hyvä kertauksen, kriittisen ajattelun ja reflektoinnin väline. Oppimispäiväkirjoissa tuli kuvauksia itsearvioinnista, laboratoriohoitajaopiskelijat asettivat itsensä alttiiksi omalle arvioinnilleen hyvinkin helposti ja esittivät kriittisiä kannanottoja työskentelytapojen kehittämiseksi, huolellisuuden, tarkkuuden ja vastuuntunnon vahvistamiseksi. Tärkeimmät lähteet taustateorian kannalta olivat Engeströmin, Hätösen, Lonka & al, Leino-Kilven, Rauste-von Wrightin ja Silven & Kinnunen & Keskisen teokset. Tutkimusmenetelmän kannalta tärkeimmät lähteet olivat Hirsjärvi & Remes & Sajavaara, Lincoln & Cubanja Varton teokset.
  • Utti-lankinen, Katja (2011)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between merit pay system and work environment and foremen's work satisfaction and work motivation. There has been a lot of investigation on rewarding. Less research has been done on previous surveys among the merit pay systems and motivation investigations. According to former surveys, rewarding systems cannot be released from its context. Therefore this survey expanded to deal with work environment. It was also essential to investigate different dimensions of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and equity of rewarding. Investigation or work motivation and work satisfaction was challenging because both of these concepts have been investigated under quite traditional frame of reference of work motivation theories. In some surveys, the concepts have not been even separated or they have been used even as synonyms. The data were collected with the 193 foremen working in the profit centers of the different chains of the company in the field of retail trade. The questions were: Are the experiences of merit pay system and work environment related to foremen's work satisfaction and work motivation? Are the background variables related to foremen's work satisfaction and work motivation? The data collection was carried out by an electronic inquiry during May 2010. 137 replied from foremen working under merit pay system. The research material was analyzed with PASW-software. Various analyzing methods were used: factor analyses, regression analyses and group of different parametric and non-parametric analyses. In contrast to theoretical framework in the factor analyses work satisfaction and work motivation clustered into the same dimension. As a main result the atmosphere, possibilities to influence and the atmosphere of leading were strongly positively related to foremen's work satisfaction and work motivation. According to regression analyses these factors were able to explain 55 % of the foremen's work satisfaction and work motivation. The best explanatory variable was atmosphere. Instead, the background variables (age, sex, working years, group of profession, education) were not associated with work satisfaction and work motivation.
  • Niyazmuradova, Rano (2019)
    Understanding social dynamics and interactions between people in uncertain situations is vital for all organizations that seek new solutions to complex situations in rapidly changing environments. This phenomenon is fundamental to modern Cultural Historical Activity Theory that intertwines all elements of collective activity system and chains them towards new expansive paths of development. This study aims at investigating how background social interactions and characteristics of groups play a role in subsequent social dynamics and discourse in meaningless situations. Meaningless situations are created in double stimulation experiments run on groups of individuals in the University of Helsinki during 2012-2013. In these experiment, groups of 2-4 people are left uniformed in a room for 30 minutes, while their interactions are observed and recorded by investigators. The concentration of this analysis is on Finnish nationalities with shared activity. Such sample selection allows for better isolation of the dynamics in question from other confounding factors such nationalities and types of activities. In this study, I explore how: 1) differences in the discourse in the experiments; 2) differences in social dynamics before and during the experiments; as well as 3) interaction between social dynamics and discourse, affect groups’ decisions to break out of meaningless situations. I draw my conclusions from thematic analysis of experimental data, and additional information retrieved from subsequent interviews. Analysis of the data shows that social interactions between groups’ participants before the experiments had a decisive impact on the discourse, further social dynamics, and ultimate decisions to break out of meaningless situations in the experiments. The more affiliated the participants of the groups were before the experiments, the less group dynamics and co-constructive discourse there were in the experiment, and the more likely they were to leave the experiments prematurely. Accordingly, highly cohesive groups of co-workers, who had obviously completed major stages of group dynamics before the experiments, eventually broke out of meaningless situations in the experiments. These groups were devoid of the necessity to undergo further group dynamics through co-constructive discourse. On the other end of the spectrum are the groups of students who were acquainted before the experiments superficially at most. In these groups, we could observe further group formation, and unifying themes in the discourses that they led during the experiments. The groups of students did not break out of meaningless situations in the experiments, even though the initial stages of the break-out-process in these groups were more intense than it was the case in the groups of co-workers. The findings in this study should have repercussions for Cultural Historical Activity Theory in general, and its practical formative interventionist approach - Change Laboratory, in particular. The observations made in this study are in line with major claims in contemporary Cultural Historical Activity Theory that a search for new object-oriented activity is perpetual and mapped from the complex of social interactions chained in historical processes. Moreover, they touch upon an additional important dimension – discourse within groups in uncertain situations, that is to be explored further in future research.
  • Mäkinen, Kalle (2000)
    This study examines supervisors' emerging new role in a technical customer service and home customers division of a large Finnish telecommunications corporation. Data of the study comes from a second-generation knowledge management project, an intervention research, which was conducted for supervisors of the division. The study exemplifies how supervision work is transforming in high technology organization characterized with high speed of change in technologies, products, and in grass root work practices. The intervention research was conducted in the division during spring 2000. Primary analyzed data consists of six two-hour videorecorded intervention sessions. Unit of analysis has been collective learning actions. Researcher has first written conversation transcripts out of the video-recorded meetings and then analyzed this qualitative data using analytical schema based on collective learning actions. Supervisors' role is conceptualized as an actor of a collective and dynamic activity system, based on the ideas from cultural historical activity theory. On knowledge management researcher has taken a second-generation knowledge management viewpoint, following ideas from cultural historical activity theory and developmental work research. Second-generation knowledge management considers knowledge embedded and constructed in collective practices, such as innovation networks or communities of practice (supervisors' work community), which have the capacity to create new knowledge. Analysis and illustration of supervisors' emerging new role is conceptualized in this framework using methodological ideas derived from activity theory and developmental work research. Major findings of the study show that supervisors' emerging new role in a high technology telecommunication organization characterized with high speed of discontinuous change in technologies, products, and in grass-root practices cannot be defined or characterized using a normative management role/model. Their role is expanding two-dimensionally, (1) socially and (2) in new knowledge, and work practices. The expansion in organization and inter-organizational network (social expansion) causes pressures to manage a network of co-operation partners and subordinates. On the other hand, the faster speed of change in technological solutions, new products, and novel customer wants (expansion in knowledge) causes pressures for supervisors to innovate quickly new work practices to manage this change.
  • Myllyrinne, Eevastiina (2016)
    The multivoiced and shared activity of teaching staff participation in school project design was researched. Currently The Finnish national board of education instructs that there is a representative of the users of the school present in the design of a school building. In the current study the users, including the teaching staff, was represented in the user meetings by the property manager of the Premises center of the city. As there were not members of the teaching staff present in the user meetings, it was of interest how their voices are heard by the design team in the process. The research questions are: 1) How did the teaching staff contribute to the design of the school? 2) What was the content of the teaching staff's contribution to the design of the school construction? 3) How were the comments from the teaching staff to the designers processed and how were the decision based on these comments made? The research data comprised of an audio recording of an interview with representative of the user and nine video recordings of user meetings, where the design team assembled. All of the data was transcribed and speech episodes regarding the teaching staff's comments were analyzed. To answer first research question the interview with the representative of the user was utilized. To answer the second research question the speech episodes were categorized for their topic and percentages calculated for each topic. To answer the third research question four topics were chosen and the decision making process of the design team followed by building a trajectory for each topic. The teaching staff commented on the designs by writing and drawing directly on the 2D-paper plans. The representative of the user forwarded these comments to the design team. In rare occasions the school principle would approach the design team directly via e-mail. A major share of the teaching staff's comments considered furniture and equipment. These are familiar, important and tangible topics for the teaching staff. The decision making process of the design team was often lengthy. The teaching staff's comments very rarely had an effect on the made decisions. The reasons for this were structural, financial and on occasion ideological. The participation of the teaching staff could be enhanced by utilizing 3D-modeling.