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Browsing by discipline "Adult education"

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  • Shin, Shania (Sun Won) (2014)
    1. Objectives This research seeks to uncover the latent potential in mentoring relationships to move towards a reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnership in cross-cultural contexts. While the prevailing concept of mentoring remains vague and limited to one-way knowledge transmission in existing literature on mentoring. Cultural Historical Activity Theory was employed in this study to shed light on the mentorship process as a transformative activity towards building reciprocal partnerships. For that purpose, the trajectory of mentorship discourse was scrutinized using various typologies of questions, typologies of shaping meaningful targets and within the framework of an interactive activity system. The three research questions posed in this study are 1) How different types of question is used in the direction of dynamic discourse in different mentoring processes, 2) How the meaningful and shared targets are formed and shifted in the reciprocal mentorship processes, and 3) The cross-cultural context is recognized and employed when the dyad shapes the meaningful targets in the mentorship processes. 2. Methods In this study, three different mentor-mentee dyads were selected among 28 dyads representing 21 nations; these dyads had been participating in a pilot mentorship program organized by the Helsinki Education and Research Area (HERA) from September 2012 to April 2013. Diversity in terms of mentor and mentee's educational, occupational and cultural context was taken into account as a core criterion of the selection process. The successive meetings of the three dyads were video-taped and transcribed for the purpose of analyzing and comparing the three trajectories in the different mentorship processes. In order to answer the three research questions, the discourse of the three selected dyads was scrutinized and reconceptualized using different approaches such as typology of questions, the lapse of time, the different types of meaningful targets as well as the perspective of activity theory. At the same time, the researcher's qualitative analysis and interpretation were complemented with quantitative analysis based on predetermined criteria and triangulation methods. 3. Results and conclusions This study finds that the function of questions in the mentorship process to be a meaningful indicator promoting reciprocal discourse. Second, the trajectory of shaping meaningful targets in the actual mentorship process was reconceptualized by correlating questions to the potential of mutually beneficial mentorship. Last, the modeling structure of an activity system in mentorship was identified as a novel approach to understand and mobilize resources surrounding the practitioners. These findings demonstrate cross-cultural mentorship to potentially lead to a reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnership. In the mentorship process.
  • Kurki, Anna-Leena (2010)
    Working life is changing. The core of the change is change in the production and service concepts of organizations. Changes at work are connected to problems in the well-being of employees. To respond to this challenge, occupational health care must develop a course of action. A group of occupational health care units has developed new activity theory-based methods, the object of which is to change the service concept of occupational health care. The focus is on the changes and disturbances in work activity. My aim was to study this development from the perspective of knowledge management; to clarify directors'/ managers' conceptions of the content and object of their managerial work and the tensions included in these conceptions; to examine the learning process involved in these methods and to bring to light the problems, developmental needs and challenges during the implementation and consolidation phases of the process. This was a case study which included 10 occupational health care units using or being trained to use activity theory-based methods. My data consisted of interviews with directors/managers and recordings of the meetings; 20 directors/ managers are represented; I interviewed seven directors/ managers who represented four units. Directors'/ managers' conceptions of the content and object of managerial work were divided into eight categories of description, which I connected to the historical forms of organizations and types of management. Intuitive and rational management are historically older forms of management. The categories of description representing intuitive and rational management contained many internal tensions, i.e. they do not satisfy the demands of the environment. On the other hand, the categories of description which represented management by results and the control of the development process contained very few or no tensions at all; they are effective in the present environment of occupational health care. The learning process of activity theory-based methods has been expansive in nature. The occupational health care units studied are in different phases of the learning process, and these processes have been different. In three units the focus was on work development; in one unit the focus was on development of the service concept. The most central problems, challenges and developmental needs during the implementation phase were related to learning and spreading of methods inside one's own unit, and during the consolidation phase to working with partners.
  • Kallio, Miia (2011)
    The aim of this master's thesis was to clarify employees' views on outsourcing. The main questions of the study were 1) How the employees dealt with the change created by outsourcing and what things they felt important when implementing the change? 2) What kind of organizational questions the employees paid attention to when moving from one organization to another? 3) What kind of management issues the employees brought up in the outsourcing process? and 4) How the employees reflected change while experienced outsourcing? The theoretical foundations of the study were Jack Mezirow's theory of transformational learning and Yrjö Engeström's theory of expansive learning. The management of outsourcing was viewed by John P. Kotter's change management model. Research casted light on transformation and learning on four levels of analysis: on individual, organizational and management levels and on the level of reflection. The target of the study were the outsourced employees, who were moved from a Finnish public corporation to a private ITC organization along with the services they produce. The study material was eleven interviews from the outsourced employees. The study was implemented by fenomenographical theme analysis. The analysis revealed results in all four levels. On the individual level the main results were the importance of systematic and open information, meaning of social and technical integration and the feeling of employee's own control. On the organizational level the move from the public sector to private and all the changes in organizational culture and in fringe benefits were fundamental. Organizational learning was analyzed with expansive learning theory. Expanding was perceived in four dimensions: temporal dimension, spatial dimension, responsibility-moral dimension and developmental dimension. On the management level the actions of one's closest manager was vital, as was the upper management's clear engagement and a shared view of the necessity of a change. In the data was found employees' reflective talking, which was indicating the meaning of the change and which was interpreted from the learning point of view. According to this study, it is possible to identify and analyze reflective talk and that way have information about employees' learning in an organizational change. It was prominent to notice how reflection in the process of outsourcing is extremely versatile and extensive.
  • Haapasaari, Arja (2008)
    Tämän päivän yhteiskuntaa kuvaavat parhaiten sanat globalisaatio ja informaatio- ja kommunikaatioteknologian nopea kehitys. Tämän tutkimuksen lähtökohtana oli selvittää miten logistiikka-alan yritys voisi vastata logistiikka-alalla tapahtuneeseen ja yhä käynnissä olevaan murrokseen, yritystoiminnan globalisoitumishaasteeseen ja informaatio- ja kommunikaatioteknologian tarjoamiin mahdollisuuksiin. Tutkimuksessa tarkasteltiin logistiikka-alan ja logistiikkayrityksen historiallisia kehitysvaiheita, nykyisen kehitysvaiheen luonnetta ja kehityshaasteita. Historiallinen analyysi auttaa ymmärtämään nykytilannetta ja tukee tulevaisuuden vaihtoehtojen kehittelyä. Tavoitteena oli selvittää miten logistiikkayritys voisi kehittää liiketoimintamallejaan ja asiakasyhteistyötään. Arvonmuodostus on keskeinen tekijä yritysten välisessä yhteistyössä. Tutkimuksessa pyrittiin löytämään tekijöitä, jotka vaikuttavat logistiikkayrityksen asiakkaalleen tarjoaman palvelun käyttöarvoon. Vaikka tutkimuksessa oltiin kiinnostuneita logistiikkayrityksen ja sen tietyn asiakkaan yhteistyöstä ja yhteistyön kehittämisestä pyrittiin löytämään paikallisessa toiminnassa ratkaisuja, joita voidaan hyödyntää laajemminkin. Tavoitteena oli selvittää millaisia askeleita logistiikkayritys voisi realistisesti ajatellen ottaa liiketoimintamallin kehittämisessä ja asiakasyhteistyön syventämisessä ja etenemisessä yhteiskehittelyn suuntaan. Yhteiskehittelytyö tapahtuu yrityksen, asiakkaan ja tuotteiden tai palvelujen rajapinnassa ja edellyttää jatkuvaa vuorovaikutusta niiden kaikkien välillä. Tutkimusta voidaan luonnehtia laadulliseksi tapaustutkimukseksi. Tutkimusta voidaan edelleen luonnehtia interventiotutkimukseksi sen vuoksi, että logistiikkayrityksen ja asiakasyrityksen edustajien haastatteluissa toteutettiin kevyitä interventioita. Tutkimuksen aineisto koostui haastatteluaineiston lisäksi yritysten järjestämän yhteistyöpalaverin keskusteluaineistosta. Tutkimuksen aineiston analyysin perusteella voidaan päätellä, että tutkimuksen kohteena oleva logistiikkayritys elää hyvin pitkälti tuotekeskeisessä massatuotantomaailmassa. Yritys pyrkii kuitenkin kehittämään yhteistyössä asiakkaan kanssa arvokeskeistä liiketoimintamallia ja yhteiseen kehittelyyn perustuvaa tuotantotapaa. Eri liiketoimintamallit edellyttävät erilaista vuorovaikutusta osapuolten välillä. Arvokeskeinen liiketoimintamalli ja organisaatiorajat ylittävä yhteiskehittely vaativat dialogia, kykyä kommunikoida yhteistyöhön kytkeytyvistä asioista. Kommunikaatiotyyppisen vuorovaikutuksen mahdollistaa yhteinen vuorovaikutuksen kohde. Yhteinen logistiikkaprosessi voisi toimia potentiaalisena yhteisenä kohteena ja yhteiskehittelyn lähteenä dialogiin osallistuville yritysten edustajille.