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Halvarsson, Agneta
Alternative names
Publications (10 of 11) Show all publications
Halvarsson Lundkvist, A. (2019). Learning Dynamics of Workplace Development Programmes: Studies in Swedish national programmes. (Doctoral dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning Dynamics of Workplace Development Programmes: Studies in Swedish national programmes
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Lärandets dynamik i arbetsplatsutvecklingsprogram : Studier i svenska nationella program
Abstract [en]

The thesis focuses on workplace development programmes (WPDPs) that operationalize national policies on workplace development. WPDPs are time-limited and they provide support to organizations that aim to improve their operational performance or employees’ work conditions. The support that such programmes provide to organizations consists of competence-development activities provided through networks, courses or hands-on coaching. The supported organizations aimed at changing work practices to increase their operational performance.

Departing from a workplace-learning perspective, the overall aim of the thesis was to contribute to knowledge about learning in workplace development programmes and the supported organizations when realizing policies on workplace development. A qualitative multiple-case study design was used and a total of 115 interviews and notes from meetings are included in the data material. Four substudies made up the empirical base.

The findings revealed that realizing policies on workplace development required continuous learning among stakeholders at different levels of the WPDPs. Thus, conditions that enabled learning were important throughout the whole WPDP, which was seen as a large, complex social learning system. Learning between different levels of the WPDP was especially important, which required stakeholder representatives with the appropriate qualifications or characteristics that enabled them to take on roles as brokers between the stakeholders involved in realizing the policy. The overall conclusion pointed towards the dynamics of realizing policies of workplace learning, which cannot be achieved by a one-size-fitsall model for learning.

The findings imply that funders and other authorities that make policies on workplace development through WPDPs should scrutinize how learning among stakeholders that enter into partnership to operate WPDPs is to be facilitated. Linear plans that are not complemented with careful explanations of how such learning is to be facilitated may constitute warning signs. Furthermore, the findings imply that organizations looking for external support to develop the innovative capabilities of employees must be careful in choosing their support. A WPDP may consume the resources of an organization without providing any benefit, if it does not provide the appropriate support. On the other hand, a WPDP may be a great source for learning, particularly if it includes support in designing the change effort, and help in developing an internal support infrastructure that will continue supporting workplace development after the programme ends.

Abstract [sv]

I denna avhandling ligger fokus på tre nationella utvecklingsprogram vars avsikt är att stödja arbetsplatser och organisationer för att realisera beslutsfattares policyer. Med utgångspunkt från ett arbetsplatslärandeperspektiv är syftet med avhandlingen att bidra med kunskap om lärande i arbetsplatsutvecklingsprogram och organisationer som dessa stödjer för att realisera policyer för utveckling av arbetsplatser. Studien har en multipel fallstudiedesign och totalt 115 intervjuer och anteckningar från möten ingår i datamaterialet. Resultaten visar att kontinuerligt lärande mellan intressenter på olika nivåer i programmen var en nödvändig förutsättning när en policy skulle realiseras. Särskilt viktigt var att de som representerade intressenterna tog rollen som mäklare vilket krävde rätt kvalifikationer och karaktärer för att kunna knyta samman de olika intressenterna som realiserade policyn. Den övergripande slutsatsen är att dynamiken i realiserande av policyer av detta slag visar på orimligheten i att hitta en modell för lärande som passar alla arbetsplatsutvecklingsprogram. Vidare kan ett utvecklingsprogram skapa goda förutsättningar för lärande i deltagande organisationer om programmet ger stöd vid utformning av förändringsinsatsen och vid utveckling av en intern infrastruktur som fortsätter att stödja utveckling av arbetsplatsen efter det att programmet avslutas.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. p. 78
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 761Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 215
Keywords
Workplace development programme, workplace learning, social learning system, Arbetsplatslärande, nationella program, sociala lärandesystem
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154443 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-154443 (DOI)9789176851241 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-03-01, I:101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-02-13 Created: 2019-02-13 Last updated: 2019-03-08Bibliographically approved
Halvarsson Lundkvist, A. & Gustavsson, M. (2018). Conditions for Employee Learning and Innovation: Interweaving Competence Development Activities Provided by a Workplace Development Programme with Everyday Work Activities in SMEs. Vocations and Learning, 11(1), 45-63
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conditions for Employee Learning and Innovation: Interweaving Competence Development Activities Provided by a Workplace Development Programme with Everyday Work Activities in SMEs
2018 (English)In: Vocations and Learning, ISSN 1874-785X, E-ISSN 1874-7868, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 45-63Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to investigate how the formal competence development activities provided by the Production Leap, a workplace development programme (WPDP), were interwoven with everyday work activities and to identify the conditions that enabled learning and employee-driven innovation that contributed to production improvement, in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sweden. The study adopts a qualitative case approach and draws on evidence from research conducted in four manufacturing SMEs that participated in this Swedish WPDP. Funded by EU authorities, WPDPs provide competence development activities to SMEs in order to boost their production capabilities and/or promote innovation. The findings reveal that the competence development activities provided by the programme triggered learning in everyday work activities and fostered the development of different approaches to employee-driven innovation in the enterprises. The conclusion is that it is essential to consider that employee-driven innovations may take different forms and involve functions that can support innovative learning that goes beyond minor adjustments to the existing standards of production. Moreover, employee-driven innovation may impose new demands on management leadership skills. The findings provide important guidance for future WPDPs, for vocational education and training or university activities that are customised to SME contexts to promote production capabilities, and for SMEs that aim to strengthen employee-driven innovation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2018
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137495 (URN)10.1007/s12186-017-9179-6 (DOI)000426597000003 ()
Funder
VINNOVA, 2013-02430
Note

Funding agencies: Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA) [Vinnova 2013-02430]

Available from: 2017-05-18 Created: 2017-05-18 Last updated: 2019-02-13Bibliographically approved
Halvarsson Lundkvist, A. & Gustavsson, M. (2018). Learning conditions for continuous improvement in a public service organization. Journal of Workplace Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning conditions for continuous improvement in a public service organization
2018 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This study focuses on a transformation effort in a social welfare department of a Swedish municipality where continuous improvement, which is a Lean principle, was introduced in employees’everyday work via a workplace development programme (WPDP). The aim of this paper is to explore the conditions (internal and external) that enabled or constrained employee learning during the introduction of continuous improvement into employees’ everyday work in a WPDP-supported social welfare department.

Design/methodology/approach – This case study is based mainly on 22 semi-structured interviews with individuals holding different positions in the department and overarching municipality.

Findings – The findings show that multiple and emerging conditions, both internal and external, shaped a predominantly restrictive learning environment during the introduction of continuous improvement into the social welfare department. The major conditions identified were related to the initial implementation and top management’s steering and monitoring of the “Lean investment”, activities and support provided by the WPDP, activities and support provided by the internal Lean support team and first-line managers’ abilities to facilitate employee learning.

Originality/value – Apart from unique empirical material depicting an effort towards change under conditions far from favourable for employee learning, the value of this study lies in the attention given to the external dynamics that drive change in line with the concept of new public management in public service organizations, including a WPDP that supported the social welfare department.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018
Keywords
Organizational change, learning environment, public service organization, workplace development programmes
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-152661 (URN)10.1108/JWL-03-2018-0049 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-11-12 Created: 2018-11-12 Last updated: 2019-03-21Bibliographically approved
Halvarsson Lundqvist, A. & Gustavsson, M. (2018). The role of brokers in a workplace development programme targeting SMEs. European Journal of Training and Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of brokers in a workplace development programme targeting SMEs
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Training and Development, ISSN 2046-9012, E-ISSN 2046-9020Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of a workplace development programme (WPDP) targeting small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) by focussing on the people who acted as brokers providing cross-boundary connections between its collaborating partners.

Design/methodology/approach

The material, from interviews with 32 individuals and 11 meetings, was analysed in a boundary-crossing framework, which provided tools to reveal how the roles of brokers at different levels (operative, strategic and national) of the WPDP affected its development.

Findings

The findings indicate that cross-boundary connections were made by persons who acted as brokers within and between different levels of the WPDP. The brokers who provided cross-boundary connections between different levels of the WPDP were found to play the most important role for the prompt development of the WPDP.

Originality/value

Apart from unique empirical material depicting the development of a collaborative venture between national and regional stakeholders of the manufacturing industry, the value of this study is the attention given to the people behind the policymaking of publicly funded national WPDPs, revealing the complex business of developing policy-driven competence development activities to employees in SMEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018
Keywords
SME, Manufacturing industry, Programme development, Broker, Cross-boundary connections, Workplace development programme
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151603 (URN)10.1108/EJTD-04-2018-0037 (DOI)2-s2.0-85053333619 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-09-27 Created: 2018-09-27 Last updated: 2019-03-18Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, M. & Halvarsson Lundqvist, A. (2015). Integrating Formal and Informal Learning – Experiences from a Competence Development Programme Targeting Manufacturing SMEs. In: : . Paper presented at The 9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL), School of the Arts, Singapore, December 9-11, 2015. (pp. 1-16).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating Formal and Informal Learning – Experiences from a Competence Development Programme Targeting Manufacturing SMEs
2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the economy in an era of globalization and international competition (European Commission, 2007). It is therefore of importance to deepen our knowledge of conditions that enable innovativeness in SMEs so that such companies remain globally competitive. In recent years, a variety of training and competence development initiatives, in particular efforts that focus on the application of Lean production, have been undertaken in Sweden to support the development of innovation and competitiveness in SMEs. In Sweden, one such initiative is the national competence programme The Production Leap and more than 200 enterprises have participated in the programme’s main components: courses for education in Lean, and coaching of individual enterprises. The aim of this paper is to investigate in what way competence development activities offered by The Production Leap were linked to informal learning within enterprises, and the conditions that facilitate or hinder learning that can contribute to production improvements. The discussion draws on empirical material based on 17 interviews with owners, managers, Lean coordinators and operators from four manufacturing SMEs that participated in The Production Leap.

Based on empirical findings, two conclusions can be made. The first is that competence development activities focusing on Lean production are an important trigger for innovative learning in SMEs. The formal competence development activities offered in the Production Leap programme seemed to have a better impact if the learning environment inside the enterprise was supportive. Competence development as a trigger for innovative learning and thus a driving force for innovation is important but less useful if it is not integrated into daily work activities. The second conclusion made is that three different ways of linking formal and informal learning within the enterprises were identified in terms of different approaches; Lean coordinator-driven approach, engineer-driven approach and an employee-driven approach. All three approaches had some element of employees generating and implementing ideas and actions. In the first two approaches there was joint learning between the employees and Lean coordinator/engineer in the generation and implementation of ideas and actions that took place within the continuous improvement work. Therefore, we suggest that it is essential to consider that employee-driven innovations may be assumed to take different shapes, involving other functions that have the capacity to support innovative learning that goes beyond minor adjustments in the existing standards of the production.

Keywords
workplace learning, competence development programme, employee-driven innovation
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126073 (URN)
Conference
The 9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL), School of the Arts, Singapore, December 9-11, 2015.
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-04-04Bibliographically approved
Halvarsson Lundkvist, A. (2013). Styrning genom lärande: En studie av programutvecklingens dynamik i nationella program. (Licentiate dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Styrning genom lärande: En studie av programutvecklingens dynamik i nationella program
2013 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Runt om i världen pågår en rad utvecklingsprogram vars syfte är att stödja utvecklingsarbete i olika typer av verksamheter. Jag behandlar två sådana svenska nationella utvecklingsprogram och fokuserar lärandets betydelse för programmens utveckling. Programutvecklingen syftar till att förbättra stödmetoder och möjlighet att ge stöd till organisationer som ingår i programmet. Indirekt kan detta påverka möjligheten att uppnå de långsiktiga effekter som programmet syftar till. Det är dock alltid i deltagande organisationer1 som sådana effekter uppstår.

Det finns ett antal rapporter som visar på svårigheten för externt finansierade utvecklingsprogram att nå de effekter som de syftar till (ITPS A2004–009; RiR-report 2005:6; SOU 2005:93, VA 2008:11, Göransson & Sundin 2006, Tillväxtverket: Rapport 0129, 2012). Det är således ett samhälleligt problem om kostsamma utvecklingsprogram inte levererar det de syftar till. Det gäller inte minst offentligt finansierade program. De skattepengar som satsas får då inte den utväxling som var tänkt. På senare år har det dock kommit rapporter om att önskade effekter visst nås – men att de är svåra att fånga då det ofta krävs på en rad av varandra följande utvecklingsprogram och projekt för att önskade effekter ska uppstå (Svensson m fl. 2013). Frågan om varför långsiktiga effekter uppstår i organisationer som stöttas av utvecklingsprogram torde därför fortfarande vara högaktuell.

Forskning om omständigheter som påverkar långsiktiga effekter i stora utvecklingsprogram är följaktligen ett angeläget men relativt nytt forskningsområde. Forskningsområdet har paralleller med tidigare forskning om hållbara arbetssystem (Docherty m fl. 2009). Ett hållbart arbetssystem är ett system där de resurser som används regenereras. Det gäller såväl mänskliga som ekonomiska och ekologiska resurser (Stebbins & Shani 2009). Ett hållbart arbetssystem bygger på en hållbar utveckling. Hållbar utveckling (sustainable development) bygger på ständigt lärande (Shani & Docherty 2003). Det är följaktligen utveckling som håller över tid (pågår länge) vilket inte ska förväxlas med utveckling som leder till något som är hållbart (varaktigt). I ett hållbart arbetssystem anses ett brett lärande vara viktigt. Med brett lärande menas att många intressenter deltar i lärandet. (Stebbins & Shani 2009).

Genom empiriska studier, av offentligt finansierade stora utvecklingsprogram, har drivkrafter som liknar de som ses som viktiga i hållbara arbetssystem även setts som betydelsefulla för ett hållbart utvecklingsarbete (Svensson m fl. 2007a). Ett hållbart utvecklingsarbete definierats här som ett utvecklingsarbete som inte förbrukar mänskliga eller ekonomiska resurser i onödan. Istället används resurser klokt för att lära av resultatet av tidigare utvecklingsarbete och för att fortsätta utveckla resultatet. De önskade långsiktiga effekter förväntas sedan komma genom att resultat kontinuerligt tas om hand och vidareutvecklas i organisationerna på detta sätt. Lärande, ändamålsenlig styrning och samverkan ses som viktiga förutsättningar för ett hållbart utvecklingsarbete (Brulin & Svensson 2011).

Av detta resonemang framgår att lärande är en viktig drivkraft för ett hållbart utvecklingsarbete i organisationer (se även Brulin & Svensson (2011). Min ambition är att fördjupa förståelsen av lärandets betydelse för programutveckling, dvs. utveckling av det stöd som organisationer erbjuds i sitt utvecklingsarbete av programmen. Därför har jag sökt faktorer som kan påverka lär- och utvecklingsprocesser i stora utvecklingsprogram.

Forskning om faktorer som påverkar lärande i arbetet är relativt vanlig (Ellström 2010a), men forskning om faktorer som påverkar lär- och utvecklingsprocesser i stora utvecklingsprogram är begränsad. Lär- och utvecklingsprocesser i stora program inbegriper individen men det är inte den enskilde individens lärande i sig som är mitt huvudsakliga intresse här. Det är gemensamt lärande mellan personer med olika roller och funktioner i programmen som står i fokus i studien.

Studien baseras på datainsamling i två stora nationella program som jag har valt att kalla Lärarutbildningsprogrammet och Industriprogrammet2. Min roll i forskningsprojekten inom de båda programmen har till stor del bestått i att samla empiri, skriva forskningsrapporter och organisera läraktiviteter, men även dokumentera de organiserade läraktiviteter vars syfte var att stödja lär- och utvecklingsprocesser i programmen. Det är från dessa läraktiviteter jag hämtar merparten av empirin för avhandlingen. Organiserade läraktiviteter i stora programsatsningar, speciellt de med fokus på utveckling och innovation, har tidigt setts vara ett stöd för programmen (exempelvis Lundvall 1992).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. p. 170 inkl. 7 bilagor
Series
FiF-avhandling - Filosofiska fakulteten – Linköpings universitet, ISSN 1401-4637 ; 111
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102541 (URN)978-91-7519-465-3 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-12-13 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2013-12-13Bibliographically approved
Brännmark, M., Langstrand, J., Johansson, S., Halvarsson, A., Abrahamsson, L. & Winkel, J. (2012). Researching Lean: Methodological implications of loose definitions. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 16(2), 35-48
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Researching Lean: Methodological implications of loose definitions
Show others...
2012 (English)In: Quality Innovation Prosperity, ISSN 1335-1745, E-ISSN 1338-984X, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 35-48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recently, Lean Production (Lean) has become a prevailing management concept in Sweden. However, previous research seems to show that the Lean concept and the impact of Lean vary considerably between organizations. This paper illustrates some key methodological issues that need to be considered when researching loosely defined management concepts such as Lean. The paper is based on a review of the literature and five comparative Swedish cases studies. Our study indicates that Lean has changed over time and that operationalization and interpretations of the concept vary considerably. This study concludes that future Lean studies should include a thorough assessment of the Lean interventions, study settings, and in particular non-Lean factors mediating the outcomes of Lean-inspired change programs.

Keywords
Validity, mediating factors, contextual factors, Lean impact, study design
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88748 (URN)10.12776/qip.v16i2.67 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-02-18 Created: 2013-02-18 Last updated: 2017-12-06
Halvarsson, A. & Öhman - Sandberg, A. (2009). Hur kan teori bidra till lärande: interaktiv forskning i nationella utvecklingsprogram (1:1ed.). In: Lärande utvärdering: Genom följeforskning (pp. 145-163).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hur kan teori bidra till lärande: interaktiv forskning i nationella utvecklingsprogram
2009 (Swedish)In: Lärande utvärdering: Genom följeforskning, 2009, 1:1, p. 145-163Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Keywords
lärande utvärdering nationella utvecklingsprogram interaktiv forskning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51124 (URN)978-91-44-05617-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-10-19 Created: 2009-10-19 Last updated: 2009-10-26
Halvarsson, A. (2009). Partnerhögskolestudien: Rapport nr 3 i interaktiva forskningsprojektet - Att organisera för hållbar utveckling i Produktionslyftet.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Partnerhögskolestudien: Rapport nr 3 i interaktiva forskningsprojektet - Att organisera för hållbar utveckling i Produktionslyftet
2009 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Keywords
hållbart utvecklingsarbete nationellt program
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51129 (URN)
Available from: 2009-10-19 Created: 2009-10-19 Last updated: 2009-10-26
Halvarsson, A. (2009). Samverkan för hållbar utveckling: Rapport 2 - Produktionslyftet.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Samverkan för hållbar utveckling: Rapport 2 - Produktionslyftet
2009 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Keywords
Hållbart utvecklingsarbete nationellt program
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51128 (URN)
Available from: 2009-10-19 Created: 2009-10-19 Last updated: 2010-06-22
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