Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 1 2002, page 85-102.
English resume

Developmental Work

On possibilities and differences

Christel Arendt Nielsen

This article is based on empirical studies of a workplace change. It also disputes the understandings of ‘developmental work’, which through the last decade have been discussed as an alternative to more management oriented concepts of change in Denmark. The results of the empirical analysis are presented, following the introduction of the theoretical concepts of subjectivity, of participant’s perspectives and trajectories of change. The theoretical basis enables the focus upon subjective meanings of change and individual and collective actions to be seen as an inherent part of the process. Three men and their individual stories in and outside the workplace are seen as part of the overall picture of individual and organizational change and development. The daily planning of production, role taking, the differing problems facing the men and their collective and individual actions to solve these problems are the centre of the analysis.

The results of the study initiate the question of how to incorporate the practice experience and practice learning of the workers, along with their subjective views, their own aspirations and abilities, in the overall change and development of their workplace.

The article concludes that the study reveals positive results of workplace change, on the part of both the participants and the factory itself, but also concludes that it is imperative to continually negotiate the directions and goals of change, in order to fulfil the vision of ‘the developmental work.’

Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv

(Journal for Working Life)




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in Danish frontpage Nyt om arbejdsliv
editor Jørgen Burchardt