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Staying alive!
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Working Life Science.
2009 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract

This paper is based on a research project called Learnpartner. The work was organized as a joint research project between Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany. Our project task was to describe best practice for partnership-based work on the labour market within the European steel and metal industry when responding to the process of restructuring. The research results presented in the paper discusses issues such as why does restructuring lead to developing different outcomes at organisational and at individual level and what factors determines if restructuring can result in developing sustainable conditions?



The paper describes empirical findings regarding the consequences of change processes taking place at organisational and at individual level. The research design entailed using qualitative methods such as work shadowing and interviews with trade union people, employees, managers, human resource personnel, researchers. The data collection was based on case studies conducted at two companies supplemented by interactive methods during discussions, workshops, and seminars, which meant involving practitioners from both the companies and the trade unions in interpreting the results (Aagaard Nielsen & Svensson 2006). Many people have taken part in interpreting and analysing the research findings as a method of validating and discussing the research results, and to learn from experience. The theoretical framework relates to work organisations, work environment, employee participation, industrial relations (Huzzard 2004), competence development as well as conditions for sustainable development (Hvid & Lund 2002). In order to describe the research findings, a model was used to highlight different factors that can influence change processes.



The results show that both the companies have been successful when it comes to responding to the restructuring process; however, there are some differences at individual level. Some workers experience deteriorating working conditions resulting in work intensification (Docherty et al. 2002) and an increase in work related stress (Karasek & Theorell 1990) as other workers experience a boost in their working conditions as well as increased opportunities for personal development and organisational development (Shapiro 2001). I will on the basis of the different outcomes discuss how different factors mediate to create barriers and precondition in the change process. Important factors are; management strategies, trade union involvement, workteams, employee participation, work conditions and work environment, as they act to influence the entire process and influence the outcomes of restructuring work, and ultimately create conditions for sustainable development. When employees have the option to participate in planning the restructuring process, the process is more likely to lead to sustainable conditions (Hvid 2006)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Roskilde University, Denmark, 2009.
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-11087OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-11087DiVA: diva2:494653
Conference
The 6th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL6)
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2013-06-12Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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