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Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2245-0157 - ISSN (Online) 2245-0157
Published by VIA University College, Denmark Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Introduction to NJWLS 2022-3

    • Authors: Anders Buch
      Abstract: The third issue of volume 12 of Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies brings four new research articles and a book review.
      The first article of this issue is authored by Helena Håkansson: Contradictions of Ordered Trust: Trust-based Work and Conflicting Logics in Municipal Care. In this article, Håkansson explores the implementation of a trust-based development project in the social care service in a municipal district in Sweden. The research took place in 2017–2019 and comprised semi-structured interviews and observations among managers and staff involved in the project. Using an institutional logics framework to interpret and discuss the findings, Håkansson illuminates how a managerial logic and a logic of care manifests themselves, and how the logics relate to power structures in the organization. She shows how the managerial logic tends to relativize trust into a question of financial accountability, and highlights the inherent paradox of ordering trust as a one- way communication by the upper management.
      PubDate: 2022-09-04
      DOI: 10.18291/njwls.133937
  • Stephen Ackroyd and Paul Thompson (2022). Organisational Misbehaviour

    • Authors: Jan Ch. Karlsson
      Abstract: It started with an article with the ingenious title ‘All quiet on the workplace front'’. Here, Paul Thompson and Stephen Ackroyd (1995) criticized the dominant types of analyses of work organizations in British working life studies of that time. In these studies, they pointed out that workers had disappeared as agents of workplace life, which was the quiet to which they alluded. According to much of the sociology of work, management had succeeded not only in subjecting workers to total control, but also in turning them into self-controlling dopes of company cultures. Already in Thompson and Ackroyd’s critique, we find concepts such as misbehavior, recalcitrance, and appropriation of time and products – concepts that are further theorized in the first edition of their book Organisational Misbehaviour (OMB, Ackroyd & Thompson 1999). Throughout, the authors emphasized the importance in workplace life of employees’ collective agency through informal self-organization. Undoubtedly, this is the most important book in the field in the beginning of the 2000s and it had a huge influence on working life studies. The success of the book meant that many have been waiting for a long time for a second edition – and now it is here.
      PubDate: 2022-07-21
      DOI: 10.18291/njwls.133479
  • The Translation of Nordic Workplace Democracy to the United States

    • Authors: Hege Eggen Børve, Elin Kvande
      Abstract: This paper explores a translation process of Nordic workplace democracy by using an empirical case study of a Norwegian company setting up a subsidiary company in the US. The paper con- tributes to existing accounts of how ideas and practices in international companies are translated from one institutional context to another by focusing on the role of agency in translation processes. Drawing on advances in Scandinavian institutional theory, the findings show how employees from the source context acted as skilled translators in the new local context and helped to close the skills-gap between employees with and without experience of workplace democracy. In addition, the US managers had work experience from the company in Norway as well as from the US. The employees’ and managers’ complementary contextual knowledge represented important institutional bridging skills in the process of reproducing workplace democracy in the new local setting. However, during the translation process, some of the elements in the workplace democracy model were discussed and modified. This demonstrates how the organizations’ approach can change over time, from a reproducing to a modifying mode.
      PubDate: 2022-02-19
      DOI: 10.18291/njwls.131535
  • Employees’ Relational Work on Social Media

    • Authors: Eva Lindell, Lucia Crevani
      Abstract: Given how social media are commonly used in contemporary Nordic countries, social media platforms are emerging as crucial for relational work between employers, employees, and potential employees. By means of a discursive psychology approach, this study investigates employers’ constructs of relational work on social media through the use of two interpretative repertoires: the repertoire of loss of control and the repertoire of ever-presence. The consequences of these interpretative repertoires are a masking of power relations, especially between employers and young employees in precarious labor market positions and those with limited digital knowledge or financial means. Further, the positioning of social media as part of a private sphere of life means the invasion of not only employees’, but also managers’ private time and persona. The result of this study hence calls for the need to understand relational work on social media as part of normative managerial work.
      PubDate: 2022-01-13
      DOI: 10.18291/njwls.130261
  • Contradictions of Ordered Trust: Trust-based Work and Conflicting Logics
           in Municipal Care

    • Authors: Helena Håkansson
      Abstract: This article examines intra-organizational trust and institutional logics in municipal social care services in the setting of a trust-based developmental project. A case study was conducted in a Swedish municipal district. The data consists of 27 semi-structured interviews with care workers, first-line managers, and strategic staff as well as 11 observations. The study adds insights regarding trust in public sector organizations and shows how a strong focus on economic efficiency can relativize trust into a question of financial accountability. The results demonstrate how the governing managerial logic is not only in conflict with but also seems to overrule attempts to establish a more trust-based logic. Moreover, contributing to the institutional logics literature, it further shows how power structures affect institutional logics and how conflicts between logics play out differently at various organizational levels. The prospects of accomplishing a more trust-based governance without larger institutional or organizational changes are hence problematized.
      PubDate: 2022-01-08
      DOI: 10.18291/njwls.130174
  • Social Innovation for Work Inclusion – Contributions of Swedish
           Third Sector Organizations

    • Authors: Malin Lindberg, Johan Hvenmark, Cecilia Nahnfeldt
      Abstract: The innovative contributions of third sector organizations (TSOs) to tackle work-related societal challenges are increasingly acknowledged in policy and research, but rarely in Nordic working life studies. The article helps fill this knowledge gap by an empirical mapping of efforts by Swedish TSOs to promote work inclusion among people considered disadvantaged in the regular labor market, due to age, disabilities, origin, etc. Previous studies of social innovation help distinguish their innovativeness in terms of alternative or complementary ways to perceive and promote work inclusion in regard to Swedish labor market policies. By combining various measures for providing and preparing work opportunities, addressing their participants through individualistic and holistic approaches, and managing work inclusion by varying organization, funding, and alliances, the mapped cases seem to innovatively compensate for government and market failures in the work inclusion domain to some extent, while also being limited by their own voluntary failures.
      PubDate: 2022-01-08
      DOI: 10.18291/njwls.130175
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