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Organizational Change through Interactive Research or a Consultant’s Intervention: Reflections about pros and cons
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics.
2011 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This abstract is written at the start up of an interactive oriented research project. The author has previous experience as a consultant and is reflecting upon possible differences between being a consultant and being a researcher. In the paper, a reflection is made on possible differences when using an academic or a consultant approach in an organizational intervention.  The consultants are seen as the change agents, fully devoting themselves to the needs of the clients in performing an organizational intervention. The consultant’s role, as being a change agent, is sometimes compared to the role of an action researcher. However, the action researchers should not only satisfy the organizations but should also add critical knowledge to existing research. In interactive research, the emphasis is even larger on the importance of separating the role of a researcher from a developer in order to carefully consider issues of validity. As opposed to the action researcher’s role, an interactive researcher is expected to perform a joint analysis with the involved actors of the organization instead of taking responsibility of the change process. Even so, both interactive and action research can be seen as new production of knowledge in addition to traditional research. The question which is reflected upon is: If there is a difference between the role of a consultant and an action researcher in an organizational intervention, is there really a difference between interactive and action research? Aspects such as participation, learning and sustainability are considered. The empirical data is collected from the author’s involvement in two parallel research projects as an interactive researcher. One project is within the public sector and the other is within the public psychiatric care sector. Both involve change projects aimed towards the development of lean production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Lean production, action research, organizational change and consultant
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Technology and Health
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141100OAI: diva2:694643
“A practice about practice” The Nordic Academy of Management conference, NFF, Stockholm, 20‐24 August 2011

QC 20140207

Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2014-02-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Kan lean bli hållbart i svensk sjukvård?: Om betydelsen av delaktighet och tydlighet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Kan lean bli hållbart i svensk sjukvård?: Om betydelsen av delaktighet och tydlighet
2014 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Something is happening within healthcare. An increased pressure for change towards increased efficiency and effectiveness has made Swedish healthcare organizations focusing on organizational change strategies – where expressions such as continuous improvements and to do more with less are frequently used. Lean production (lean) is a commonly used organizational development strategy within Swedish healthcare. However, many organizations today fail when trying to implement lean as a means to change the organization.

The purpose of this thesis is to increase the knowledge level about sustainable development work and working conditions within Swedish healthcare. Another purpose is to make this knowledge applicable to on-going development work of today.

In this thesis, the approach has been interactive research, where a method triangulation has been used including a literature study, a qualitative study, and a quantitative study. The empirical data are from two Swedish hospitals.

By using an interactive research approach, joint learning among the researcher and first-line management within Swedish psychiatric care has been reached. This joint learning concerns how to strengthen the sustainability of organizational development work within Swedish healthcare. Specifically, the findings show that participation, as a democratic principle and an important organizational development factor, needs to be promoted among first-line management in the development work. For the development work to be sustainable, all parties within the organization need to participate in the work.

Finally, the findings show that clear organizational structures, i.e. objectives and responsibilities, correlate to participation in the organization. The prerequisites for sustainable development work within Swedish healthcare are believed to be strengthened due to the Scandinavian organizational tradition of participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. 61 p.
TRITA-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Technology and Health
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-141108 (URN)978-91-7595-012-9 (ISBN)
2014-02-28, 4-215, Alfred Nobels Allé 12, Huddinge, 13:15 (Swedish)

QC 20140207

Available from: 2014-02-07 Created: 2014-02-07 Last updated: 2014-02-26Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA