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Discursive work environment

A new perspective on organizational work environment

Time: Fri 2020-08-28 10.00

Location: Via Zoom - Du som saknar dator/datorvana kan kontakta för information / Use the e-mail address if you need technical assistance, (Swedish)

Subject area: Business Studies

Doctoral student: Lisbeth Rydén , Fastighetsföretagande och finansiella system

Opponent: Professor Lotta Dellve, Göteborgs universitet

Supervisor: Docent Inga-Lill Söderberg, Fastighetsföretagande och finansiella system; Ekonomie doktor Lotta Snickare, Fastighetsföretagande och finansiella system

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The overall aim of the study is to contribute to knowledge about organizational work environment. The specific aim of the study is dual: a) to explore a discursive approach to assess and manage organizational work environment, and b) to explore and develop a model for assessing and managing organizational work environment with a discursive approach. The discursive approach was crafted by focusing on ontological and epistemological issues and is based on a social constructivist view of the existence of both organizations and individuals.

The discursive approach draws attention to two overarching factors in the organizational work environment. One factor concerns how the organization affects both the individual and the collective ability to a) understand what a job well-done could be and, b) how to actually do the job well. The second factor concerns the existential consequences that the organizing discourses, and the direct and personal address within the organization, can entail for managers and employees.

The model for assessing organizational work environment with a discursive approach consists of ten steps – from generating a relevant empirical material on how to manage and intervene in the organizational (discursive) work environment. In the process of developing the model, there was a need for a concept for the frame the organizing discourses create for those affected by it. The framework defines how the members of the organization are expected to fit in with the organization. The frame that the organizing discourses create is in the dissertation referred to as an organizational ideal character and is an important part of the analysis that is included in the model for assessing organizational work environment with a discursive approach.

The model highlights a problematization, analysis and assessment based on the discourses that govern the organization, the nature of the work in question and the organizational ideal character. Are the three aspects compatible? Do they work together to strengthen managers´ and employees´ ability to do the job well – in the short and long term, respectively – or do they weaken the ability?

Discursive work environment (or discursive ergonomics) is a collective term that denotes the work environment created by the interacting of the organizing discourses and the risk- and health factors that can be formulated with a discursive approach to assess organizational work environment.