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09:00-10:00 Session 6: Keynote address: Bridget Anderson [VIR]
Trine Lund Thomsen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Bridget Anderson (University of Bristol, UK)
And about time too….: Youth, Precarity and Mobilities [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The COVID-19 global pandemic saw many migrants designated ‘key workers’. Notably many of these essential jobs including in agriculture and care provision, are not only low waged but associated with precarious working – insecure, temporary, unreliable shift patterns. Precarity too highlights the relevance of time to people’s experiences of working life, and to their access to rights. In this presentation I want to explore the relationship between what seem to be highly inflexible and bureaucratically cumbersome immigration regimes and migrants’ role as flexible workers through a focus on time. I will start by emphasizing the importance of time to the study of migration and to the study of migration and work and distinguish between what I call Passing Time and Bureaucratic Time. I will then consider how immigration controls and enforcement mediate between Passing Times and Bureaucratic Times, including through entry requirements and conditions that capture people at certain stages of the life-cycle. I will argue that a temporal lens and engagement with qualifying periods for employment and for citizenship rights can expose commonalities between migrants and citizens and that Pandemic Times make such an approach more urgent and more possible.

10:00-10:30Coffee break
10:30-12:30 Session 7A: [8] THEMATIC SESSION: The ageing population and older workers’ participation in working life
Reidar J. Mykletun (University of Stavanger, Norway)
Jeevitha Qvist (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Retirement timing and post-retirement health: Quasi-experimental evidence from Denmark [VIR]

ABSTRACT. A growing concern among policy makers in the European welfare states is that the proportion of the population in the working age has decreased over the last decades. In response to these demographic trends, many European countries have introduced reforms that roll back welfare policies that enables early retirement in order to sustain the current standards of living. However, scholars have voiced the concern that reforms which prevent early retirement could cause a rise in health inequality in old age because some people are not able to extend their working life. There are two contradictory views on post-retirement health. Retirement can either be seen as a kind of identity crisis, leading to less motivation to maintain health or retirement can be seen as a health preserving transition, enabling individuals to relieve stress and be more aware of their health. So far, empirical evidence on the effect of retirement timing on post-retirement health is inconclusive about the causal nature of this relationship. To estimate the causal effect of retirement timing on post-retirement health, this paper uses month of birth variation in incentives to postpone early retirement in the cohort born in 1939 that was created by a reform of the Danish retirement legislation, which the government introduced in 1999. The results suggest that people who retire at the age of 60 have more adverse health outcomes in old age than people who retire later, but this difference does not appear to be caused by differences in retirement timing.

Karen Albertsen (TeamArbejdsliv, Denmark)
Ulrik Gensby (TeamArbejdsliv, Denmark)
Flemming Pedersen (TeamArbejdsliv, Dominica)
Senior policy and worksite social capital [VIR]
PRESENTER: Karen Albertsen

ABSTRACT. The aging of the population is often presented as a major challenge in the Danish society, and there is a general agreement that the challenge can be addressed by increasing the supply of labor. Senior policies are introduced at many companies with the intention to retain senior employees at the companies and to ensure that the company can have enough and qualified manpower. However, designing and implementing senior policies can be complicated, and may create conflict in the individual workplace. Therefore, if senior policies are to function in terms of retaining senior workforce, it is important that the design and implementation of senior policies have a high degree of support and legitimacy at the individual company, and that employees trust the arrangements and experience them as fair. As part of the project SeniorArbejdsLiv, we conducted a qualitative survey among managers, union representatives and employees from 9 companies, including a total of interviews with 21 managers or HR representatives, 17 employee representatives and 22 employees. The companies were basically selected as 'best cases', in that way that they all had implemented a senior policy. Three companies were selected within each of three very broad categories of industries, where the core task of the company was primarily within: 1) production, 2) working with symbols or 3) working with people. Based on this data material, the analyses crystalized four themes or points of attention important for the companies in the implementation of senior policies. We analyze these themes within a theoretical framework of corporate social capital in order to understand the interaction between the senior policy initiatives and the social resources that play out at the companies in the solution of the core task. The four points of attention were: (1) To what extent do employees feel that a senior focus is relevant and welcoming, or stigmatizing? (2) How should the allocation criteria for senior actions be formulated? (3) How is the consideration of the individual and the interest of the colleagues weighted? (4) Where and how are senior policies adopted, implemented and maintained? Based on the analysis, we concluded that the social capital of the worksite can act as a supporting factor in agreement, implementation and maintenance of a senior policy. At the same time the senior policy can help to strengthen the social capital of the worksite; by giving rise to discussions and formulation of values, principles and objectives on how the worksite ensures that cooperation on the solution of the core task takes place in ways that are characterized by trust and justice for all employee groups, including those in life situations that require special considerations or adjustments.

Peter Nielsen (Department of Political Science, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Karen Albertsen (Team Arbejdsliv, Denmark)
Annette Meng (Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø, Denmark)
Impacts of organizational change on senior employees [VIR]
PRESENTER: Peter Nielsen

ABSTRACT. Senior labor constitutes a growing share of the workforce. Parallel to this, organizational changes have become more frequent in companies. If the two trends create imbalances between demands on and resources of the seniors, this could affect the seniors’ possibilities for employment and their wellbeing in the workplace. This article addresses the above dilemma by exploring how organizational changes are related to recruiting, retaining and retraining of seniors in private and public companies, as well as sickness absence and seniors’ views on transition and change. The data comes from the SeniorWorkingLife project (Danish: SeniorArbejdsLiv), collected in 2018, and includes questionnaire data from companies and employees, as well as qualitative interview data. In the analysis companies with organizational change in the period 2016 – 2018 are compared with companies without organizational change in the same period. The results from the analysis portray a period of many organizational changes where, despite efforts and intentions to retain, retrain and recruit senior employees, organizational changes may still have negative consequences. Companies that have been through organizational changes have more sickness absence, including long-term sickness absence due to mental illness and musculoskeletal problems. The results also indicate that a better balance between company demands and employee resources may contribute to retaining the employees beyond retirement age. Responses from employees indicate that better opportunities for further education are not likely to make many employees stay longer. However, it is possible that continuing education and training better targeting the seniors' resources and wishes is needed. Taken together, the results indicate that, especially in periods of organizational change, attention should be paid to retaining senior workers.

Per Erik Solem (NOVA, Oslomet, Norway)
Youth orientation among managers and workers in Norwegian working life [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Background: A cultural youth orientation is prominent in western societies, including working life. This paper will explore possible implications for older workers of youth orientation in working life. Method: Data are from The Norwegian Senior Policy Barometer 2019, collected by IPSOS for the Centre for Senior Policy. The sample of managers consists of 1283 managers in the public sector and in private businesses with more than 10 employees. The sample of workers consists of 1000 workers 16 years and above. The CATI questions: To managers: If you could choose to lead a team with many below 30 years or one with many above 60 years, what would you personally like the best? To workers: If you could choose to work in a team with many below 30 years or one with many above 60 years, what would you like the best? Results: In all age groups, and both among workers and managers, ‘many under 30’ are more often liked the most than ‘many over 60’. Youth orientation score (YOS) is calculated by subtracting the proportion preferring over 60 from the proportion preferring under 30. In the sample of workers, 64 percent prefer under 30 and 19 percent over 60, resulting in a YOS of 45. Among managers, 56 percent prefer under 30 and 21 percent over 60, resulting in a YOS of 35. The YOS varies strongly with age, but even workers and managers above 60 more often prefer teams with many below 30 than many above 60. Youth orientation correlates with negative conceptions of older workers performance at work, while less youth orientation correlates with reporting more age discrimination in working life. Discussion: In the prevailing youth orientation in working life, sharing this orientation even when growing older, may support the integration of older workers. Seeking the cooperation of younger colleagues may also be a way of keeping up with new trends, and may be a sign of flexibility and willingness to learn. However, on the other side, youth orientation is correlated with more negative conceptions of older workers and probably with less attentiveness to age discrimination in working life. Thus, youth orientation may be a double-edged sword, with a risk of shrinking self-conceptions among ageing individuals in working life, but also with positive effects if opportunities for integration and mutual learning are provided. Conclusion: Even older workers and older managers are youth oriented, but less so than younger workers and younger managers are. The youth orientation of older workers may - as a double-edged sword- have both positive and negative consequences for older workers themselves.

Elisabeth Sundin (Linköping University, Sweden)
Self-employment from a privileged position – ageing (domestic) migrants [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The aging population is most often presented as a problem both for society, for organizations and for the elderly themselves. In this paper we will present older citizens as a contribution to society following from their actions and positions. The process of urbanization in Sweden is especially strong in the areas around Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö. The consequences are presented as a problem both for these expanding areas and for the other parts of the country losing their population. The “loosing” regions and municipalities develop different strategies. As a rule responsible actors express a demand for young persons, families with children are most preferable, to “save” the local schools, the need for labor in the elderly care and as tax payers. The success-rates of these strategies are low and temporary. The local elderly are blamed just because they live (too) long and are seen as burden - not as a proof of good places to live at as an elderly. These dominating images are challenged by ageing domestic migrants – some of them returnees or u-returnees. We have in our studies of elderly as entrepreneurs seen actions that challenge this dominating understanding both of age and space. Elderly that start and run enterprises of their own in the provinces after a long working life in the conurbations challenge the idea of old as tired and longing for total retirement. Through self-employment they realize their intention to continue in working life. The elderly leaving the expanding regions of the country are challenging the understanding of these areas as giving the most valuable quality of life us they leave when they can do that after a formal retirement. These ageing domestic immigrants bring to their new residence and county economic capital, human capital and social capital. In the paper we present some individuals illustrating our discussions and standpoints taken. The theoretical connections are many both from working life studies, entrepreneurship studies, studies on space and place and regional development and all of them put in a context of age-dimensions. As a conclusion, we suggest a strategy from areas outside the dominating areas with a concentration on retired u-turners.

Reidar J. Mykletun (University of Stavanger, Norway)
Innovation and the ageing workforce – a review of research [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Workforce ageing constitutes a transition of working life in the Western World. Large cohorts born after the Second World War and smaller cohorts from around the 1970ies cause this demographic change. This has created a need for stimulating older workers to delay their retirement and across Europe, politicians present measures to support these calls in the sense of retirement pension reforms rewarding extended working careers. At the same time, governmental bodies and private and public work organisations would like to see innovations in their work processes, organisations, products, and services to become more efficient and often to expand their markets and user groups. To this aim, leaders mainly call for younger workers and distrust the older ones; for instance, ageing workers are seldom included when introducing new methods and equipment (IPSOS, 2018). This may be a sign of stereotypic behaviour that underestimates the innovative capacity of ageing workers and reducing how leaders perceive their employability. To what extent are ageing workers actually contributing with generation, dissemination, and implementation of innovations? Which organisational conditions, for instance; work autonomy, team compositions, and leadership, are optimal for their contributions in innovative processes? How far can extant research give valid answers and what type of further research may enlighten these issues? This paper answers such questions by reviewing published research on the topic. Human capital theory and a resource-based view are here integrated with the deficit model and SOC theory. The author argues that due to increased experience and use of the SOC-strategies selection, optimisation, and compensation, ageing workers may be as innovative as their younger colleagues may, and that the relationship between age and innovative behaviour is not linear. Other reviews (Rietzschel, Zacher, & Stroebe (2015) and a meta-analysis of the relationship of individual age and innovative behaviour (Ng & Feldman, 2013) supports this view. Moreover, the present paper reviews individual studies (e.g. Backes-Gellner & Veen, 2013; Binnewies, Ohly, & Niessen, 2008; Dougherty & Clarke, 2018; Verworn, 2009) to add details to the discussion. Conclusions are drawn regarding research and practical implications. Key words: Ageing workers, innovation, age discrimination.

10:30-12:30 Session 7B: [5] THEMATIC SESSION: Gendered labour market (dis)advantages in Nordic welfare states


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Armi Mustosmäki (Tampere university, Finland)
Liza Reisel (Institute for Social Research, Norway)
Mari Teigen (Institute for Social Research, Norway)
Andrea Hjálmsdóttir (University of Akureyri/University of Iceland, Iceland)
Guðbjörg Linda Rafnsdóttir (University of Iceland, Iceland)
“It is just, it is a struggle.” On work-life-balance among PhD holders in Iceland [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Iceland has been at the top of the World’s Economic Forum Gender Gap Index for a decade which could indicate Iceland’s success when it comes to gender equality. This success is mostly viewed in terms of women´s economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health, survival; and political empowerment. Simultaneously, discourses that perceive gender equality as altogether, or at least almost, achieved seem persistent. Yet, studies demonstrate the persistence of a gender pay gap and relatively traditional divisions of household labor. In addition, stories have been circulating for a while about stress in the daily professional and personal lives of individuals, stress related diseases and burn-out as states that seem to cut across class and levels of education. This research examines how people with doctorate degrees in Iceland experience work-life balance. It is part of the inter-Nordic research, NORDICORE which aims at examining career developments among PhD holders, working within and outside the academia in Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The research is based on mixed method data gathering but the findings introduced here are based on individual interviews with 32 doctorate holders. The interviews conducted were among men and women who finished their PhD’s in the last 5 to 20 years and all work within or outside academia. All interviewees have a background in both STEM and SSH and are living in the greater capital area in Iceland. They elucidate a gender imbalance and diverging work-life balance experiences of people within and outside academia but also raise subjects such as flexible working hours. This research sheds light on an inherent gender imbalance. The findings suggest that those working within academia find it more stressful to seek balance between work and family life than people in other fields of work. Focusing on people both within and outside academia this research also suggests that pursuing work-life balance is more arduous for women than it is for men.

Armi Mustosmäki (Tampere university, Finland)
Anna Elomäki (Tampere university, Finland)
Paula Koskinen Sandberg (Tampere university, Finland)
The challenges facing the new radical family policy reform in Finland - Reconfigured corporatism and the struggle for gender equality in the labour market [VIR]
PRESENTER: Armi Mustosmäki

ABSTRACT. The current parental leave system in Finland -especially their gendered use- has been considered having problematic outcomes for the employment rate as well as women’s labour market attachment, salary and career progress as well as pensions. In addition, Finland lacks behind other Nordic countries in both leave entitlements for fathers as well as their take-up.

The new Finnish coalition government, led by five young women, announced family leave reform in February 2020. The government parties labeled the reform as radical as it would grant the same amount of leave to both parents, regardless of their gender.

Although the need for increasing equality in the labour market and family through family policy reform has been long debated, pushing through the actual reforms has proven notoriously difficult in Finland. In this presentation we will discuss the challenges the radical reform will face based on our previous research on corporatist relations and struggles for implementing policies that would advance gender equality in the labour market. The main focus will be on the reconfigured corporatism: how the trade unions and employers’ associations have historically been involved with the state in the process of formulating and negotiating the social and employment policies and how these power relations are shifting. Our main research questions are: What kind of struggles and conflicts between political parties and labour market organisations are to be expected before the reform could be implemented? What do the previous failed reforms and their processes tell us about changes in tripartite relations in Finland and how do these changes affect the possibilities to promote gender equality in the labour market?

According to the previous research, social partners have acted against many gender equality initiatives (e.g. equal pay or family policy), especially in cases where the costs or regulation might burden the interest group in questions. On the other hand, Finnish state and government programs have usually highlighted both specific plans for improving gender equality as well as appreciation for social dialogue. Yet recently the government has shown some signs of pushing labour market organisations to a more consultative role. In this presentation we will discuss how the balance of power is fragile and possibilities of different social partners to influence decision making are not self-evident.

The research is part of Gender, Power and Reconfigured Corporatism in Finland (GePoCo) research project, funded by Academy of Finland (2016–2020) at Tampere University.


OA article available here: https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018320947060 

Thamar Heijstra (University of Iceland, Iceland)
Gyða Margrét Pétursdóttir (University of Iceland, Iceland)
Working the cracks: Eight strategic principles on how to come out on top [VIR]
PRESENTER: Thamar Heijstra

ABSTRACT. Thamar Heijstra and Gyða Margrét Pétursdóttir will both be presenting


In the era of global competition, transformations within academia have not only been affecting the political economy of academia and its epistemic level, but also the lives of the academic employees within the system. Many early career researchers conform to this contemporary academic system and are eager and determined to show that they are worth a place within this environment. The aim of this presentation is to introduce a set of strategic principles on how to make it to the top. By means of intimate-insider research 12 successful senior female academics in critical/feminist disciplines where enquired about their experiences within the academic system and the foundations for their personal success. In addition we probed for recommandations and guidance that would be useful to early career female researchers such as ourselves, based on their own experiences. The findings show that none of the participants regret their decision to go into academia, but they have generally paid for it with their health.

Agnete Vabø (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Hebe Gunnes (Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, Norway)
Gender and patterns of international recruitment in Norwegian research and higher education [VIR]
PRESENTER: Agnete Vabø

ABSTRACT. Norwegian research and higher education institutions have gradually moved from a nationally based logic of recruitment and career development, towards policies embracing international mobility and cooperation. During the last two decades, Norwegian academic demographics have undergone substantial change, characterized by an increasing number of women academics and foreign researchers. This paper analyse the recruitment and career patterns of foreign-born women and men in Research and Higher Education. What characterizes patterns of recruitment and career trajectories among male and female foreign staff- and how do they relate to power structures in the field? Has the change in academic demography affected the patterns of vertical and horizontal gender segregation in the field; and if so, in what ways? In order to understand foreign academic women's position in the academic field, we analyse recruitment patterns for this group at more differentiated level than what previously has been done. The use of background variables such as gender, age, citizenship country, position / career development, discipline, and institutional affiliation enable fine-grained analysis gender and social stratification patterns. We focus particularly on recruitment patterns and power between foreign women and male academics, including how these may differ and in what ways. A Norwegian individual-level register data set is used to explore the makeup of, and changes in, the academic population. This individual-level data set is based on two data sources: data from NIFU’s Register of Research Personnel (RRP), and matched employer-employee register data. The data allows us to look at foreign researchers (defined as those born in another country than Norway) in some detail regarding their country of birth, their disciplinary area, whether they have obtained their PhD in Norway or abroad, and their position in the academic hierarchy. We map the pattern of female, foreign researchers from 1997 to 2017, and compare them to patterns among Norwegian-born academics on these issues. NIFU Doctorate Registry will provide information on the extent of PHD- students by gender in their respective disciplines.

Heidi Lehtovaara (Tampere University / Faculty of Social Sciences, Finland)
Invisibility and discrimination? Skilled migrant women in the Finnish labor market [VIR]

ABSTRACT. In Finland, work is regarded as one of the cornerstones of successful integration. Gender is at the core of work labor market integration, and there is need of research that explores interconnections between gender and employment. The subject of my research is currently highly topical, with the Finnish working life undergoing fast-paced major changes. On the one hand, public discussion is characterised by concerns about the availability of workforce in fields with a labour shortage and the consequences of the ageing of the population, while on the other hand, the difficulties of immigrants to find work in Finland are being discussed as well. In addition to education and work experience, success in the job search requires initiative, networks and often additional training. Digitalization has changed both the job search and the content of the work. Social media and applications play an increasingly big role in the job search. In this study I examine the expectations, experiences and emotions that highly-educated migrant women have in relation to their job search process by means of qualitative research. The objective is to highlight the challenges and successes faced by skilled women while looking for work, as well as to produce information on how the integration of skilled women into working life could be eased. The data consists of 16 interviews. I implement my interviews as semi-structured theme interviews. My method for analyzing the data is content analysis, and my point of view is intersectional. I analyze the possible connections between gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and poverty. Based on my research data, the interviewees had spent a lot of time, energy and resources on the process of looking for work. The interviewees’ actions had determination and persistence in common, as well as a favourable attitude towards gaining further training or education in various forms. The support for job searching received from the third sector and mentoring programs was considered valuable. A great deal of expectations were placed on finding work in Finland, and in the main, these were positive ones. Discrimination that the applicants experienced during the job search process also came up during the interviews. Most frequently, the experiences of discrimination related to attention being paid to the job applicant’s background, name, clothing or skin color. The level of Finnish language skills and, in one case, the lack of Swedish language skills were the given reasons for not recruiting the person in question. From public authorities to the third sector, experts in Finland have, during the recent years, been working on finding solutions to the problem. In order for Finnish working life to truly be diverse, new solutions are needed from recruiting immigrant workers to orientation and leadership.

10:30-12:30 Session 7C: [9] THEMATIC SESSION: Are Nordic labour markets inclusive for persons with disabilities?


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Finn Amby (VIA UC, Denmark)
Kjetil A. van der Wel (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Social inequalities in employment trends in cancer survivors in Norway and Sweden 2001-2017 [VIR]
DISCUSSANT: Frederik Thuesen

ABSTRACT. Background People who fall ill will often need time off work in order to recover. During such recovery, most welfare states offer some level of sickness benefits, typically for a limited time period. A significant proportion of people who receive sickness benefits, however, do not return to work, but become dependent on public benefits. Previous studies have also revealed pronounced social inequalities in the labour market consequences of long-term illness. This has raised concerns about the role of the welfare systems and labour market regulation.

Aim This paper uses onset of cancer to measure the impact of health deterioration on employment and earnings, and the extent to which working life in the Nordic countries have become more inclusive over time. The paper also aims to expose social inequalities and differences between the Nordic countries in employment consequences of long-term illness and will discuss observed patterns in light of labour market and welfare policy differences.

Research questions 1. Are there any changes over time in the employment consequences of falling ill due to cancer, and if so, do the changes fluctuate or form a time-trend? 2. Are there any changes over time in the social inequalities in the employment consequences of falling ill due to cancer, and if so, do the changes fluctuate or form a time-trend? 3. Are there any important country differences in the employment consequences of ‘health shocks’ and the observed trends, and how might these relate to social policy differences?

Data and methods The study uses population covering administrative data from four Nordic countries on the working age population (WAP) between 25 and 56 who at the sampling year (T) have been continuously employed for three years, and had no record of previous cancer. We sample this population for each year between 1996 and 2012, with the outcome measured after five years. Labour market exclusion was measured as having no work income. Socioeconomic position was using a relative income measure prior to the onset of cancer.

The analyses are based on a number of OLS regression analyses computed on the WAP sample created for each available year in each country. Separate models are estimated for men and women residing in the four Nordic countries.

Results Preliminary results from Norwegian data shows that social inequalities in the employment consequences of cancer have increased among men, but not among women, although both groups have overall improvements. Men’s labour market activity five years after the onset of cancer also seems more volatile than women’s. Increasing immigration serve to explain much of the increase in social inequalities.

Maria Reinholdt Jensen (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Magne Bråthen (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Kjetil A. van der Wel (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Adolescence Mental Health Problems and Upper Secondary School Completion - The Role of Family Resource [VIR]
DISCUSSANT: Thomas Bredgaard

ABSTRACT. This article investigates the relationship between adolescence mental health (internalizing, externalizing and substance use disorders), upper secondary school completion and socioeconomic background. Using data from a number of administrative registers, we follow a cohort born in Norway in 1996. The findings show that mental health problems in adolescence negatively affect upper secondary school completion, adjusted for family factors, comorbidity of mental health problems and educational performance. High family income moderates the association between mental health and completion for girls, but not for boys, net of other factors. Thus, girls with mental health problems seem to benefit from high family resources resulting in increased probability of upper secondary school completion, while this is not the case for boys.

Frederik Thuesen (VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Denmark)
Julia Salado-Rasmussen (KP, Denmark)
Daring the labour market? How self-confidence and worries among persons with mobility disabilities affect jobs search and employment [VIR]
PRESENTER: Frederik Thuesen

ABSTRACT. The employment rate among persons with mobility disabilities is lower than the similar rate among persons without disabilities. The purpose of this paper is to explore how self-confidence and worries about other peoples’ expectations may affect employment outcomes among persons with mobility disabilities. We know from labour market research that non-cognitive skills, e.g. self-confidence, persistence and grit, may affect employment outcomes. Moreover, we know from research that persons with visual impairments may express a concern that people expect less of them and that such worries may negatively affect their employment. It is likely that such worries also exist among persons with mobility disabilities. In this paper, we will explore whether such concerns are also present among persons with mobility impairments and whether self-confidence and such concerns lower job search intensity and employment among persons with mobility impairments. Data for the analyses are a survey targeting a representative sample of the Danish population linked to administrative data concerning employment from Statistics Denmark. The survey data collection took place during December 2018 and January 2019. The sample includes a substantial oversampling of persons with mobility impairments (N=5835). We analyse the data using descriptive statistics and regression analyses.

Julia Salado-Rasmussen (University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Thomas Bredgaard (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Attitudes and behaviour of employers towards recruitment of persons with disabilities [VIR]
PRESENTER: Thomas Bredgaard

ABSTRACT. Employers are crucial in determining the position on the labour market of persons with disabilities. They decide how to post vacancies, whom to invite for interviews, which candidates to recruit and which work and wage conditions to offer employees (Bills, Di Stasio & Gërxhani, 2017). All of these decisions could either favour or disfavour persons with disabilities. Despite the societal importance of these decisions, we know surprisingly little about how and why companies make different decisions regarding persons with disabilities (Karpur, VanLooy & Bruyére, 2014; Bruyére, 2016; Bredgaard & Shamshiri-Petersen, 2018). Existing research on the attitudes and behaviour of employers towards the recruitment of persons with disabilities comes to contradictory conclusions. The literature on the attitudes of employers find that the majority of employers express positive attitudes towards the recruitment of persons with disabilities. The literature also suggest that employer attitudes are influenced by social desirability; that is over-reporting of positive attitudes. The literature on the actual behaviour of employers comes to the opposite conclusion and find that only a minority of employers actually recruit persons with disabilities. The discrepancy may be due to real differences in employer attitudes and behaviour, but also due to differences in research methodology. We test this discrepancy between employer attitudes and behaviour by identifying different types of employers in a Danish workplace survey. We identify four types of employers: (1) The committed employer (positive attitudes and positive behaviour), (2) the dismissive employer (negative attitudes and negative behaviour), (3) the passive employer (positive attitudes and negative behaviour) and (4) the sceptical employer (negative attitudes and positive behaviour). We find that the majority of Danish employers express positive attitudes but negative behaviour towards recruitment of persons with mobility impairments. The majority of the employers can be characterised as “passive employers” (54%), while the remaining employers are either “dismissive” (22%), "committed" (20%) or “sceptical employers” (4%). The article contributes to the existing literature by measuring employer attitudes and behaviour with the same method and thereby reducing measurement bias in identifying different employer responses towards the recruitment of persons with disabilities. The advantage of measuring attitudes and behaviour with the same method is that it allows better identification of different types of employer responses to the recruitment of persons with disabilities.

10:30-12:30 Session 7D: [14] THEMATIC SESSION: Making sense of institutional changes in the welfare professions


(please disregard the date in the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Johan Alvehus (Lund University, Sweden)
Henrik Loodin (Lund University, Sweden)
Anita Mac (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Peter Hagedorn - Rasmussen (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Managing Dilemmas in Everyday Work [VIR]

ABSTRACT. At a hospital ward for patients with chronical diseases, the nurses are very committed to provide the patients high quality. By quality, the nurses mean professional treatment and caring. However, they have to balance between more and sometimes conflicting expectations and requirements. E.g. at one hand medical procedures instruct a certain treatment, but on the other hand the patients wellbeing and emotional condition sometimes make it inappropriate to follow the instruction strictly. The attitude to how tight it is needed to follow instructions differ among nurses and are often up for a discussion. Another example is the fact that the number of patients with foreign language and cultural background increase, an at the same time hospitals offer less interpreting assistance due to national legislation. This is frustrating for patients as well as for nurses and as a result, nurses find themselves giving up communication and become less caring that the actually wants to be. These two examples are dilemmas nurses have to cope with in everyday working life. The first one is a dilemma between professional treatment standards and taking the patients condition into account and sometimes compromises standards. What is the right decision to take? The other example is a dilemma between a desire of providing care for the patients and the impotence coming from bad communication. How to maintain respect and a caring attitude for those patients? During a period of 3 month we provide the hospital ward actions-based research methods. The first step was to gathering information’s, experiences and different view on present challenges, by focus group interview. In our analysis we were searching for dilemmas and we pointed out the above mention dilemmas – among others. The next step was carried out by Dilemma Workshop with the purpose to get deeper into the dilemmas and find possible ways to ensure consecutively managing dilemmas. We build on complexity theory and the understanding of the necessity to use judgement rather than fixed procedures and to accept different opinions as potentials for knowledge sharing rather than a need to find agreeable solutions among different point of views. In the paper we unfold the case more fully as well as the theoretical and methodological foundation. We go through results/ potentials for the nurses working environment by dealing with problems as ongoing dilemmas that call for a high competence to make sense and professional judgement.

Sami Jantunen (South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
Jukka Piippo (Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
Jukka Surakka (Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
Åsa Rosengren (Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
Ira Jeglinsky-Kankainen (Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
Timo Sinervo (Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland)
Salla Ruotsalainen (Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland)
Thommie Burström (Hanken School of Economics, Finland)
Coaching Finnish Home-Care Teams Towards Self-Organization: Experiences and Outcomes [VIR]
PRESENTER: Sami Jantunen

ABSTRACT. Finland, like many other European countries, has in recent years systematically moved the care for the older people from institutions to their homes. Hence, the opportunities to provide long-term care or assisted living have significantly decreased, even for clients, who are very dependent due to low cognitive or physical functioning. As a result, the number of home care clients has significantly increased, and the clients’ care-related problems have become more demanding. Unfortunately, the increased workload in home care has not been adequately matched by funding and numbers of personnel. Recent studies indicate that working conditions in Finnish home care have deteriorated, essential problems being time pressures, role conflict, working alone, interruptions, poor team morale, and problems in leadership. These challenges have also been widely discussed in the public media, with the conclusion that home care services for older people have evolved towards crisis in many Finnish cities and municipalities. Although many home care organizations are currently understaffed, there may be also other factors contributing to the reported challenges. Recent studies have argued that the way home care is organized and managed can also notably affect the quality of offered services, and the productiveness of the home care organizations. One example supporting this argument is Buurtzorg in the Netherlands, that has empowered caregivers to organize their home care activities themselves, resulting with notably positive results in terms of effectiveness and satisfaction of clients and caregivers. The success of Buurtzorg in the Netherlands suggests that self-organization could also be an effective way of alleviating the severe problems in Finnish home care services. To this end, at the beginning of 2018 we started a project to study how self-organization could be introduced into Finnish home care organizations and assess the outcomes of self-organization in terms of work effectiveness, employee satisfaction and work environment, care quality, and cost efficiency. In this presentation, we shall share our lessons learned of the coaching efforts towards self-organization and report how job satisfaction and effectiveness of the offered services have evolved in the case organizations during the two-year period towards self-organization.

Nana Wesley Hansen (FAOS, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Modes of collective cooperation at the public workplace [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Drawing on in depth case studies of labour and management cooperation in two large Danish local governments, this article argues, that collective cooperation vary across management levels. At central management levels, labour and management engage in classic strategic interaction. At lower management levels, labour and management engage in a different mode of cooperation – a form of timely interaction – to overcome rapid change and challenges of retrenchment. The mode of collective cooperation is dependent on specific characteristics of the social context, and is an expression of difference in how local actors establish control and trust in labour-management relations. The article discusses the implication of the different modes of cooperation for handling change and conflict across large public sector organizations.

Anders Jakobsen (RUC, Denmark)
Work identity among Danish high school teachers – preliminary findings from an ongoing qualitative study [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The purpose of the paper is to present preliminary findings from an ongoing project investigating work identities of high school teachers in context of institutional transformations in the Danish high school. The Danish high school has in recent decades transformed in several ways of relevance for the teaching profession as a whole, as well as for the work identities of the individual teachers. Firstly the teaching methods have seen an increased focus on interdisciplinary teaching approaches, changing the relationship between the teachers, and the relationship of the teachers to the teaching subjects. Secondly, the independence of institutions and discretion of management has been deepened, encroaching on the professional autonomy of the teacher, and diversifying the working environment of the teachers between institutions. Thirdly, the enrollment rates have risen, changing the status of the highs school in general as well as diversifying the pupil body, creating new challenges. These changes could be argued as amounting to obvious possibilities of both deprofessionalisation, professionalisation, and re-professionalisation of sorts, as matters of both status of the profession, and the work identity of the individual teachers. On the one hand deprofessionalisation, as professional privileges are encroached and social status is eroded, on the other hand professionalisation, as interdisciplinary teaching offers the opportunity for the strengthening (or even proper) creation of a pedagogical profession. This may at the same time be viewed as a re-professionalisation of sorts which entails something else than the traditional status of the subject specific, ”private practice” high school teacher. The purpose of the project is to study the consequences of these changes for the work identities of teachers. What forms does these identities take, in what ways are they changing, and in what ways may these changes serve as opportunities for developing new work or -professional identities, or on the other hand promote de-professionalisation? In the project i study two types of Danish high schools, firstly the (old, established) STX (focusing on general liberal education) and secondly the (new, less established) HTX (focusing on technical subjects). This serves to broaden the base of the study, but at the same time offers insight into teacher subgroups where the implications of the above mentioned transformations may be quite different for the individual teacher, because of historically different institutional traits, purposes, pupil composition and general social status of the two school types. The study thus offers insights in to the subjective experiences work as a matter of professionalisation, deprofessionalisation and/or reprofessionalisation of sorts, relative to differences in institutional contexts and histories. The paper aims to present preliminary findings from the first round of interviews. In the analysis i will draw upon a critical theoretical approach, drawing upon Regina Becker-Schmidt and her concept of ”ambivalence”.

Peter Hasle (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
Thim Prætorius (Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus, Denmark)
Locally initiated bureaucracy in hospitals – a paradox? [VIR]
PRESENTER: Peter Hasle

ABSTRACT. Hospitals have traditionally constituted a clear case of the professional bureaucracy where internal-ized professional identities, norms and autonomy were central to secure care outcomes, but this posi-tion is challenged. As hospitals get caught in a straitjacket of increasing demands from patients, still more treatment possibilities and budget constraints, politicians and management have tried to make all ends meet using a series of top-down measures to control hospital activities. In parallel, staff has voiced strong critique of the increasing bureaucracy in the form of managerialism and New Public Management, which are blamed for enforcing targets and rules that divert their attention away from patients and towards compliance with bureaucratic demands. However, bureaucracy is not necessarily just an evil. The increasing complexity of hospitals chal-lenges the traditional work organisation and requires new ways of working to secure the necessary cooperation and coordination. Paradoxically, hospital staff at the local level responds to this challenge by introducing local bureaucracy, thereby reducing individual autonomy, but do so to improve daily operations that require collective effort. This paradoxical finding is the result of analysing case studies in four hospital departments where we studied local initiatives to improve collaboration within and between professions and different organisational units. We use the notion of local enabling bureaucra-cy to distinguish this bottom-up type from the criticised top-down bureaucracy. Local enabling bureaucracy has four basic characteristics: 1) initiated at the local level (first line managers and staff), 2) developed with direct participation of concerned staff and through trial and error, 3) has a clear link to clinical practice, 4) and typical includes a wide range of organisational elements that determine how work should be carried out. Meetings play a strong role, most often multi-professional, short, standing with fixed agendas. Other examples include rules for handing-off patients, use of boards (analogue or digital), check lists, rules for coordination of telephone calls and procedures for bed rounds. Even though we label it a local enabling bureaucracy it contains coercive elements that limit in-dividual professional autonomy. What makes this type of bureaucracy different is that local man-agement and staff agree to limit individual autonomy by among other things sequencing and timing activities, using specific decision support tools, assigning specific roles and allocating tasks. This is rendered possible because both doctors and nurses have participanted in the development and acknowledge that the new bureaucratic rules helps delivering better patient care and work relations. It is therefore important for development of hospitals to leave sufficient latitude for local organisa-tional change, and thereby to a larger degree limit central organisational change to broader frames, which can be implemented locally.

10:30-12:30 Session 7E: [16] THEMATIC SESSION: Positive psychosocial factors at work


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Hanne Keller (Department of Culture and Learning. Aalborg University, Denmark)
Annica Isacsson (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
ENCOURAGING TALK in Finnish Working Life, Social/ Health Care and IT [VIR]

ABSTRACT. In future Finland there will be a shortage of employees in the fields of ICT, and social- and health care. According to a recently published work barometer as many as 49 % of the Finnish nurses are considering to change work. To quit or change work, however, is never an easy decision, and the change is often affected by a number of contemplations. The reasons may be psycosocial and/or related to e.g. working conditions, content of work, work arrangements and/or communication. In previous research it has been detected that teams in which the amount of encouraging and uplifting talk is three times bigger than the amount of negative talk, are more productive than other teams. It has also been proven that a good emotional work culture supports well-being, and reduces the feeling of stress. Negativity is dangerous in multiple ways, and ´negative footprints´ can have long and sometimes even physical effects on young recently graduated employees. It is of outmost importance to research what triggers young employees´ to feel engaged and committed, in a positive way, to work. What brings meaning and how is a good emotional atmosphere and engaging talk created at work? In our research, we have interviewed young employees from 5 social- and health care and IT-related organizations. In the first phase, groups of 2-6 recently graduated employees from each organization were encouraged to talk about their positive and meaningful work experiences. In the first phase we applied photo-dialogue as a method for engaging the recently employed to talk about meaningful experiences at work. In the second phase, in-depth focus-group interviews took place with the same groups on certain topics that emerged from the first phase. In the third phase, supervisors from the respective organizations responded to an e-inquiry on how to engage, shape and create an organization that encourages engagement, commitment and engaging talk.

Louise Møller Pedersen (Aalborg University, Department of Culture and Learning, Denmark)
Andreas Lindegaard Jakobsen (NIDO|danmark, Gødstrup Hospital, Denmark and Aalborg University, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Denmark)
Henriette Nørmølle Buttenschøn (NIDO|danmark, Gødstrup Hospital, Denmark and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark, Denmark)
Lasse Plougstrup Hansen (HR-department, Gødstrup Hospital, Denmark, Denmark)
Annette Haagerup (NIDO|danmark, Gødstrup Hospital, Denmark and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark, Denmark)
Associations between social capital and quality of health care services among Danish hospital employees [VIR]
DISCUSSANT: Åsa Bergman Bruhn

ABSTRACT. Background: Social capital is an acknowledged theoretical concept in Scandinavian working environment research. The concept has newly been redeveloped with the identification of three subtypes of social capital: bonding, bridging, and linking social capital. Previous research has found a positive association between social capital and employee’s wellbeing, engagement, and innovation respectively, and a negative association to sick leave. Hence, social capital is a positive factor in the psychological working environment which potentially can be linked to company outcome measures. However, only a few studies have investigated the relationship between social capital and quality of health care services. Furthermore, none of these studies have compared the effect of social capital with well-known risk factors such as workload and work pace which can influence the quality of work negatively.

Objective: To investigate the association between bonding, bridging, and two types of linking social capital and the self-reported quality of health care services among Danish hospital employees. Next, to compare the effects from different types of social capital with the effects from workload and work pace on quality of health care services. Hence, we have identified which factor had the largest effect on the quality of health care services. Methods: Questionnaire data were collected from 1589 Danish hospital employees. We used validated scales for social capital, workload, and work pace and partly self-developed scales for quality of health care services divided into three types: clinical quality, quality of patient involvement, and overall professional quality. Data was analyzed using binary logistic regression.

Results: The analyses showed strong significant positive associations between bonding and bridging social capital and all types of quality measurements, and negative associations between workload and all types of quality. Work pace was negatively associated with clinical quality. Surprisingly, linking social capital showed no significant associations. Overall, bridging social capital had the largest effect. The results point to the importance of well-functioning relationships within and especially between hospital units as a predictor of health care service quality and is more important than workload and work pace.

Recommendations: Future working environment interventions studies should include bridging, bonding, and linking social capital in their design to test the potential causal effect on quality of health care services. To gain a better theoretical understanding of how and when social capital may influence the quality of health care services, more studies that explore potential mediators and moderators are needed. Finally, the inclusion of bonding and bridging social capital in hospital strategies may help to improve the quality of health care service.

Louise Møller Pedersen (Aalborg University, Department of Culture and Learning, Denmark)
Andreas Lindegaard Jakobsen (NIDO|danmark, Gødstrup Hospital, Denmark and Aalborg University, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Denmark)
Social capital, self-reported quality and clinical quality of health care services at 10 selected departments at a Danish hospital [VIR]
DISCUSSANT: Gunnar Gillberg

ABSTRACT. Background: Scandinavian health care is undergoing major changes these years. Budget restrictions and cut downs, organizational changes, demands for increased effectiveness and political demands for documentation and prioritization of particular groups of patients have influenced the work pace, the work practices and the psychological working environment at the Danish hospitals. Surveys among nurses and young doctors at Danish hospitals indicate that the productivity has increased – but on the cost of the psychological environment of the employees and the self-reported quality of the health care service. This knowledge is highly relevant, not less because the Danish hospital sector is going through a major reorganization process these years. However, in order to draw valid conclusions, research-based knowledge is needed. Only few research-based studies have investigated the relationship between social capital and quality of health care services and most of these focus on self-reported quality as a proxy for clinical quality. Additionally, this phenomenon has not been explored in a Scandinavian context and with inclusion of positive working environment variables like commitment and meaning of work as possible mediating factors. Objective: To analyse the associations between survey measures of positive psychological working environment factors, including social capital, meaning and commitment, and self-reported clinical quality and objective register measures of clinical quality, respectively, in 10 hospital departments. The article is based on Pedersen et al.’s ongoing study (2018-2023) regarding subtypes of social capital and quality of health care services at a Danish hospital. Pedersen et al. document different associations between subtypes of social capital and the self-reported quality of health care service among employees at a Danish hospital. In order to provide valid knowledge about the possible associations between positive psychological working environment factors, self-reported and clinical quality respectively, this article focus on 10 selected departments from the hospital. The selected departments conduct many operations, have validated data for clinical quality and all employees have direct patient contact. Methods: The original study consists of questionnaire data from 1589 Danish hospital employees with more than 10 hours of work/week. In this sub-study we focus on the 300 questionnaire responses from the 10 selected departments. In the questionnaire data we used validated scales for social capital, bonding, bridging and two types of linking social capital, meaning and commitment and partly self-developed scales for self-reported quality of health care services. The objective register measures of clinical quality are measured at department level and selected from the Regional Clinical Quality Development Programme (In Danish: RKKP-data). Next bi- and multivariate analyses are conducted to test the association between the different types of social capital, meaning and commitment and the objective indicators of clinical quality. These results of the analysis of self-reported and objective clinical quality are compared.

Signe Laursen (Aalborg University and NIDO danmark, Denmark)
Louise M. Pedersen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Henriette N. Buttenschøn (NIDO danmark, Denmark)
Associations between social capital at work and mental health among subgroups of employees at a Danish hospital [VIR]
PRESENTER: Signe Laursen
DISCUSSANT: Hanne Keller

ABSTRACT. Background: The workplace is important in regards of social interactions and identity construction. Therefore, it is a natural setting for examining the association between social capital and mental health. Emerging lines of research have found that higher social capital at work is associated with better mental health. These studies measured social capital as a one or two scale phenomenon: horizontal (between employees) and vertical (between employees and management). However, the theory of social capital has recently been redeveloped to distinguish between three subtypes of social capital; bonding, bridging, and linking. To our knowledge no previous studies have statistically investigated the relationship distinguishing between these three types of social capital. Further, no study has examined if associations vary across subgroups based on educational status. Studies examining associations between social capital and health in geographical or residential settings did however find that social capital has a stronger positive effect on health in general for people with lower socioeconomic status compared to people with higher socioeconomic status. Objective: To investigate the associations between bonding, bridging, and linking social capital at work and mental health among Danish hospital employees and how the associations vary across subgroups depending on educational status. Methods: Using cross sectional questionnaire data from 1125 Danish hospital employees (2018), fixed effects subgroup modelling was used to investigate the associations between social capital and mental health. Social capital was measured using four validated subscales (dividing linking social capital into organizational and department level) developed by the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Denmark. Mental health was measured by the validated WHO-5 scale. Models were controlled for sex, age, and type of employment. Due to the hierarchical structure of data, the analyses were fixed by department. Respondents were divided into three subgroups, based on length of formal education. Preliminary results: Subgroup analysis indicates significant positive associations between bonding, bridging, and linking social capital at organizational level, respectively, and mental health depending on the subgroup studied. The results imply that higher social capital is associated with better mental health, which is in line with previous research. Further, the strengths of the associations investigated vary across subgroups. Analysis indicates that the association between bridging social capital and mental health is two times stronger for respondents with lowest educational status compared to respondents at the middle level. For respondents with highest level of educational status, the association between bridging social capital and mental health is even stronger. Recommendations: The results underline the importance of distinguishing between subtypes of social capital and educational groups when investigating associations between social capital at work and mental health. More research on how the associations investigated in this study vary across educational groups is, however, needed.

10:30-12:30 Session 7F: [2] THEMATIC SESSION: Non-standard employment and precariousness in a Nordic context


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Stine Rasmussen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Tine Andersen (Danish Technological Institute, Denmark)
Malene Hartung (Danish Technological Institute, Denmark)
Per K. Madsen (Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Knowledge workers on the Danish labour market – are they facing precarious working conditions and what are the challenges for social partners and political actors? [VIR]
PRESENTER: Tine Andersen

ABSTRACT. Presenters: Tine Andersen & Malene Hartung


International research has indicated that atypical forms of employment are growing rapidly. Danish research has suggested that atypical employment is growing particularly rapidly among knowledge workers with serious implications for their job quality (‘precariasation’).

On this background, the study sets out to examine how atypical forms of employment among Danish knowledge workers developed over a 10-year period since 2006. The study asks the following research questions: • Does the socio-demographic profile of knowledge workers with atypical forms of employment differ from the profile of knowledge workers in permanent full-time employment? • Have there been changes in the knowledge workers' terms of employment and working condition over the past decade?

In the introduction the paper discusses how to understand and delimit ‘knowledge workers‘,‘atypical employment’ and `precariousness´. ‘Knowledge workers’ are defined as persons who have completed education at or above bachelor level and who work in occupations using knowledge as capital. Atypical employment is defined as employment, which is either part time, where the contract duration is limited, and self-employed with no staff.The issue of precariousness is linked to the concept of "atypical employment", but in a context, where it is not assumed that atypical employment automatically entails precariasation. In relation hereto, issues concerning the measurement of different dimensions of precarious work are discussed (including job quality and job security).

A statistical analysis, including a cluster analysis carried out. The data are taken from the labour force surveys and the surveys of working conditions.

The results indicate that • There is no evidence that atypical forms of employment increased significantly among Danish knowledge workers. • Three subgroups of atypical employees differ significantly from one another on a number of background variables, and in their perception of working environment and health • Knowledge workers with short and medium part-time employment tend to be middle-aged women in health or education. • Knowledge workers with temporary contracts are the youngest and largest group of atypical employees. A large share (over 50%) indicated that their temporary employment was due to their inability to find a permanent position. • Self-employed knowledge workers are the smallest group. There were two clusters of self-employed. One consisted mainly of men over the age of 45, who worked long working weeks in "consultancy occupations". The second cluster consisted exclusively of women over 30 years old working in health, science, social sciences and culture.

The study finds no general correlation between atypical employment and precariasation. However, there is reason to monitor the development of temporary employment and self-employment, where we found the greatest risks of marginalization in relation to the labour market. In the conclusion the paper discusses some strategies that social partners and political actors can apply to address the challenges.

Laura Seppänen (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland)
Seppo Poutanen (University of Turku, Finland)
Clay Spinuzzi (The University of Texas at Austin, United States)
‘Market’ and ‘network’ in the practice of platform-mediated online knowledge work [VIR]
PRESENTER: Laura Seppänen

ABSTRACT. When platform work mediated by digital platforms is considered in the context of the Nordic labor market models, it is evident that its precarious aspects come up in the discussion (Jesnes & Oppegaard, 2020). By focusing on precariousness only, we might not get a complete picture about this relatively novel phenomenon of the working life. If platform work is defined as lack of collective agreements, decent wages and good systems of unemployment benefits typical to the Nordic labor markets, we may miss some of platform work’s important characteristics. Beside investigating the important potentially exploitative and deteriorative aspects of platform work, we need to study the contents and practices of platform work to understand the reasons of why people participate, and may want to continue participating, in the online labor market (OLM) work activities. In online knowledge work one of these reasons may be that workers find professionally interesting tasks and jobs via OLM platforms.In the Nordic Working Life Conference 2020 presentation, we first define online mediated knowledge in the context of OLM platform companies’ functioning and then describe ‘market’ and ‘network’ as configurations (Spinuzzi, 2015; Seppänen & Poutanen 2020) or logics existing in the transforming landscape of working life. Third, we present the findings of our study on the every-day work of knowledge workers and working on a global platform company called Upwork, as reported in interviews of freelancers residing in Finland and as interpreted with market and network configurations. And finally, we will discuss the findings in the context of evolving working life in the Nordic countries. In this extended abstract we introduce the main contents of the presentation. The presentation and abstract are based on authors’ recent work (Seppänen & Poutanen, 2020).

Arja Haapakorpi (Tampere University, Finland)
Post-industrial service society and business consulting profession - new terms for professional work and employment [VIR]

ABSTRACT. New ways of organizing work and labour force have emerged with the post-industrial society. Mass production and large organizations, which are based on scale of economics, are increasingly substituted by firms, which promote flexible specialization and diversified products and horizontally organized production. The horizontal organisation promotes outsourcing of tasks and employing only necessary personnel for managing and coordinating the subcontracted tasks. Post-industrial society is related to the emergence of service sector. Work organizations are reshaped for promoting effectiveness and “agility” to react the rapidly changing economic environment. The service sector grows and even professional tasks are transformed into service-mannered, contingent work, which are subcontracted from service producers. Liberalization of labour markets promotes deregulation of professional labour force and reshaping professional work as service-mannered and flexible work. In addition, privatization of tasks, which were previously carried out by public sector is related to the trend. As a consequence, business consulting services for private and public sector organizations are a significantly growing sector. The emergence of service society introduces new ways of reshaping professional work and particularly the terms for it. Instead of being employed into stable positions in organizations, professional labour is provided on self-employment-bases or short-term employment contract–basis. The work is designed as a service on the basis of the remuneration and the customers’ wishes; the business consulting profession is based on competence, which may originate from a variety of disciplines, training and practical experience, which are comprised into knowledge-based and social capital. The business consulting professional services are varied, including, for example, all kinds coaching for work organizations, knowledge and development services, training, financial counselling and wellbeing services. Although these professionals are often presented as an elite grouping, the terms and patterns of their employment also suggest fragmented and uncertain employment. The business consultant professionals’ career is based on short-term assignments and contracts and their careers consist of multiple sources of income. The presentation deals with business consulting professionals’ employment patterns and terms for work: how they control the multiplicity of assignments, work load, time order, income and uncertainty. The subject of the research is a group of professionals, who work on coaching, counselling, training and evaluation and development services as self-employed or in short-time employment contracts and earn their income from many sources. The presentation is based on the research project “Multiple job-holding – practices and institutional frame 2019-2020”, at Tampere University. The research project is funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund.

Mette Lykke Nielsen (The Danish Centre for Youth Research, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Cæcilie Sloth Laursen (The Danish Centre for Youth Research, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Employment Relations in the platform economy: Perspectives and Consequences seen from the perspective of Young Workers [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Background: In the digital revolution, especially young people engage in new markets with new forms of production and new ways of working, which are being created with digital platforms (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work 2017; Popescu et al. 2018). Within the gig-economy, services and work are distributed through commercial digital platforms (Prassl 2018). At the same time, the emergence of social media platforms has enabled new types of work, for instance, blogging and professional e-sport gaming (Nielsen et al. 2019). The emergence of these new types of work arrangements raises important questions concerning responsibilities for Health and Safety. Digital work platforms situate themselves merely as intermediaries between customers and independent entrepreneurs looking for work. For this reason, the platforms take no employer responsibility (Prassl 2018; Weber 2018). However, the platforms still excess a degree of control over the workers and the transaction, and therefore this paper investigates young workers’ perspectives on their work and employment relationship on the digital labour markets. In particular, we explore how young workers in the platform economy relate to Health and Safety in their work, in order to unfold the employment relationships.

Research question: Who do the workers think has the responsibility of the Health and Safety in their work, and what does that tell us about their employment relationships?

Design: The paper draws 27 qualitative interviews with Nordic young workers (18-30). The questions asked in the interviews were about the young workers’ life situation, working routines, work organization, pay & social -and economic risks. Discursive representations of employment relationships within the platform economy are coded and analysed.

Findings: The traditional and well-known two-sided relationship between an employer and an employee does not fit the digital labour market. On digital work platforms there exists a three-sided relationship between a digital platform, those who work, and those who buy the labour. When it comes to young workers on social media platforms, this relationship is even more complex; often five-sided or more. Mutual for these work arrangements is that there is no employer and the workers lack traditional payroll rights. However, many of the young workers in our project perceive the platforms as their employer, describe employer-like management from platforms, and express confusion about their own rights and responsibilities. In this way, our findings show that the non-transparent employment relations in the platform economy can have severe Health and Safety consequences.

10:30-12:30 Session 7G: [7] THEMATIC SESSION: Technological change, digitalization, and quality of work


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Tomas Berglund (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Tapio Mäkelä (JAMK university of applied sciences, Finland)
Working with robots [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Automation of operations and services as well as robotization aim at increasing the productivity of enterprises. The introduction of robotics has an immediate impact at least on management, organizational structure and work processes / competences but also on motivation, well-being at work, workplace culture etc. Impacts can be positive or negative depending on how the development or deployment process is executed. Challenges will be faced if enterprises development projects are technology-driven and people's human factors and needs, such as a sense of security or a fear of change, opportunities to influence / participate etc. are overlooked. These problems coupled with limited knowledge and know-how capital, limited experience in the deployment, exploitation and impact of robotics, has slowed down the development process based on utilization of robotics in the SME sector. At the same time, it has slowed down the transformation process of operations and ways of working. While it is obvious that value creation in the future will require new skills, new innovations, new ways of delivering services.

Working with robots project (4 / 2019-10 / 1921) responds to the need for SMEs to deploy business-enhancing robotics and automation solutions in a sustainable and profitable way. The main objective of the project is to model the successful implementation of robotics for SMEs. The main target group of the project consist 10 SMEs in the service, welfare and manufacturing industries. The project will observe and study the effects of the introduction of robotics through experiments, learning and modelling the pioneer-enterprises experiences and benefitting co-design approach in planning.

The methodology of the research is based on a participatory research and development - framework. Research used observation and interviews as research techniques. A participatory method refers to a research approach and to research orientation rather than to actual research method. Participatory research and development (PR&D) is often linked to action research traditions (Reason & Bradbury 2008; Kemmis & Mc Taggart 2005; Bergold & Thomas 2012). Common feature of both approaches include the solution-centric and holistic content: combining knowledge to solve complex design problems. (Muller 2002)

Merja Kauhanen (Labour Institute for Economic Research, Finland)
The impact of robots on employment – evidence from seven European countries during 1993-2015 [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Rapid technological change including robotisation, digitalization and artificial intelligence is transforming labour markets and the structure of employment. As regards labour markets this development has also raised concern about its impact on employment and technological unemployment. The estimates given by different experts and evaluations differ as to how many jobs are threatened by this development in the future (see Brynjolfson and Mcafee 2014; Frey and Osborne 2013 & 2016; Autor 2015). There is relatively much earlier research on the impact of ICT on employment and its structure, but still much less research on the impact of robots on employment.

The aim of this paper is to provide new empirical evidence on the impact of an increased robot usage on employment in seven European countries between 1993-2015 and thus contribute to the developing literature on the labour market impacts of robotisation.

The analysis utilises robot data on industrial robots (and later on data on service robots) combined with employment and other relevant data from EUKLEMS. The seven European countries that are (so far) used in the analysis are Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Finland and Sweden. These are countries for which there is data available for all the years between 1993-2015. We analyse the employment effects of robotisation for the whole period but also separately for the subperiods 1993-2007 and 2008-2015 of which the latter also includes the financial crisis years of 2008-2009 and the recovery period after that. We utilise OLS and IV regressions in the empirical analyses.

The preliminary results suggest that there is a negative impact of industrial robots on hours during the period 1993-2015 for the seven countries used in the estimation when controlling for the country fixed effects and initial wages and capital-labour ratio. The impact is negative and statistically significant but very small. The corresponding OLS estimates by the skill level suggest that the impact of increased robotisation has a statistically significant negative impact only for the low-skilled workers' working hours thus giving support to the skill-biased technological change.

10:30-12:30 Session 7H: [19] THEMATIC SESSION: Supported employment within active labour market policies in the Nordic countries

Inge Bonfils will start out with a general introduction to the session.


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Stefan C. Hardonk (Centre for Disability Studies, University of Iceland, Iceland)
Øystein Spjelkavik (Work Research Institute, Competence Center for Work Inclusion, OsloMet, Norway)
Øystein Spjelkavik (Work Research Institute, Competence Center for Work Inclusion, OsloMet, Norway)
Supported Employment within active labor market policies (ALMP) in the Nordic Countries [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Traditional employment measures for people with disabilities in the Nordic countries are sheltered workplaces, train-then–place/pre-vocational training and Municipality day-care-centers. Supported Employment (SE) is the opposite, place then train. SE originated to increase the right to work participation for people with learning disabilities and other vulnerable groups and hard-to-place citizens have since entered. Key role in SE is the employment specialist, whose starting point is interests and wishes of the client to identify and develop job match in cooperation with the employer to secure inclusion in the socio-psychosocial work environment, recovery and job retention. As such, SE is a bottom-up strategy for work inclusion, a value-based approach that emphasizes individually tailored support to both client and employer, and co-creation between clients, the public support system and employers to achieve work inclusion. This fits well with the negotiating role of the social partners in Nordic work life and work legislation’s focus on job adaptation to the individual and support and inclusion in the work environment. Implementation of SE in the Nordic countries largely takes place within the framework of demanding ALMP’s time limited measures and strict regulations. Ultimately, the implementation of SE in the Nordic countries raises tension and some questions: • Is it possible to implement a right to work perspective (SE) in a duty to work perspective (ALMP)? • Are there possibilities in the framework of Nordic ALMPs to promote social inclusion at the work place, job retention and individual work career development for vulnerable clients, i.e. with psychosis, learning disabilities, lack of social skills? • When implemented in the Nordic countries, will SE perform as competence for supporting social inclusion, recovery and citizenship or as a tool for activating reserve labor and economic relief for the welfare state?

Inge Bonfils (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Julia Salado-Rasmussen (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Mikkel Bo Madsen (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Stella Mia Sieling-Monas (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Supported Employment in the light of Active Labour Market Policy – the Danish case [VIR]
PRESENTER: Inge Bonfils

ABSTRACT. In recent years, Supported Employment (SE) has become part of the labour market policy in the Nordic countries. In Denmark, however, SE has been almost unknown until 2012, when the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) approach was introduced in four municipal jobcentres and target towards people with severe mental illness. Today we are witnessing a growing interest in IPS and SE among government stakeholders (The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment-STAR, The National Board of Social Services), public employment services and private job-placement providers for hard-to-place unemployed persons. Furthermore, there is growing awareness among social researcher on this topic, although research in the field is still limited (Spjelkavik, 2012).

Given the novelty of SE in a Danish context, the aim of this presentation is to introduce and discuss SE in light of the Danish active labour market policy (ALMP) and regulation. First, we outline the development of SE in an international context, the values and principles behind and discuss the underlying assumptions of SE in light of the current development in Danish active labour market policy. How does these assumptions apply to Danish active labour market policy? What are the similarities and differences?

This part is based on central textbooks on SE and IPS (Drake, Bond and Becker, 2012; Frøyland and Spjelkavik, 2014, European Union of Supported Employment Toolkit, 2009), and existing research on the development in Danish active labour market policy (Larsen, 2011; Andersen and Larsen, 2018).

Second, we present an analysis of the opportunities and barriers for implementing SE-programs under Danish labour market regulation. This part is based on recently published research on the implementation of IPS in a Danish welfare context (Bonfils, 2019), and an ongoing intervention study, ‘The Reconnect study’, implementing an adjusted IPS model target toward adolescents not in education, employment or training (NEET) with symptoms of anxiety or depression. In this section, we discuss challenges for implementing central principles in SE/IPS such as 1) the focus on competitive employment contrasting traditional employment services use of wage subsidies and internship, 2) time-unlimited and individualized support opposing to time-limited, standardized employment programs.

Jaakko Harkko (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Why did the mainstreaming of IPS fail? Re-evaluation of four supported employment initiatives in Finland [VIR]

ABSTRACT. IPS has established itself as an evidence-based practice for supporting people with disabilities into labour market. Yet, its reach has been compromised by slow implementation and adaptation to national social policy frameworks globally, Finland being no exception. Since the 1990’s, Finland has been a location for several IPS-related development projects. In this presentation, by thematic re-analysis of the results from conducted evaluations of four SE initiatives, I will present a historical description of the development of IPS in Finland, and present an account on the facilitators and barriers of mainstreaming of IPS at the levels of policy and practice. I will argue that failures in 1) resource allocation (funding in project settings, path dependence of policies and services) and 2) level of inter-professional collaboration (conflicting interest, efficacy vs. holism in service orientation) operated as key mechanisms leading to the failure of mainstreaming of IPS and low-quality fidelity in SE services in general. I will conclude that with addressing conflicting theoretical underpinnings related to activation policies there is a possibility to provide a more coherent account of IPS as a social investment practice, which may, in turn, facilitate its implementation and adaptation in the future

10:30-12:30 Session 7I: [20] THEMATIC SESSION: New Technologies, Professions and professionalism


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Sidsel Lond Grosen (Roskilde University, Department for People and Technology, Denmark)
Bertil Rolandsson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Antti Saloniemi (Tampere University, Finland)
Tiina Saari (Tampere University, Finland)
Digital platforms, professional boundaries and technical translations [VIR]
DISCUSSANT: Annette Kamp

ABSTRACT. Research on platform work primarily investigate how platforms make it possible to mobilize simple services with low skill requirements. Many of these studies shows how employer responsibilities are blurred and how different segments of unqualified workforces are exploited. This study, however, highlight the fact that the logic of the platform economy also applies in a context of qualified work, and thereby raising new questions about conditions and demands for education and professionalism. The study draw on boundary-work theory, exploring how the introduction of a set of new digital tools shape the way translation companies and translators engaged with technical translations reinterpret their modes of organizing professional translation work. As a case, technical translations emerge as a professional field increasingly shaped by both new digital platforms and machine translations, dramatically changing conditions for how translations are organized. For instance, the use of new digital platforms forces translators to be self-employed actors navigating a highly competitive and increasingly global business. In combination with these platforms, the introduction of different forms of advanced digital memories and machine translation, also emerge as an extensive challenge associated with expectations on advanced technologies that in the long-run may replace the translators. At the same time, our study shows how involved companies, and their use of new digital tools become preconditions that makes it possible to construct boundaries that allow them to stabilize how professional translation work is valued and organized. The study draw on 22 semi-structured interviews conducted in Sweden and Finland. Interviewees comprise professional translators, managers representing global translation firms, and representatives from unions as well professional associations such as the Swedish Association of Professional Translators (SFÖ), and the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL).

Annette Kamp (Roskilde University, Department for People and Technology, Denmark)
Agnete Meldgaard Hansen (Roskilde University, Deaprtment for People and Technology, Denmark)
Sidsel Lond Grosen (Roskilde University, Department for People and Technology, Denmark)
New technologies in professional work. ‘Tinkering’ as a means of developing professional identities [VIR]
PRESENTER: Annette Kamp
DISCUSSANT: Sabina Pultz

ABSTRACT. Currently new digital technologies are anticipated to enter all sectors of the labor market and transform work and professionalism. This development may be seen as a threat to professionalism (Susskind and Susskind 2015), but it may also provide new possibilities for renewing professionalism and improving working life. In this paper, we will address these possibilities. First, we discuss central contributions to understanding such possibilities drawn from the research traditions of ‘participatory design’, ‘employee driven innovation’ and ‘technological literacy’. Secondly, taking departure in key insights from this litera-ture, and in an STS-inspired understanding of ‘technology in use’ that emphasizes technology develop-ment as an ongoing process (Orlikowski 2007), the paper explores potentials for developing professional identity and meaning in work in relation to technology-use in the workplace. We present empirical exam-ples from a 4-year ethnographic research project on ‘welfare technologies’ in care work that represents different contexts – in terms of policies and ways of organizing – for developing professional identities. In policy discourses on the implementation of welfare technologies, professionals are often represented as reluctant and resistant users of new technologies. However, our empirical examples illustrate that pro-fessionals’ day-to-day articulation work of making welfare technologies function in daily practice, and of adapting use to specific situations and citizens – ‘tinkering’ (Mol, Moser, and Pols 2010) – contains new possibilities for development of professionalism and meaning in work. In some cases professionals were able to act ‘entrepreneurially’ with the new welfare technologies, developing both the quality and charac-ter of care services, as well as their own professional identities and experiences of meaning in work. We discuss to which extent new forms of professionalism and meaning in work develop within the scope of what Evetts (2011) has termed ’organizational professionalism’, as opposed to more traditional concep-tualizations of ’professional professionalism’. We conclude by discussing what kinds of organizational priorities and learning spaces may be required to support the development of professional identities and meaning in work in relation to the use of new (welfare) technologies in the workplace.

References Evetts, Julia. 2011. “A New Professionalism? Challenges and Opportunities.” Current Sociology 59 (4): 406–22. doi:10.1177/0011392111402585. Mol, Annemarie, Ingunn Moser, and Jeannette Pols. 2010. Care in Practice, On Tinkering in Clinics, Homes and Farms. Edited by Annemarie Mol, Ingunn Moser, and Jeannette Pols. Bielefeld: Transcipt. Orlikowski, W. J. 2007. “Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work.” Organization Studies 28 (9): 1435–48. doi:10.1177/0170840607081138. Susskind, Richard, and Daniel Susskind. 2015. The Future of the Professions, How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Sabina Pultz (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Katia Dupret (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Pushing and pulling: the micropolitics of virtual communication tools [VIR]
PRESENTER: Katia Dupret

ABSTRACT. We investigate the micropolitics involved in the use of a virtual communication tool (VCT) among knowledge workers in an IT-consultancy firm. We aim to disentangle the multiple ways digital communication tools shape what it is like to be employed in the firm and how questions such as decision latitude and power emerge and play out among co-located knowledge workers and management. We apply a symbolic interactionist perspective and combine it with recent development in affective theory in order to shed light on how VCT both creative proximity and distance for knowledge workers. Based on ethnographic study we conclude that digital communication tools play a key role in relation to pivotal dilemmas facing knowledge workers today; self-management in relation to always-on connectivity, knowledge sharing and informal hierarchies. We discuss implications for investigating the micropolitics of communication tools.

Hans Christian Garmann Johnsen (University of Agder, Norway)
Clare Roberta Louise Hildebrandt (University of Agder, Norway)
Can the dialogical approach address the new technological challenges in the workplace? [VIR]
DISCUSSANT: Bertil Rolandsson

ABSTRACT. This paper discusses the relevance of the dialogical processes and broad participation at work in relation to the technological changes now under way in work life. The Norwegian model for Workplace Innovation, based on broad participation, has received widespread attention as a highly democratic approach to enhancing business development. The underlying governance model, known as the tripartite model, has been developed between the Norwegian government and the social partners in the post-war period. They initiated a co-operation with the Tavistock institute in London in the 1960’s known as the Collaborator Studies . From the 1990’s on, the processes of broad participation in business development were conceptualised by the late Prof. Bjørn Gustavsen, with the emphasis on democratic dialogue . His philosophy was put into practice through three, large scale, Norwegian national programmes between 1995 and 2017. The core idea behind the Norwegian experience with dialogue-based enterprise development and workplace innovation, was the institutional set-up. As some sort of design was needed in order to initiate this kind of collaborating, the idea was that the content of the dialogue and the dynamics of developing the dialogue should happen in the local environment; in the workplace or in the workshop. The non-instrumental approach that these programmes represent contradicts much of management thinking in general, and much of the culture that one finds in enterprises. The idea is that non-instrumental dialogue creates a space for creativity and participation. The idea is to build a new culture and structure of communication in the enterprise. The non-instrumental approach presupposes that one replaces direct steering with a culture for communication and mutual understanding. The approach was based on Jurgen Habermas’ idea of an ideal talk situation, presented in his work from 1981 on Theory of Communicative Action . Gustavsen converted Habermas’ four participles of non-dominated dialogue into thirteen principles for the dialogue processes at the workplace level. A key concept developed by Habermas is communicative rationality. Our paper will discuss how this development strategy can be relevant in relation to the technological shift towards digitalisation now seen in workplaces. The paper therefore reflects on how the current digitalisation diverges from earlier technological shifts in the workplace.

13:30-15:00 Session 8A: [19] THEMATIC SESSION: Supported employment within active labour market policies in the Nordic countries

The session will conclude with a discussion based on all the presentations in the session (i.e. in both session 7H and 8A)


Inge Bonfils (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Stefan C. Hardonk (Centre for Disability Studies, University of Iceland, Iceland)
Kjetil A. van der Wel (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Espen Dahl (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Åsmund Hermansen (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Magne Bråthen (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
Programmed to fail? Do successful participants in active labour market programmes gain access to healthy jobs? [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Background: Emerging work first approaches in social policy programmes are based on the healthy work assumption, i.e. that being employed overall is beneficial to health. Employment usually implies more income, but also latent benefits like time-structure, social relationships, self-realisation, social status and social control. However, not all jobs are healthy. We know that working conditions vary dramatically between different occupations, contributing substantially to observed health inequalities. These job quality differences may also be crucial to the chance of being able to keep a certain job after ALMP completion, particularly among participants with limiting health. The ability of different ALMPs to match participant characteristics and job demands may thus be important.

We hypothesise that human capital intensive ALMPs and ALMPs including support resources for employers and employees to a larger extent than other programmes result in improved job quality, and better job match for people with health limitations.

Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate to what extent successful ALMP participants enter jobs that are not damaging to health. We are particularly interested in whether ALMPs are able to accommodate the needs of participants with health limitations by directing them to jobs more compatible with their health challenges.

Data and methods: We use population-covering administrative data from Norway, including information on ALMP participation, detailed occupational codes, and diagnoses related to health benefits. We rank occupations according to their working environment and associated health risk by applying an empirically based job exposure matrix. The study population consists of everyone employed in 2016, among whom we identity ALMP participants in the previous year.

The analysis compares the occupational risk among those who in the previous year successfully completed an ALMP spell to the occupational risk in the general population. The idea is that a good job match for ALMP participants with health limitations, would imply that their risk of having a harmful job is at least not greater than for the working population in general.

We are particularly interested in comparing ALMPs that are closely related to the labour market (supported employment of wage subsidies) and ALMPs that invest in short or long-term human capital investment (skills and formal education). We are also interested in comparing outcomes between participants with no health limitation, physical health limitation and psychological health limitations. We combine this information to construct unique categories reflecting the four ALMP types for participants with different health status, and assess the associated risk of entering unhealthy work.

Expected results: We expect that human capital intensive programmes and programmes including support resources for employers are more effective in providing good jobs for ALMP participants with health limitations than other programme types.

Stefan C. Hardonk (Centre for Disability Studies, University of Iceland, Iceland)
Inclusion of disabled people in the labour market: job coaches’ perspective on supported employment in Iceland [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The research project "Rethinking work inclusion for people with intellectual disabilites" aims to provide insight into the processes that lie behind barriers to participation as well as opportunities for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in work and employment on the regular labour market. While the perspective of individuals with intellectual disabilities is central, other actors involved in the matter were also studied. Departing from research suggesting the importance of meaning making in implementing supported employment programmes this study focused on the perspective of job coaches. More specifically we aimed to understand how job coaches implement supported employment with an emphasis on how they made sense of inclusion, of their own responsibility as job coaches and of the roles of clients of the service, employers and co-workers.

Ten interviews were conducted with job coaches and management in supported employment at the public employment services in Reykjavík. Interviews were based on a list of topics and questions about what supported employment means to the job coaches, how they put the support into practice and how the job coaches evaluate their impact.

The results indicate that while job coaches see themselves as advocates for their disabled clients, there is no agreement between our participants as to what inclusion means and how supported employment could contribute to that end. Different understandings of inclusion underlie the job coaches' daily practice and there does not seem to be a concerted effort to develop the notion of inclusion in relation to policy and practice.

This reflects on the level of support employment practices. Access to the programme is not based on self-eligibility but rather on ideas of fitness to work, and some applicants are redirected to segregated employment settings. Job coaches place much emphasis on the uniqueness of clients in describing their daily practice, however when assessing individual needs and preferences they appear to rely on ideas and expectations about what is 'realistic' which are dominant among employers, co-workers and generally in non-disabled society. And while prejudice on the labour market is often mentioned as barrier by job coaches, they feel that they have few means that they can rely on to overcome this. Instead they place emphasis on 'selling clients', a process in which wage subsidies seem to be helpful. After hiring continued support appears to be relatively limited in scope and reactive in nature. Job coaches complained about high case load preventing them to implement supported employment in a way that fits with their own expectations.

The lack of consistent operationalisation of what inclusion means for job coaches‘ own practices, the role of their clients and the responsibilities of employers limits the potential of supported employment for supporting disabled people's right to work.

13:30-15:00 Session 8B: OPEN SESSION


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Bjarke Refslund (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Carin Håkansta (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden)
How international is Nordic working life research? Results and discussion around Swedish survey result [VIR]

ABSTRACT. I will present a survey that was carried out in the framework of SWOSH (https://www.swosh.eu/), a project funded by Swedish Innovation agency Vinnova. The goal of SWOSH is to get more Swedish working life researchers to apply for EU funding. The survey includes questions about the extent and type of participation in EU funding programmes as well as researchers' motivation to participate or not. It also looks into proposals for the new framework programme, Horizon Europe. The original plan was to include Nordic working life researchers in connection to the NLWC conference. Due to the postponement of the conference, the survey was instead sent to 300 Swedish working Life researchers. The purpose of my presentation is to present the results of the survey and discuss them with the participants of the session. How important is EU funding to Nordic Working Life Research? Should we try to participate more at EU level - if so how could that be achieved? There will be possibilities for participants of the conference to participate in a Nordic "Part 2" of the survey.

Klaus T. Nielsen (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Hans Jørgen Limborg (Team Arbejdsliv, Denmark)
Collective agreement based Safety and Health consulting services – Strength and weaknesses of a new trend in Danish OSH regulation [VIR]
PRESENTER: Klaus T. Nielsen

ABSTRACT. The paper reports on a study of three Danish OHS consulting services that have been set up through a clause in the respective collective agreements: In the metal works industry (TekSam), in construction (Bam-bus), and in municipal services (SPARK). This means that the consulting services are supported by the labour market parties and financed by a fraction of the payroll. Among the question we intend to answer are: • Is the legitimacy of the advice impacted by the fact that the labour market parties is supporting, and how? • Does the local targeted receiver of the advice – in many cases the internal cooperative forum, e.g. the working environment organisation – make the advice have a more enduring and distributed impact? • What can we learn from the difference between the focus of the consultants (ergonomics in construction, psychosocial issues in metal and municipalities), their competence profiles, and their scope of solutions? • Which implications do the contact form – spontaneous visits vs. requested help – have? • Which implications do the approach – process and coaching vs. expert based advice – have? The study is based on interviews and workshops among consultants, head of consultancies, and representatives for the labour market parties behind them. We believe that the particular way these consultancies have been created, are supported and financed, do make differences compared to state organized or market based models. Moreover, we believe that the set ups are pretty unique in an international perspective. As such, there are good reasons for investigating these services further.

Mikkel Mailand (FAOS, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Troubled but not dead - corporatism and reduced power resources in three small states [VIR]

ABSTRACT. In the article, it has been argued, that the trade unions’ power resources to varying extent are weakened (also) in the three countries studied (Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria), but least so in Denmark. In the Netherlands, especially the trade unions’ organizational power resources have diminished due to a severer reduction in the unions’ organizational density. In Austria, continued strong institutional power resources of both unions and employers organizations (such as the compulsory memberships of the Chambers) still helps the unions, who nevertheless have seen their organizational power resources declining (due to reduced organizational density of one trade unions, but not the Chambers of Workers). Moreover, the political power resources of the trade unions have reduced because of repeated presence of trade union unfriendly governments. In Denmark, it is mostly the organizational power resources of the unions that have diminished, although loosening ties to the social democratic party has also reduced their political power resources, but the trade unions resources have weakened less than in the two other countries. Despite of the reduced powers of the trade unions, the frequency of the tripartite agreements has been either stable or increased since Great Recession. Hence, in these countries the social partners are still strong enough under the right conditions to be included in corporatist arrangements. Furthermore, the article discusses four factors often referred to as divers of tripartite arrangement in the literature on corporatism. There was some impact from economic crisis, and limited impact from social partner strength, government ideology and government strength, although the importance of each of the four drivers differs between the three countries. However, although the frequency of tripartite agreements have not declined in any of the countries, it is in trouble, at least in Netherlands and Austria. In the Netherlands, the core of the trouble is the organizational development (the reduced power resources of the trade unions), in Austria the political development. Compared to corporatism in these two countries, although also fluctuating, tripartism in Denmark seems less in trouble. Trade unions organizational resources have been reduced less than in the two other countries and although trade unions occasionally have been challenged by governments, these challenges have mostly been of a temporary nature.

Bjarke Refslund (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Jens Arnholtz (FAOS /University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Bringing power resources back in [VIR]
PRESENTER: Bjarke Refslund

ABSTRACT. Following decades of employer-centered analysis in comparative political economy, there can no longer be any doubt that employers’ and their preferences matter. Even if companies and the capitalist that own them are not as all-powerful as proponents of employer-centered analysis argues (Hall and Soskice, 2001; Swenson, 1991, 2002), and even if their influence is mediated by party politics when issues are salient (Culpepper, 2010) they still have substantial power and influence. However, the huge focus on employers has meant an increasing neglect of trade unions. While trade union were previously perceived as key actors in the formation of national welfare and labour market institutions (cf. Esping-Andersen, 1985; Esping-Andersen and Korpi, 1984), they are now often almost totally ignored in studies of institutional change. The declining power of trade unions (Baccaro and Howell, 2011; Gumbrell-McCormick and Hyman, 2013) may be one explanation for the declining attention paid to them. However, another explanation may be that the most prominent analytical apparatus for studying trade union influence – power resource theory (Korpi, 1978) – has fallen out of grace in academia. While this theory is often mentioned in studies of institutional change, it is typically as the theoretical antagonist of the argument being put forth. Consequentially, power resource theory is often mentioned only to be dismissed, and empirical assessments of its relevance typically use very crude indicators (like trade union density) to measure trade union power resources. The primary aim of this paper is to bring power resources back in to the analytical focus of comparative studies of institutional change. The secondary aim of the paper is to argue that a revised and re-assed version of power resource theory might allow us to also bring trade unions back in – not as all powerful shapers of social and labour market policy, but as actors that have various resource, which they leverage more or less successfully to influence institutional change. The paper is divided in four parts. First, we revisit classical power resource theory to outline its basic argument. Second, we engage with some of the misunderstandings or misinterpretations that has caused power resource theory to get a bad reputation over the years. Doing so, we hope to illustrate that the theory has more merit than it is often given credit for. Third, however, we do engage with some weaknesses and limitation of classical power resource theory, and suggest issues where the theory needs to be developed. Fourth, and finally, we outline how a new research agenda based on a revised power resource theory might engage with the study of institutional change in contemporary society

13:30-15:00 Session 8C: [12] THEMATIC SESSION: Thirty years of transformation of journalistic labour


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Monika Metykova (University of Sussex, UK)
Lenka Waschkova Cisarova (Masaryk University, Czechia)
Magdalena Mateja (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland)
TITLE TBC Authority and prestige of the journalists in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The challenges that journalists have faced over the past thirty years relate to many issues: identity, trust, autonomy, legitimacy, security, practice and workshop models, media financing models, technology, institutional environment, representativeness. In Central and Eastern European countries the media and journalists additionally experienced a change in political and media systems, transforming from a totalitarian system into a liberal democracy and changing the communist media doctrine into a liberal one. Before the new systems managed to consolidate in such countries as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, populist governments made "authoritarian turn". As a consequence, public media reoriented toward a government propaganda tool, the journalists had to redefine their role in the media system, and the importance of private and independent media got reduced. Wishing to determine to what extent these threats affect the authority and prestige of the journalist profession in the 21st century, we propose the organization of a thematic panel. The panel papers should bring the answers to the following question: "To what extent have political, technological, economic and social processes contributed to the fall of journalists' authority in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe?" To answer them, members of the Department of Communication, Media and Journalism propose several related papers: 1. Authority and prestige of the profession of journalist, prof. M. Jezinski (head of the department); 2. Truth - objectivity - trust, prof. W. Waclawczyk; 3. The relation between information and reproduction of national identity, prof. M. Lisiecki; 4. The evolution of motivation among journalism students, prof. A. Seklecka; 5. Career development or attempt to survive? Security of employment of journalists in Poland, prof. M. Mateja; 6. Journalist authorities for students of NCU "Journalism and Social Communication" study course, L. Radkiewicz (BA).

Lenka Waschkova Cisarova (Masaryk University, Czechia)
Monika Metykova (University of Sussex, UK)
Technological change as curse or redemption for journalistic labour: A case study of TV news reporters and camera reporters [VIR]

ABSTRACT. It is a truism that technological developments significantly impact on journalists’ labour. But exactly how and under what circumstances? In this paper we aim to address the gap on (some aspects of) technological change and the journalistic profession in the Czech Republic. We focus on television journalists’ – news reporters’ and camera reporters’ – professional practices in the news production process, particularly the interaction between technological change, workflow and autonomy (deskilling, reskilling or multiskilling, cf. Bro et al., 2016). Technology can, for example, broaden the group of potential journalists (Zelizer, 2004); consolidate the work of television reporters to multi-skilled video journalists (Saltzis and Dickinson, 2018; Wallace, 2013) or operational broadcast journalists (García Avilés et al., 2004). Technological advances and their adoption in newsrooms can result in technical know-how becoming a mere craft rather than professional journalism (Örnebring, 2010) and can lead to increased tensions among various news workers (Sehl et al., 2018). Our case study is based in a Czech television studio where we conducted 17 interviews with camera reporters, news reporters, editors, producers and managers in late 2018 and early 2019. Our findings suggest that the work practices and autonomy of the different news workers are influenced more by existing professional hierarchies than by technological change.

13:30-15:00 Session 8D: OPEN SESSION


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Hildegunn Mellesmo Aslaksen (University of Agder, Norway)
Hildegunn Mellesmo Aslaksen (University of Agder, Norway)
Labour or nature? The ecomodernist dilemma in the discourses on green jobs in Norway [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The ecological crisis provokes a change in the way we work, yet work has played a marginal role in recent sustainability debates (Barth, Jochum, & Littig, 2019). On the local level, however, a job versus nature conflict has emerged in several specific cases related to the green transition of the economy. Governmental support for allegedly green jobs collides with local engagement and care for nature. These conflicts are expressed through resistance and demonstrations and seem to reproduce centre-periphery conflicts in the Norwegian society (Rokkan, Hagtvet, & Alldén, 1987). Such local controversies touch upon what has been labelled “the ecomodernist dilemma”: There is a political convergence between labour and mainstream Ecological Modernization revolving around a labour-friendly green growth strategy and the defence of production (Stefania Barca, 2019). But at the same time, labour´s endorsement of ecomodernism is confronted by grassroot resistance. This labour/nature tension will be highlighted through examining discourses in two cases. First through the case of Nussir, a copper mine in Finnmark County where permission have been given to use a national salmon fjord as a dumpsite for tailings. The decision has spurred an outcry of protests from locals, especially from fishermen and representatives of the Sami community (Ford, Dale, Bay-Larsen, & Skorstad, 2018). Next, through the case of Oddeheia and Bjelkeberg wind farm in Birkenes in the south of Norway, a region where opposition to wind power has been especially fierce. Located with a 1.500 kilometers distance to each other, both projects have been promoted as important for the green shift and they both lead to substantial physical change of the natural environment. These cases may result in a better understanding of the relations between labour and nature. Workers are not only fictious commodities (Polanyi, 1971), they are often ecologically conscious citizens feeling partially responsible for environmental change, but viewing work as a bargain they have to make in exchange for a necessary income (S. Barca, 2014). On the national level, new jobs are important to secure high levels of employment and thus the stability of the welfare state. The problem studied is specific for Norwegian discourses on work and nature, but transition, change and (creative) destruction is anticipated for all of the Nordic countries to deal with (as expressed by the theme of the conference). Coping with sustainable change in the way we work will be a challenge for all.

Erik Mygind du Plessis (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Sine Just (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Selling advice: Escalation-oriented practices and resonance-sensitivity in Danish retail banking [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The Danish term ’bankrådgiver’, which is widely applied as the job-category of Danish retail bankers, literally translates as ’bank-advisor’; i.e. a person who offers advice on banking-related matters. Accordingly, ‘advising’ the customer and making sure their needs are met is a widely shared ideal among the 21 retail bankers interviewed for this study. As employees of a commercial enterprise, they are, however, also well aware that in addition to advising clients on pension-savings, investments, loans etc., their job is to sell the different financial solutions offered by the bank.

The strong normative orientation towards advising vis a vis the obligation to sell presents our informants with a dilemma that is emblematic of the “fundamental contradiction,” described by Harmut Rosa (2019, 401), between the longing for resonance and the reifying logic of escalation. According to Rosa the drive towards escalation and competition, represented by increasing one’s sales numbers, is at odds with resonance, here understood as responsive (client-)relationships characterized by intrinsic interests and adaptive transformation:

If we consider the everyday strategies pursued by well-situated actors in late modern circumstances (...) it seems that they follow two distinct potentially incompatible principles: that of increasing one’s share of the world and maximizing one’s resources, on the one hand, and that of enhancing resonance, on the other. (Rosa 2019, 369)

The dilemma of how to negotiate these potentially incompatible principles is the point of departure for this paper, which will explore the different ways in which Danish retail bankers deal with the desire for resonance and genuine connection with the client, on the one hand, and the obligation to maximize sales for their employer, on the other.

In doing so, the study explores the identity-work of the bankers through a normative theoretical framework, namely Hartmut Rosas resonance-theory, which is concerned with “(…) the question of the good life, or more precisely: the analysis of the social conditions under which a successful life is possible” (Rosa et.al. 2015, 67). As such, the study contributes to the research on organizational identity-work (eg. Brown 2015) where the question of the good life is arguably often an unspoken premise, but rarely made explicit.


Brown, A. D. (2015). Identities and identity work in organizations. International journal of management reviews, 17(1), 20-40.

Rosa, H., Lessenich, S., & Dörre, K. (2015). Sociology, capitalism, critique. Verso Books.

Rosa, H. (2019). Resonance: a sociology of our relationship to the world. John Wiley & Sons.

Fjola Karlsdottir (University of Akureyri, Iceland)
The importance of gaining gender work life balance for the future of new generations and of the economy in the rural north [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The economy of the Nordic countries has changed rapidly the last decades with a higher rate of women as part of the workforce and a declining birth rate. These changes have had an impact on gender work life balance and create new problems that both families and employers and also state and country has to take steps to resolve. The rural north communities have taken a family approach and are emphasizing the importance of equal rights of the genders. Laws have been passed to increase the share of women in management positions and politics. Flexible workhours are a growing facture in the workplace and has had a positive impact on work life balance of the genders. There are still many obstacles ahead that needs to be addressed to gain a better gender work life balance that can grow the economy and the wellbeing of families. What can employers do better or differently to enhance the wellbeing of their workforce? What can state and country do better to gain the work life balance of the genders? How can a better work life balance benefit the economy of the rural north? Those questions we need to address to make the changes needed for the future generations.

Kristine Nergaard (Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Norway)
Elin Svarstad (Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Norway)
Declining union density – looking into the black box [VIR]

ABSTRACT. The paper discusses changes in union density in the Norwegian labour market over the period 2000-2018. Over this period, Norwegian union density has decreased with 3-4 percent points, ending with an estimated density of 49 per cent today (Nergaard 2018). Changes in union density are often explained by changes in the labour market such as the growth in private sector services, changes in occupations and educational level and labour migration, i.e. structural changes. However, it is also argued that ideology and values such as increased individualisation among younger employees also influence the choice of becoming a union member or not ((Schabel 2013; Ibsen et al. 2011) Nergaard et al. 2016). A third - intermediate - factor is institutional setting such as union density at workplace level, collective agreements and the presence of union representatives. Strong collective institutions at workplace level might trigger union membership among new employees whereas weak collective institutions mean that the chance of getting unionised is low.Surveys also show that non-unionised employees often claim that they will unionise it this is the rule at a new workplace: A possible interpretation is that work place tradition for being unionised or a strong “employee collective” will overrule the “individualisation” trend. The importance of a strong union density tradition is also supported by data from Denmark, where register data have been used to estimate at which union density level (threshold) a new employee will most likely join the trade union (Toubøl& Jensen 2014). By using register data for the period 2000 – 2018 we will investigate the following: • To what degree can changes in union density be explained by changes in the collective institutions such as companies with collective agreements? • With special focus on company level union density/collective agreement coverage: can we identify the institutional settings which triggers union membership vs. non-member status among newly recruited employees? •Is the effect of being at a workplace with strong collective institutions stable over time, or do collective institutions have weaker effect on the tendency (for newcomers/young employees) to join a union?

References: Drange, I., Nergaard, K. & Steen, A.H. (2017). Organisering av uorganiserte. AFI-notat. Ibsen, C.L., Madsen, J.S. & Due, J (2011). Hvem organiserer sig –Forklaringer på medlemskab af fagforeninger og a-kasser. LO-dokumentation Nr. 3 / 2011 Nergaard, K. (2018). Organisasjonsgrader, tariffavtaledekning og arbeidskonflikter 2016/2017. Fafo-notat 2018:20 Nergaard, K., Barth, E. & Dale-Olsen, H. (2016). Lavere organisasjonsgrad, et spørsmål om nykommere? Søkelys på arbeidslivet 01-02/2015 Schnabel, C. (2013). Union membership and density: Some (not so) stylized facts and challenges. The European Journal of Industrial Relations 19 (3), 255-272. Toubøl, J. et al. (2015). Det mobile danske arbejdsmarked og organisering af lønmodtagere. LO-dokumentation Nr. 1/2015.

13:30-15:00 Session 8E: [18] THEMATIC SESSION: Challenges and new organizing in elementary schools


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Karen Albertsen (TeamArbejdsliv, Denmark)
Anita Mac (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Søren Voxted (University of Southern Denmark, Department of Marketing and Management, Denmark)
Employees whom are managers without titles: A contribution to identifying an unconscious managerial layer in modern organizations [VIR]

ABSTRACT. In this paper it will be argued that there’s a layer of employees on the labor market that exercise supervision of their colleagues without a formal title as leader. However, it is somewhat unclear which tasks and positions these employees occupy, their relations to the formal leaders and to the colleagues they exercise supervision of. It is also unclear what the reason is for the increase in employees that fit in between formal leaders and employees. The aim of this paper is to identify and conceptualize the layer of employees between leaders and employees who manage colleagues on the same level. In the paper I signify these employees as “managers without titles”. Another purpose in continuation of this conceptualizing is to argue for further research regarding managers without titles. It will be argued that there is a need for research, based on these four questions: ● How common are managers without titles and which functions do they occupy? ● Does the layer between formal leaders and ‘ordinary’ employees set special requirements for competencies? ● Who appoints managers without titles? ● How are managers without titles relations to respectively a) formal frontline managers, and b) their colleagues at operational level?

Anita Mac (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Agnete Meldgaard Hansen (Roskilde University, Denmark)
Development of Professional capital in primary schools through team collaboration [VIR]

ABSTRACT. For many sound reasons, collaboration in teams in primary schools has gained increasing attention among researchers and practioners. Teams bear potential to strengthen and develop the quality of work, in terms of both social meaningfulness and a task-oriented perspective. The quality of teamwork depends on – among others – the teams’ competences to prioritize, to bring professional knowledge into play and to make common decisions. Teamwork gains a better quality if a team facilitator and team members pay attention to principles of teamwork and hold competences to collaborate within the team. The contribution following from this paper is 1) a theoretical foundation of teamwork based on organizational-sociological theories and specific theories of professional capital as well as at theory of facilitation and 2) an example of a learning program enabling teams to qualify their teamwork continuously by using specific methods. 1) We apply and further develop the concept of professional capital in relation to the field of teamwork in primary schools. The concept of professional capital relies on the assumption that proper collaboration builds on, and at the same time develops social-, human-, and decision capital. Furthermore, professional capital is seen as a precondition for competent teamwork among professionals dealing with complex challenges and problems. As such the concept of professional capital suggests a working environment that enables participants to contribute with professional skills, experiences and personality (human capital) in a trusting and fair social environment (social capital) and furthermore, an environment with competence and responsibilities to take proper decisions (decision capital) and act according to these decisions (competence to act). 2) We unfold important aspects of teamwork aligned with this principles:

• Building up a structure for team meetings. Focus on agenda setting, sensemaking and involvement of team members. Focus on the teams’ core function in agenda setting. • Methods to discuss important tasks from a multi perspective view and to make deliberate decisions. Focus on complex tasks and exploring the pros and cons of several possible solutions. Focus on bringing human capital into play in terms of using skills, experiences and judgement. • Using the team members’ experiences and divergent points of view as a resource rather than a problem. Focus on productive use of diversity as a way to manage conflicts. Focus on social capital in terms of underpinning feelings of justice and mutual trust. • Using action plans to make sure that decisions are followed up by action. Focus on methods to ensure changemaking in order to follow agreements and decisions in daily practice.

Finally, the paper discusses empirical findings of pros and cons associated to the above described foci for teamwork in terms of effects on collaboration.

Karen Albertsen (TeamArbejdsliv, Denmark)
Hans Jørgen Limborg (TeamArbejdsliv, Denmark)
Eva Thoft (TeamArbejdsliv, Denmark)
Collaboration around tasks and schedules – An intervention study in public schools [VIR]
PRESENTER: Karen Albertsen

ABSTRACT. Within a short number of years, several legislative measures have resulted in profound changes in the Danish primary school. In 2014, the government concluded an agreement of legislative proposals and notices, which regulated the Primary School Act. This agreement is referred to as the primary school reform. The primary school reform provided for an adjustment of the working time agreement to the new framework for teachers' attendance at school, the length of school day and the distribution of tasks beyond education. An agreement was not reached, and the process ended up in a conflict were the teachers were lock-outed, and a legislative act (law 409) was enacted instead. Together, the reform and the law have required significant changes in both content and practice in teaching, preparation and planning. And this have, in many ways challenged cooperation and the working environment in schools. The project ‘Public schools in change – collaboration as a resource’ was initiated in order to develop methods for improvement of collaboration skills within important arenas of collaboration is public schools. The concept of professional capital provided the theoretical framework for the project; emphasizing the importance of mutual interaction between social capital, human capital and decision capital in the development of high-quality educational organizations. The present intervention focused on the collaboration between headmasters and other leaders, shop stewards and health & safety representatives around the process of planning and distribution of tasks and schedules for the next school year. The intervention was organized as four workshops implemented in 6 different schools from three municipalities. The workshops covered: 1) a chronicle workshop about major events and experiences of challenges and successes 2) focus on the role of different kinds of justice (procedural and distributional) 3) principles behind the distribution of tasks and schedules (written down or not written down, known and un-known to everybody respectively) and 4) a final workshop organized after the start of a new schoolyear and comprehending an evaluating and mirroring of the results. Data were collected in the forms of qualitative focus group interviews, observations and minutes from meetings and logbooks. Data will be analyzed within a realistic evaluation approach, focusing on how change mechanisms, in conjunction with the context, can lead to specific results. Preliminary results show that the collaboration among the three functions can play a significant role in the process: by qualifying decisions about how the process should proceed, and by communicating the background for the decisions. The three positions of the leaders, the shop stewards and the health and safety representatives can, with their different competencies and roles make an important contribution to the decision capital around this task.

Øyunn Høydal (OsloMet, Norway)
Hvilken skole er den digitale skolen? [VIR]

ABSTRACT. I mer enn tre tiår har politikere, skolefolk og forskere hatt store forventninger til digitaliseringen av skolen (Elstad 2016). I 2017 lanserte Kunnskapsdepartementet og daværende kunnskapsminister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen «Framtid, fornyelse og digitalisering. Digitaliseringsstrategi for grunnopplæringen 2017–2021». Hovedmålet for strategien er å gi elevene «…digitale ferdigheter som gjør dem i stand til å oppleve livsmestring og lykkes i videre utdanning, arbeid og samfunnsdeltakelse». IKT skal også «…utnyttes godt i organiseringen og gjennomføringen av opplæringen for å øke elevenes læringsutbytte.» (s.12). Nå er strategien i ferd med å realiseres blant annet gjennom en omfattende satsing på datamaskiner og læringsbrett til norske skoleelever, digitale læremidler og digitale kommunikasjonskanaler mellom hjem og skole.

Jeg ønsker jeg å undersøke hvilke ideer (Béland 2009, Beland og Cox 2010, Schmidt 2010) om skolens rolle og formål som preger dagens digitalisering og diskursen rundt denne, og diskutere disse ideene opp mot skolens endrede rolle de siste tiårene (Afdal og Afdal 2019, Imsen, Blossing og Moos 2017). Datamaterialet vil bestå av offentlige dokumenter, samt relevante medieoppslag.

Jeg tar utgangspunkt i Biesta (2016), som hevder at digitaliseringen av skolen først er en del av en internasjonal trend, preget av ukritisk teknologibegeistring. Og i denne begeistringen glemmer en å diskutere hva slags skole og hvilke former for læring digitaliseringen skal bidra til. Skolens rolle i samfunnet kan betraktes fra to ulike perspektiver. Enten som et produkt av det moderne samfunnet, og en respons på samfunnets verdier og behov for spesialisert kompetanse, eller som et fristed der elevene utvikler seg som selvstendige og reflekterende individer uavhengig av samfunnets instrumentelle interesser og verdier (Biesta 2016). Fra det første perspektivet må skolen først og fremst «levere» i tråd med samfunnets forventninger. Digitaliseringen av skolen blir et svar på samfunnets behov og utfordringer, slik det uttales i Regjeringens digitaliseringsstrategi. Fra det andre perspektivet vil det være grunnleggende problematisk at skolen digitaliseres for å tilpasse seg samfunnskrav. Skolen burde i stedet være en frihavn der elevene kunne unnslippe den allesteds nærværende digitale teknologien. Disse perspektivene er også interessante i lys av den pågående diskusjonen rundt offentlige institusjoners rolle i forbindelse med sosiale investeringer. Det vil si i hvilken grad skolen skal prioritere elevenes being eller becoming (Halvorsen, Geirdal, & Tøge 2017).

13:30-15:00 Session 8F: OPEN SESSION


(please disregard the date of the zoom meeting - it's only a technicality which will not affect the meeting)

Hjördís Sigursteinsdóttir (University of Akureyri, Iceland)
Hjördis Sigursteinsdóttir (University of Akureyri, Iceland)
Work life balance [VIR]

ABSTRACT. Work-life balance has always been a concern of those who are interested in quality of working life and its relation to the broader quality of life. When we feel that we face the challenges of our daily lives, we feel good. Well-being includes, among other things, balancing the different roles we are obligated to play. Roles such as being an employee, parent, spouse, and friend. The aim of the study was to examine the balance between work and private life among municipal employees, particularly kindergarten and primary school teachers in relation to job satisfaction, overtime, and turnover intentions. The study was based on a long-term panel data and responses from 480 kindergarten teachers and 1233 primary school teachers in the years 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015, where the same individuals were followed. Three research questions were asked: (1) How do kindergarten and primary school teachers describe work-life balance, job satisfaction, overtime, and turnover intentions? (2) Does gender, marital status or employment rate matter? (3) What is the connection between work-life balance and job satisfaction, overtime, and turnover intentions of the kindergarten and primary school teachers? The results showed a positive relationship between work-life balance and job satisfaction, as well as negative relationship between work-life balance and overtime and turnover intentions. This means that more work-life balance reflected in higher job satisfaction, less overtime, and fewer turnover intentions. Fewer and fewer kindergarten and primary school teachers were able to achieve a good balance between work and private life and were overall satisfied with their job, and more and more kindergarten and primary school teachers were forced to work overtime and often thought about quitting their current job. We all have a variety of roles to play in life and in order to enjoy them, we need to feel good about our work. One of the key factors for well-being at work is experiencing a balance between work and private life, and if there is a conflict between work and private life, it is necessary to have resources to solve them. It applies to both female and male kindergarten teaches and primary school teachers. It is important that municipal administrators carefully examine the work environment of kindergarten and primary school teachers and make improvements as best they can to counteract the torment shown by the results of this study.

Helle Holmgren (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Klaus Nielsen (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Work-life balance following bereavement: A mixed methods study of widowed parents [VIR]
PRESENTER: Helle Holmgren

ABSTRACT. Introduction: According to the Irish Hospice Foundation [1] an estimated 1 in 10 of an organization’s workforce is directly affected by bereavement each year. Compared to non-bereaved controls, bereaved individuals are less likely to be working during the year of bereavement as well as two years after the loss [2]. Despite this fact, a systematic collating of data on bereavement leave is rare [2, 3], and only very few organizations have developed guidelines for handling bereavement in the workplace [4].

Method: Widowed parents with children in the home were recruited from a private, online support network. A total of 87 individuals (age: 25-59 years) participated in the study. The data analyses were facilitated by the computer assisted qualitative data analysis software, NVivo 12 Pro [5].

Results: The majority of study participants (81.6%, n=71) had experienced changes to work or student life as a direct result of losing their partner. Changes were mainly seen in relation to, e.g. increased sick leave, reduced working hours, redundancy and a change of jobs. Quite a few of the families experienced financial hardship, and many found it particularly challenging balancing the needs of their family and maintaining a full-time job.

Discussion: The results of this study highlighted a need for focusing on the return to work of bereaved employees who have lost a co-parent. While the work-related and financial costs of bereavement proved high for many of the bereaved individuals, studies have equally documented the negative effects of a mismanagement of bereavement in the workplace in terms of a lack of employee commitment, low productivity and high staff turnover [1, 6].

References 1. McGuinness, B. (2007). Grief at work – developing a bereavement policy. Dublin: The Irish Hospice Foundation 2. Stephen, A.I., Macduff, C., Petrie, D.J. et al. (2015). The economic cost of bereavement in Scotland. Death Studies, 39, 151-157. 3. Wilson, D.M., Punjani, S., Song, Q. et al. (2019). A study to understand the impact of bereavement on the workplace. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying. DOI: 10.1177/0030222819846419. [Epub ahead of print] 4. McGuinness, B. (2009). Grief in the workplace. Developing a bereavement policy. Bereavement Care, 28, 1, 2-8. 5. NVivo qualitative data analysis software (2018). QSR International Pty Ltd. Version 12 Pro. 6. Corden, A. (2016). Bereavement and the workplace. In Foster, L. & Woodthorpe, K. (Eds.), Death and social policy in challenging times (pp. 150-167). London: Palgrave Macmillan.