Om ansvar : ansvarsföreställningar och deras betydelse för den organisatoriska verkligheten

Detta är en avhandling från Lund University Press, Box 4414, 221 00 Lund, Swen

Sammanfattning: Based on an ethnographic study, the dissertation discusses the concept of "responsibility" in the context of what happened when workers were made responsible for an area of their own. It turned out that "being responsible", was related to a narrative identity that differed from the one they used before they were made formally responsible. For most of the workers, the narrative of being "responsible" was related to a new way of making sense of themselves as well as their work at hand. This new sensemaking brought about new ways of acting and responding to the organizational reality, both towards clients and towards other people in the organization. The dissertation shows how the symbolic and taken-for-granted meaning can be unpacked and themathized through grounded theory informed analyses. It also demonstrates how organizational transformation can be regarded as a transformation in sensemaking and identity, as well as top management's role in this process. The meaning of "responsibility" revealed from field studies in three companies shows great similarities with the view on organizational change and responsibility previously demonstrated by Follett in the beginning of the century and discussed explicitly in the 90s both by feminist researchers and by other critics of a rationalist concept of responsibility. The rationalist view upon responsiblity, rooted in the views of Taylor, Fayol and Barnard, constructs "responsibility" as a concept closely related to hierarchies and (abstract and general) principles. It is argued here that the results of the empirical study cannot be properly understood only from a rationalist concept of responsibility. Instead, a counternarrative is constructed, regarding responsiblity as a creative and emotional response to a specific context, thereby both following and breaking rules at the same time.

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