"Vi måste takta!" : En studie av organisering för samverkan

Detta är en avhandling från Västerås : Mälardalen University

Sammanfattning: Organizational collaboration is perceived as a positive phenomenon in the public sector and is often seen as a way of facing societal challenges despite limited resources. This positive view on organizational collaboration seems to persist, although research shows that collaborative projects bring various difficulties. These are related to boundaries, both between organizations and professions. How boundaries are understood and managed are thus central aspects of organizing for collaboration. This thesis describes and discusses the preparation – the organizing – for collaboration and the purpose of the thesis is to explore and deepen an understanding of the practice developed in organizing for collaboration.A municipality’s work to improve internal collaboration and prepare for external collaboration has been studied. The work was led by two project managers in collaboration with various members of the municipality. A practice-oriented approach has been applied, which involves a focus on the activities carried out during the organizing work. The empirical material was created through participatory observations of the project managers’ work.The project managers’ practice developed into five activity patterns called planning, navigating, interacting, documenting and, what in Swedish was called, “takta”. The term “takta” was used to denote activities related to adaptation and synchronization to the municipality’s activities; to pace the activities.The analysis shows that the activity pattern of pacing was a superior activity pattern that managed and organized the other four patterns. The concept pacing contributes to the understanding of how activities create rhythms in an organization and how these are adapted to the overall pace. People responsible for pacing must be aware of the rhythms of other activities that affect the pacing. Pacing is a complex concept that can be described in several dimensions: temporal, social, boundary-crossing, emotional, holistic, and in a situated dimension. These dimensions contribute to the understanding of how pacing is done, what it means when pacing and also facilitate an analysis when pacing fails.The conclusion of the thesis is that an awareness of pacing activities in organizing across boundaries increases the opportunities to implement activities in the “right” order, time and place. Thus, the multidimensional concept of pacing may be used as a planning-tool when organizing across boundaries and as an analytical instrument when the organizing becomes unsynchronized with other activities. A practice-oriented perspective enables the exploration of the activity patterns created in organizing for collaboration and increases the understanding of how organizing across boundaries is done.