The Duke of Uncertainty -Aspects of Professional Skill

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Industriell ekonomi och organisation

Sammanfattning: The Duke of Uncertainty - Aspects of Professional Skillis a dissertation whose title is a literary metaphor designedto draw attention to encounters with unforeseen problems anddilemmas at work.The first part of the dissertation presents the skill andtechnology tradition that has developed over the last twentyyears through explorative case studies. These have covered theskills of various occupational groups, such as processoperators in the paper-and-pulp and chemicals industries,managers and systems engineers working on real timeapplications in specialized knowledge intensive firms as wellas doctors and nurses.The theoretical perspective is the epistemology of skillfocusing on the phenomenon of tacit knowledge. This has itsroots in Wittgenstein's philosophy of language as developed bythe philosophers Allan Janik and Kjell S. Johannessen.The methodological framework develops indirect analogicalthinking which is a prerequisite for knowledge based onexperience, through exemplification.The empirical part of the work shows knowledge offamiliarity among members of an occupational group with lowformal training but extensive practical experience, namelyassistant nurses. A comparative analysis is undertaken inrelation to previous case studies in the field of skill andtechnology aimed at occupational groups with high formaleducational qualifications.A particular aspect to which attention is drawn is therhythm in work that unites occupational groups regardless ofeducational background. Occupational skill is treated as acapacity developed to find rhythm in action when confrontedwith situations that are hard to handle. The dissertationconsiders aspects that can be tried out in other occupationalarenas and paves the way for identifying phenomena in workinglife that hinder the development of rhythm in work.The dissertation contributes to the setting-up ofundergraduate-level training for groups of people who have notpreviously had access to higher education, and aims tointroduce new aspects into the development of analoguethinking.Key words: practical versus theoretical knowledge, skillof epistemology, tacit knowledge, comparative case study,literary metaphor, analogical thinking, indirect method,occupational training.