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Erfarenhet och processer: en metod för reflekterande ledarskap
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Skills and Technology.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The Experience and Process – a Method for Reflective Management is questioning the increasing focus on processes as being the leading management tool for development of technical systems. A process has its strength in its overall visualization of a company’s operational model. It shows the flow of tasks and their interdependencies, similar to an assembly line in a factory. In such means it describes the foreseen repetitive work that takes place in development projects, but it does not cover the aspects of unforeseen deviations nor the working tasks that cannot be performed without a high degree of skill. A process does not cope with experience, which is a major issue for the success of a development project.

Experience is built on three corner stones, the memory from what you have been part of yourself, the memory of other people’s actions, and memories from what you have read in literature and experienced by art. By reflecting on memories from dilemmas you have been through, but from a different viewpoint, you will find new aspects on the events; your experience is nuanced and developed. This is used in a method for reflection, the Dialogue Seminar Method. Memories of difficult events are triggered by the associations given when reading qualified literature from authors like Ingmar Bergman and René Descartes. From the memory fragments, the story of what happened is told in an essay. The work with reading, associating and describing are all different forms of inner reflection. When essays from a group of people are ready, they assemble for a dialogue to share the experiences.

A nine months training programme for reflection, Experience Development of Project Managers is using the Dialogue Seminar Method to share experiences among project managers from different development organisations. The participants mature in their management role and are able to use reflection to understand and solve difficult problems. It gives them the needed distance to see the context of actual dilemmas.

Big changes put the management skills on test. The Dialogue Seminar Method was used by two consultants as a mean to implement a major process change in a large development company. The idea of the new process was described in a presentation material which was the only information available for first development project. They had to use the presentation material together with their experience. Using the method made it easier for managers and other key persons to connect the new process with their current situation and thereby understand and work in accordance to it. The changes were made by people working together. Process descriptions would have assisted the change, but they would not have made a big difference.

A better utilization of experience is a success factor for the development industry. Methods for reflection cannot be replaced by processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2007. , 267 p.
Trita-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2007:04
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4420ISBN: 978-91-7178-700-2OAI: diva2:12240
Public defence
2007-06-08, Sal E2, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 3, Stockholm, 10:00
QC 20100818Available from: 2007-06-04 Created: 2007-06-04 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved

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