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Cracks in the Spirit of Community
KTH, Superseded Departments, Industrial Economics and Management.
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other scientific)Alternative title
Sprickor i gemenskapen (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Cracks in the Spirit of Community is a study of a Swedishtrade union in a period of change. Increasingly, traditionaltrade unions´ work based on collective solutions has comeinto question, and the customer perspective of trade unionactivities is becoming more prominent. At the same time, ageneration of mainstay trade union supporters at ourcountry´s workplaces are approaching retirement age. Howdo these - now ageing - children of Sweden´s"people´s home" hand over our society´s institutionsand pass on its traditions to a new generation? Is there a riskthat knowledge will be lost? And is anyone in the newgeneration ready to receive this knowledge?

A systematic and structured dialogue with participants fromSif, Sweden´s leading white collar union, helped developthis complex of problems. The work focused on the interactionbetween people to build up a community of understanding, whichwas at the core of earlier trade union tradition. Broadeningthe present pattern of action allows more long-term trends tobe traced. A disregard for matters of common concern, andunstated dissension, cause cracks in the spirit of community,cracks that undermine the power of collective action inpolitical matters. This dissertation poses complex questionsabout democracy, participation and common responsibility.

The case study was carried out as a series of dialogueseminars with a carefully-selected group of people from Sif.The dialogue seminar method was developed to bring to the foretacit knowledge in skills research. By focussing onvalue-based, shared human knowledge, the dissertation puts tothe test a new application of the dialogue seminar method. Thisstudy illustrates a shift from common interests to individualinterests. It points out general trends in the development ofour society - a trade union member, an employee and a citizenis often one and the same person.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Industriell ekonomi och organisation , 2004. , 128 p.
Trita-IEO, 2004:02
Keyword [en]
skill, community understanding, generation shift, democratic dialogue, strategic lerarning, organisational development, trade union, social responsibility
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-1781ISBN: 91-975060-0-1OAI: diva2:7783
QC 20120208Available from: 2004-07-07 Created: 2004-07-07 Last updated: 2012-02-08Bibliographically approved

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