Purpose The study refers to a health-care organization engaged in adopting “home health care” as a new object of activity. This study aims to explore how the reconfiguration of the object influences the transformative perspective, affecting not just a service but a broader approach and meaning behind patient care. It also investigates the main contradictions at play and the levers to support inter-organizational learning while facing the new challenges and change processes. Design/methodology/approach The work is based on a qualitative and ethnographic methodology directed to examine cultural, practical and socio-material aspects. The activity theory is assumed as a powerful approach to understand collective learning and distributed agency processes. Findings The renewal of the new object of work is analysed as a trigger for shifts in representations, cultural processes and collective support implemented by the organization. Three agentic trajectories – technical, dialogical and collaborative agency – were cultivated by the management to deliver home health care through joint exercises of coordination and control, dialogical spaces and collaborative process. Research limitations/implications The data collection was disrupted by the pandemic. A follow-up study would be beneficial to inquire how the learning processes shifted or were influenced by the contextual changes. Practical implications This contribution provides a practical framework for health-care organizations aiming to navigate and explore the physiological tensions and contradictions emerging when the object of work is changed. Originality/value The paper develops the field of intra- and inter-organizational learning by presenting an intertwined and structural connection between these processes and the renewing of the object of work. It advises that processes of transformation must be handled with attention to the critical and collective dynamics that accompany sustainable and situated changes.

(2022). Renewing the object of work as a trigger for inter-organizational learning [journal article - articolo]. In JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE LEARNING. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/230589

Renewing the object of work as a trigger for inter-organizational learning

Scaratti, Giuseppe
2022

Abstract

Purpose The study refers to a health-care organization engaged in adopting “home health care” as a new object of activity. This study aims to explore how the reconfiguration of the object influences the transformative perspective, affecting not just a service but a broader approach and meaning behind patient care. It also investigates the main contradictions at play and the levers to support inter-organizational learning while facing the new challenges and change processes. Design/methodology/approach The work is based on a qualitative and ethnographic methodology directed to examine cultural, practical and socio-material aspects. The activity theory is assumed as a powerful approach to understand collective learning and distributed agency processes. Findings The renewal of the new object of work is analysed as a trigger for shifts in representations, cultural processes and collective support implemented by the organization. Three agentic trajectories – technical, dialogical and collaborative agency – were cultivated by the management to deliver home health care through joint exercises of coordination and control, dialogical spaces and collaborative process. Research limitations/implications The data collection was disrupted by the pandemic. A follow-up study would be beneficial to inquire how the learning processes shifted or were influenced by the contextual changes. Practical implications This contribution provides a practical framework for health-care organizations aiming to navigate and explore the physiological tensions and contradictions emerging when the object of work is changed. Originality/value The paper develops the field of intra- and inter-organizational learning by presenting an intertwined and structural connection between these processes and the renewing of the object of work. It advises that processes of transformation must be handled with attention to the critical and collective dynamics that accompany sustainable and situated changes.
articolo
Piria, Marta; Gorli, Mara; Scaratti, Giuseppe
(2022). Renewing the object of work as a trigger for inter-organizational learning [journal article - articolo]. In JOURNAL OF WORKPLACE LEARNING. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/230589
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