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The Textualization of Problem Handling: Lean Discourses Meet Professional Competence in Eldercare and the Manufacturing Industry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5618-9573
Södertörns högskola, Institutionen för kultur och lärande.
2016 (English)In: Written Communication, ISSN 0741-0883, E-ISSN 1552-8472, Vol. 33, no 3, 275-301 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports on research addressing the role of incident reporting at the workplace as a textual representation of lean management techniques. It draws on text and discourse analysis as well as on ethnographic data, including interviews, recorded interaction, and observations, from two projects on workplace literacy in Sweden: a study in an eldercare facility and a study in a large factory. Analysis of the data set demonstrates striking similarities, both in the way incident reporting texts are structured and worded and in the literacy practices that contextualize them. Dominant characteristics in the texts are the absence of actors and the structured, process-based approach of problems and problem handling. The forms often generate conflicts in the ways workers are asked to textually represent an incident. In this article, we argue that lean thinking has penetrated texts and literacy practices of two considerably different workplaces, and this has a large impact on the way workers are instructed to think and act with regard to problem handling techniques.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 33, no 3, 275-301 p.
Keyword [en]
incident report, workplace literacy, linguistic ethnography, entextualization, lean production
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295859DOI: 10.1177/0741088316653391OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-295859DiVA: diva2:935215
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-10 Last updated: 2016-07-07

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Karlsson, Anna-Malin
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