Anna Berg Jansson
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How organisation affects our living conditions

Published: 21 April 2017

Anna Berg Jansson, Assistant Professor, former Deputy Scientific Director of the EIO. Although she has now completed that mission, she continues her research, which deals with the organization of the welfare of professional work, to be a part of the EIO area.

– The whole idea behind building organizations is that we have tasks or goals that we cannot meet as individuals. Therefore, it is interesting to look at how the organization affects our living conditions.

It was at the turn of 2016/2017 that Anna Berg Jansson received MSEK 3.7 in a junior research grant from research council Forte, a government agency under the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, to conduct a research project the way to organize work changes, for example, the temp-hiring of staff.

– As an organization researcher, the temp-hiring phenomenon is very interesting, because it means there will be a completely different inflow of people in organizations when we have these flexible forms of employment.

Anna Berg Jansson's research project, entitled “Boost or brake? Conditions for learning and development in connection with the hiring of Swedish health care” involves studying how temp-hiring affects the conditions for learning and skills development in health care, both for the individual and for the business itself.

The project is structured in several sub-studies over four years.

– It starts with a survey where we identify in which counties and areas hiring is most prevalent. Then I will also conduct interviews with both temp and regular employees. Quite a lot of the research has been focused on the temp hiring phenomenon with focus on those who choose to work in this new way. But I think it is equally interesting to look at how those who are regular employees are experiencing this phenomenon.

She will also interview the county council managers and HR staff to find out what they think about organizational issues.

– Since I am interested in understanding the working conditions and organization, and the relationship between them, this is a very exciting phenomenon to study. This research funding is requested for in competition with others, so I was very happy when I got the money.

Around the same time when she received the news of the research allocation, she left her assignment as deputy scientific director of the EIO. She had been involved in the project for three years and felt that she wanted to move on to new assignments at the university.

But her own research regarding the hiring of staff, comes under EIO’S area.

– That is also a current event going on right now, and my ambition is for my project to contribute to understanding what it means, says Anna Berg Jansson, who expects to be able to present the first results of the project in about a year.

She studied at Luleå University of Technology and has a master’s degree in sociology. As an undergraduate, she became interested in the organization of work, but from the beginning she had set her sights on becoming a political scientist.

– I studied the first year, and during the first semester of the second year you have an optional semester. That's when I chose sociology and I knew immediately that this is my thing. The subject of sociology is closer to man and sociology is very much about how the individual is in a social context that affect us as individuals, the choices we make, and so on. But individuals and groups also have impact on society. It is all about the concept of gender, class and ethnicity.

She defended her dissertation in 2010 and since then has conducted research in work sciences and professions that falls under the category of welfare professional work, where hospital staff and teachers are included.

– I find it very interesting to conduct research regarding nurses. It is a female-dominated occupational group with major importance for society. Work, working conditions and organization may not sound too exciting at first glance, but you must look behind the obvious. I always tell students that we live very much in an organized way, both at work and privately. The whole idea behind building organizations is that we have tasks or goals that we cannot meet as individuals. We need to collaborate. Therefore, it is interesting to look at how the organization affects our living conditions.

Anna Berg Jansson also teaches at the social program and the Master’s program in HRM (Human Resources Management).

– I am passionate about education and the role of teachers is very important. The whole idea of ​​higher education is to connect research with education. For me personally, it is important to be present in both.