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Karolina Parding
Karolina Parding

Karolina Parding

Professor, Recognised University Teacher
Luleå University of Technology
Human Work Sciences
Humans and Technology
Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts
+46 (0)920 493029
A139 Luleå


My research interest lies in the intersection of sociology of professions and sociology of organizations, where I examine conditions that surround welfare professional work. I mainly focus on occupational groups such as teachers, but also nurses and social workers. Key concepts are profession, organization, governance, organization of work, working conditions and learning conditions. Questions about organization of work, including competence supply is another areasof interest.

I took my undergraduate degree in Sociology at Luleå University of Technology (2002), including a semester as an exchange student at the University of New South Wales. I then continued with a master's degree in Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University, Newnham College (2003). I got my PhD in Human work sciences at Luleå University of Technology (2007) with a thesis focusing on the tension between profession and organization, focusing on the introduction of a new organization of work in a school organization; and how this new organization was experienced by the teachers. As a doctoral student I spent a few months as a guest at the University of Sydney; Work and organizational studies. Based on the networks that I have built in Australia since 1999, I have since 2005 had the privilege of being a guest researcher there between a few weeks and a few months each year.

After finishing my PhD, I also spent a couple of months at Monash University, which was funded by STINT and also a scholarship for newly graduated female researchers. My research now was directed towards conditions for learning in welfare professional work, both teachers in Sweden and in Australia. Furthermore, through my stays in Australia, I became interested in the working conditions of welfare professionals in governance reforms such as decentralization, privatization and marketisation. More specifically, I began to work on issues relating to the teachers' working conditions in the context of the school choice reform and the municipalization.

I am also interested in issues that deal with work and organization of work and supply of skills more generally.

Examples of ongoing and completed projects:

In 2022, I was appointed one of three Arctic Five Chairs at LTU. The Arctic Five is a partnership between Luleå University of Technology, UiT Norway's Arctic University, Umeå University, Lapland University and Oulu University. The aim is to work together to lead the way in Arctic issues. Under the title Hot as Hell – Sustainable Skills Supply Strategies as Key to Structural Transformation of the Labor Market in the Arctic, I focus on identifying a) employers who successfully attract, recruit and retain employees, and b ) successful attraction strategies, in terms of attracting, recruiting and retaining new individuals and families in the Arctic region.

Since 2018, I have carried out three different competence supply analyses, with a focus on needs and solutions in Norrbotten. These tasks are carried out on behalf of Regional renewal, during 2017-2018 and 2021-2023 (Region Norrbotten, the County Board and LTU). I have also led a skills supply analysis for Boden and Luleå municipality, during 2022. The project results have been conveyed to labor market actors around the county. See for example Parding, K & Lindberg, L (2022). Kompetensförsörjningsanalys arbetsmarknadsregionen Boden-Luleå. LTU: Luleå, samt Ejdemo, T & Parding, K (2018). 51 000 anställningar i Norrbotten till och med 2030.  Luleå: Länsstyrelsen.

The project Organization of work and its implications for health and wellbeing consists of a systematic literature review, focusing on compiling existing research on factors of relevance to organization of work, as they in turn relate to employee health and wellbeing, as well as productivity and efficiency. The result has been published via a Swedish report, an English report, a podcast, and also a webinar. The literature review was carried out on behalf of The Swedish Agency for Work Environment Expertise (2019-2020), who in turn had been given a government mission. See: Parding, K; Sjögren, F; Petersson, C & Pekkari, N (2020). The organization of work and its significance for health and wellbeing. Report 2020:7. Myndigheten för arbetsmiljökunskap. Gävle.

The project Towards an A team and B team? Teachers' working conditions at a time of market orientation and privatization are about the professional category of upper secondary teachers and their working conditions, in the light of competition, choice, privatization and marketisation. Within the project, a national representative survey was conducted, with almost 2,500 respondents participating. In addition, interviews have been made with teachers and principals at eight different schools. Results from this project keep coming. See, for example: Parding & Berg Jansson (2022); Parding, K; McGrath-Champ, S & Stacey, M (2021); Parding et al., (2018); Bejerot et al., (2018); Parding & Berg-Jansson, (2018); Parding et al., (2017); Parding & Berg-Jansson, (2017). You will find the publications further down the page. The project was funded by FORTE (2014-2017).

In a sister project, Teachers 'working conditions in times of competition, choice and privatization, we compare Swedish teachers' working conditions with the working conditions of Australian teachers, in the governance context of competition, choice, privatization and marketization, we compare Sweden and Australia. The research group consists of a total of nine researchers in Sweden and Australia, from doctoral students to senior professor. As the project is on-going, results keep coming. See, for example: Parding et al., (2020); Fitzgerald et al., (2018); McGrath-Champ et al., (2017); Parding et al., (2017). The project is funded by STINT (2014-2024).

In the project A&O - workplace learning and transition in working life, prominent researchers in the field of workplace learning from Linköping University, Gothenburg University, APeL and Luleå University of Technology gathered together. With a focus on workplace learning, that is, learning, both formal and informal, integrated in daily operations and as a part of a continuous business development, the project was about raising the issue of how to best organize and structure for workplace learning, both at national, regional and local level. We compiled and analyzed ongoing European Social Fund-funded projects with competence development as the focus. The project was conducted in close co-operation with the social partners, among other things through a reference group consisting of representatives of LO, TCO, Unionen, Kommunal, SKL, Industriarbetsgivarna, and the Entrepreneurs. See the project's website: . The project was funded by the European Social Fund (2009-2013).



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I teach at the Bachelor Program in Sociology at Luleå University of Technology, from year one to year three, and then onwards to master (year four). I mainly teach courses in sociological essay writing and sociological method; qualitative methods. I lecture and supervise both on the research process, the writing process and the application of sociological theory.

I am also responsible for teaching at post graduate level. This mainly takes the form of supervision of doctoral students, and leading doctoral courses.


Article in journal

Bringing in gender perspectives on systematic occupational safety and health management (2022)

Sjöberg Forssberg. K, Vänje. A, Parding. K
Safety Science, Vol. 152
Conference paper

Learning and creativity in a transient sector (2022)

The case of tourism and hospitality businesses in the Arctic region
Svensson. J, Styvén. M, Parding. K, Näppä. A
Paper presented at : 10th EIASM International Conference on Tourism Management and Related Issues, Valencia, Spain, September 29-30, 2022
Article in journal

What needs to happen for school autonomy to be mobilised to create more equitable public schools and systems of education? (2022)

Keddie. A, MacDonald. K, Blackmore. J, Boyask. R, Fitzgerald. S, Gavin. M, et al.
The Australian Educational Researcher
Article in journal

Conditions for workplace learning (2021)

a gender divide?
Sjöberg Forssberg. K, Parding. K, Vänje. A
Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 33, nr. 4, s. 302-314
Article in journal

Governance reform in context (2021)

Welfare sector professionals’ working and employment conditions
Parding. K, McGrath-Champ. S, Stacey. M
Current Sociology, Vol. 69, nr. 1, s. 119-139