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Scaling up and scaling down: Improvisational handling of critical work practices during the COVID-19 pandemic
Linköping University, Sweden.
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Materials and Production, Product Realisation Methodology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2838-6457
Linköping University, Sweden.
2022 (English)In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to explore improvisational handling of critical work practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and interpret these practices from a learning perspective. Based on an interview study with representatives of private, public and intermediary organisations, the study identified three different types of improvisational handling as responses to the pandemic crisis involving ‘scaling up’ and ‘scaling down’ critical work practices. By ‘scaling up’ and ‘scaling down’, we refer to practices for which, due to the pandemic, it has been imperative to urgently scale up an existing operational process or develop a new process, and alternatively extensively scale down or cease an existing process. The types of improvisational handling differed depending on the discretion of involved actors in terms of the extent to which the tasks, methods and/or results were given beforehand. These types of improvisational handling resulted in temporary solutions that may become permanent after the pandemic. The framework and model proposed in the article can be used as a tool to analyse and learn from the changes in work practices that have been set in motion during the pandemic. Such learning may improve the ability to cope with future extensive crises and other rapid change situations. © The Author(s) 2022.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Publications Ltd , 2022.
Keywords [en]
Adaptive learning, developmental learning, organisational change, organisational learning, qualitative, responsiveness
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-62368DOI: 10.1177/13505076221137980Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85144337882OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-62368DiVA, id: diva2:1723949
Note

 Funding details: AFA Försäkring, 200149; Funding text 1: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding organisation AFA Insurance for enabling this project (Grant number 200149).

Available from: 2023-01-04 Created: 2023-01-04 Last updated: 2023-07-06Bibliographically approved

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Harlin, Ulrika

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