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ERIC Number: EJ898989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-0260-1370
Transforming Expertise from Individual to Regional Community Expertise: A Four-Year Study of an Education Intervention
Piirainen, Arja; Viitanen, Elina
International Journal of Lifelong Education, v29 n5 p581-596 Sep 2010
In this paper we present the empirical results of a study showing that individualised expertise can be transformed into regional community expertise by means of an education intervention programme. In view of the ongoing reform of the municipal and service structures in Finland, during which small municipalities are combined into areas with populations in excess of 20,000, the need for community expertise is obvious. The reorganisation of service arrangements aims at efficiency, lower costs, quality service and increased regional competitiveness. Due to the reform, local actors are expected to provide new, collaboration-oriented strategies, while healthcare professionals in the municipalities are presented with new challenges such as how to organise activities on a regional basis, form networks and work together in teams. An intervention study based on working life and with an emphasis on education was conducted using participatory action research between 1999 and 2003. The prerequisite of regional expertise is that individualised expertise evolves along with community expertise. An education intervention targeting entire work communities enables a change process in individual competence towards activity in communities and regions. Consequently, individualised expertise was highlighted by joint planning, work development and various evaluation skills. The change was supported by joint motivation for development, responsible commitment, adequate autonomy of the community, and by management practices and organisational structures that supported organisational changes. The delaying factors included workers' weak commitment, difficulty of giving up one's own specific expertise, a lack of common language and different subcultures. Our results indicate that work organisations can be developed through education so that workers jointly participate in changing the activities and work practices. This process will improve motivation and readiness for work as well as increase collaboration and efficiency of activity. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland