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Engström, A., Johansson, A., Edh Mirzaei, N., Sollander, K. & Barry, D. (2023). Knowledge creation in projects: an interactive research approach for deeper business insight. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 16(1), 22-44
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge creation in projects: an interactive research approach for deeper business insight
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2023 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 22-44Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to shed light on different types of knowledge created and how this links to the project design, process, and content. Design/methodology/approach In this paper the authors investigate participants' experiences from a three-year interactive research project, designed to trigger reflection among the participants. They apply a knowledge creation perspective on experiences expressed by participants as a result of different research project activities. Findings The study resulted in five categories of insights with potential for sustainable influence on the participating organizations: an understanding of concepts and theories; an understanding of the impacts of collaborative, reflective work processes; an understanding of the meaning of one's own organizational context; an understanding of the importance of increased organizational self-awareness; and an understanding of the potential for human interaction and communication. Practical implications The author's findings suggest that it is possible to design a project to promote more profound and sustainable effects on a business beyond the explicit purpose of the project. They advise practitioners to make room for iterative reflection; be mindful to create a trustful and open environment in the team; challenge results with opposing views and theories; and make room for sharing experiences and giving feedback. Originality/value This study contributes to unraveling key practices which can nurture conditions for knowledge creation in interactive research projects and business projects alike.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023
Keywords
Practice-based research, Collaborative research, Knowledge creation, Qualitative research, Project management
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58196 (URN)10.1108/IJMPB-09-2021-0233 (DOI)000834362300001 ()2-s2.0-85149270071 (Scopus ID)HOA;intsam;1687423 (Local ID)HOA;intsam;1687423 (Archive number)HOA;intsam;1687423 (OAI)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, KK20170312
Available from: 2022-08-15 Created: 2022-08-15 Last updated: 2023-03-21Bibliographically approved
Engström, A., Edh Mirzaei, N. & Simonsson, J. (2022). A learning perspective on the interdependency between technology-driven and managerial- driven AI-transformation. In: International Conference on Work Integrated Learning: Abstract Book. Paper presented at WIL'22 International Conference on Work Integrated Learning, 7-9 December 2022, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden (pp. 122-124). Trollhättan: University West
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A learning perspective on the interdependency between technology-driven and managerial- driven AI-transformation
2022 (English)In: International Conference on Work Integrated Learning: Abstract Book, Trollhättan: University West , 2022, p. 122-124Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction

Moving from manual, to automated, to connected AI operations systems implies a significant transformation in the organisation of work (European Parliament, 2015:8) (Brock & von Wangenheim). To understand these “realistic AI” processes, to build competence for certain tasks. it is crucial to understand what organisational competencies that are needed and how to organize knowledge creation processes in practice (Ellström, 2001) Schön used the concept of “knowing–in-action” is nonreflective and solving most everyday practical problems, here understood as executional learning (Engström & Wikner, 2017). Thus, this knowing, according to Schön (1983), is not enough to meet more complex situations. To be aware of tacit knowledge, we need to distance ourselves and learn to reflect. More complex, uncertain and unclear tasks require “knowing-on-action” and collaboration between several competences to create new knowledge or to reach a new solution here understood as developmental learning (Engström&Wikner).. Anton et al. (2020) state that in many organisations there is a lack of AI-related competencies that prevent development of the full AI potential. For the development of the field, it is important to study the dynamic interplay between advanced technology and the social side of work from a learning and competence perspective. Therefore, this paper aims to explore how industrial organisations understand their competencies in relation to AI transformation from a knowledge creation perspective.

Research method

The study was part of a collaborative research project with an interdisciplinary research team and representatives from five industrial partners. In four-month cycles the industrial partners engaged in “homework” presented, analysed and discussed in common workshops. For this study, the homework was guided by the DIGITAL approach (Brock & von Wangenheim, 2019) and based on the explanatory model (Anton et al., 2020). The industrial partners studied how resources and competencies related to specific organisational tasks in their own organisations could be identified and defined. To aid the data collection (that was done by the industrial partners themselves) a framework capturing Anton et al.’s (2020) 13 dimensions of competencies (Leadership, Communication, Customer-focused decision making, Business development, Data science/STEM, Agile software development, Initiative and engagement, AI technology, Programming, Digital analysis tools, Data and network technology, Digital competencies, and Data management) was used. For each dimension the partners assesses the competence level: Competence central to the process; Competence exists internally; Competence partly exists internally; Competence does not exist internally; Competence can be gained by development internally; Competence needs to be sourced externally. These were in line with Brock & von Wangenheim’s (2019) logic that managers when starting AI project should do “internal resources check”. The data was analysed in four steps. First, focus group data was analysed by the facilitators at each industrial partner. Second, the competence mapping was analysed by the “working groups” at each industrial partner. Third, the transcribed data from the two industrial partners used in this paper were reviewed individually by t he authors. Fourth, the cross-disciplinary group of authors from both academia and industrial partners gathered for a common analysis session. This session primarily focused on the data from the competence mapping but also cross-checked with the input from the cross-functional focus groups to triangulate the outcome. During the common analysis the conceptual framework presented in the discussion section was developed through iterations between the theoretical framework based on the findings by Anton et al. (2020), and the data from the project.

Findings

The preliminary findings show differences among the industrial partners in how they view their own competencies. For some organisations organisational structures are in place, e.g., dedicated AI Labs, where the work with understanding the benefits and usage of the technology is ongoing on a rather advanced level. In other organisations the work has just been initiated. Overall, all representatives stress the importance of top management support and the need for dedicated forums. Among the organisations that have come the farthest in their AI transformation the structure given by the proposed framework is not enough. They emphasise the need to further frame it into also understanding what the competence is associated with and why it is needed. They view the leadership as almost having to have an evangelistic approach to it, where it does not seem to be enough with “only” technical experts. A conceptual framework, consisting of the relationship between the two dimensions: the managerial competencies and the technical competencies, is developed (Figure 1). The managerial competencies dimension concerns organisation and organising. The technical competencies dimension on the other hand captures the complexity level of the technology that is needed, the system of systems. The diagonal illustrates the relationship between these two dimensions, that is, the relation between technological complexity and organisational ability. The lower part of the diagonal captures isolated, simple processes (presumably internal) while the upper part of the diagonal captures integrated, complex processes (presumably primarily related to external parts and/or actors).. For high levels of technical complexity that requires high levels of technical competencies within the organisation the organisation also needs to advance the managerial competencies and the developmental learning processes. However, while in the long-term perspective we suggest that going off the diagonal will be inefficient and ineffective, hence, waste, it might be needed to do that temporarily, as the organisation develops. We believe that this developmentcan be either technology-driven or organisation-driven.

The proposed conceptual framework is intended to help organisations plot their own current position based on the two dimensions and identify what changes are needed to reach the diagonal. It can also be used to define where on the diagonal the organisation ultimately wants to end up. It is not relevant for all companies or even for all sectors overall to be at the top right side. We believe that AI transformation cannot be approached as either technologydriven or managerial-driven, but as an e interdependent process of both dimensions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2022
Keywords
Artificial intelligence, Transformation processes, Competencies, Work-integrated learning
National Category
Learning Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-59791 (URN)978-91-89325-30-2 (ISBN)
Conference
WIL'22 International Conference on Work Integrated Learning, 7-9 December 2022, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Available from: 2023-02-10 Created: 2023-02-10 Last updated: 2023-02-10Bibliographically approved
Engström, A., Pittino, D., Johansson, A., Mohlin, A. & Edh Mirzaei, N. (2022). How AI Transformation triggers new perspectives in organizational learning. In: : . Paper presented at OLKC conference 2022, 7-9 September, 2022, Trollhättan, Sweden.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How AI Transformation triggers new perspectives in organizational learning
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2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58644 (URN)
Conference
OLKC conference 2022, 7-9 September, 2022, Trollhättan, Sweden
Available from: 2022-10-17 Created: 2022-10-17 Last updated: 2022-10-17Bibliographically approved
Engström, A., Mohlin, A., Edh Mirzaei, N., Pittino, D. & Johansson, A. (2022). Understanding Organizational Tensions During Artificial Intelligence Transformation. In: : . Paper presented at EURAM 2022, Leading Digital Transformation, 15-17 June 2022, Zürich, Switzerland. (1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Organizational Tensions During Artificial Intelligence Transformation
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2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58643 (URN)
Conference
EURAM 2022, Leading Digital Transformation, 15-17 June 2022, Zürich, Switzerland
Available from: 2022-10-17 Created: 2022-10-17 Last updated: 2022-10-17Bibliographically approved
Engström, A., Mohlin, A., Edh Mirzaei, N., Pittino, D. & Johansson, A. (2022). Understanding Organizational Tensions During Artificial Intelligence Transformation. In: Proceedings of The Annual Meeting of The Academy of Management, 2022, Vol. 2022, No. 1: . Paper presented at 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 5-9 August, Seattle, Washington, USA, 4-10 August 2022, Virtual Platform (pp. 12745). Academy of Management, Vol. 2022(1)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Organizational Tensions During Artificial Intelligence Transformation
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2022 (English)In: Proceedings of The Annual Meeting of The Academy of Management, 2022, Vol. 2022, No. 1, Academy of Management , 2022, Vol. Vol. 2022, no 1, p. 12745-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

AI has the potential to be a disruptive technology causing paradigm shifts in industries and greatly impacting both operational and strategic decision making. Adopting AI technologies requires proactively engaging both the technical and social system of the organization as processes, workflows, as well as individual employees, are influenced. This paper explores potential tensions between the social and technical systems in the early change process of AI transformation to understand the nature and degree of AI transformation. We do this by analyzing in-depth inquiry from 23 focus groups involving 112 white-collar industrial employees in large multinational industrial firms using a change management perspective. Our study revealed nine categories of tensions divided into tensions between the current and future state and tensions between humans and machines. This stresses the need to adopt a socio-technical perspective in the attempt to understand organizations approaching AI and provides practical implications for organizations considering adopting AI technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academy of Management, 2022
Series
Academy of Management Proceedings, ISSN 0065-0668, E-ISSN 2151-6561 ; Vol. 2022, No. 1
National Category
Business Administration Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58642 (URN)10.5465/AMBPP.2022.12745abstract (DOI)
Conference
82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 5-9 August, Seattle, Washington, USA, 4-10 August 2022, Virtual Platform
Available from: 2022-10-17 Created: 2022-10-17 Last updated: 2022-10-17Bibliographically approved
Edh Mirzaei, N., Hilletofth, P. & Pal, R. (2021). Challenges to competitive manufacturing in high-cost environments: checklist and insights from Swedish manufacturing firms. Operations Management Research, 14, 272-292
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges to competitive manufacturing in high-cost environments: checklist and insights from Swedish manufacturing firms
2021 (English)In: Operations Management Research, ISSN 1936-9735, E-ISSN 1936-9743, Vol. 14, p. 272-292Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on competitive manufacturing (CM) in high-cost environments has earlier indicated that firms struggle to remain competitive and that manufacturing operations often have been offshored to low-cost environments. The purpose of this research is to explore and create a compounded view of challenges related to both internal and external environments of firms when operating in high-cost environments. This issue has been investigated through a qualitative case study involving five manufacturing firms in Sweden. This research has empirically derived the challenges associated with sustaining CM in high-cost environments and developed a prescriptive checklist. Seven main categories of challenges have been identified, ranging from a micro level related to product characteristics and employee involvement, to a macro level related to supply chain collaborations and industry systems. This research contributes to the existing literature on CM in high-cost locations by explaining and detailing what constitutes challenges in this kind of environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2021
Keywords
Manufacturing location, Competitive manufacturing, Capabilities, Success factors, Challenges, Manufacturing industry
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-52564 (URN)10.1007/s12063-021-00193-0 (DOI)000651342200001 ()2-s2.0-85106333627 (Scopus ID)HOA;;744495 (Local ID)HOA;;744495 (Archive number)HOA;;744495 (OAI)
Available from: 2021-05-28 Created: 2021-05-28 Last updated: 2021-12-20Bibliographically approved
Engström, A., Barry, D., Sollander, K., Edh Mirzaei, N. & Johansson, A. (2019). Embracing the unplanned: Organizational ambidexterity within manufacturing SMEs. In: Academy of Management Proceedings: . Paper presented at 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) 2019, August 9-13, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Academy of Management, Article ID 14906.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embracing the unplanned: Organizational ambidexterity within manufacturing SMEs
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2019 (English)In: Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management , 2019, article id 14906Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Organizational Ambidexterity (OA)–the ability to simultaneously pursue exploration and exploitation–is increasingly being advocated as a way to gain competitive advantage. Most of the work on OA has focused on large, multi-divisional organizations, resulting in frameworks and prescriptions that have little utility for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With this in mind, we report on the first year of an exploratory, quasi-experimental study of ambidexterity within six small-to-medium manufacturing enterprises in Sweden. The research is characterized by an emic, ‘invented here’ approach, where companies closely examine their current exploration and exploitation practices, use their findings to formulate more advanced OA approaches uniquely suited to their values and circumstances, and iteratively apply and refine these over a four year period. It appears that the construct of ‘unplanned’ and associated sub-constructs such as ‘disturbance, crashes, and interruption’ could be an important key to framing and improving OA within these SMEs and perhaps more generally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academy of Management, 2019
Series
Academy of Management Proceedings, ISSN 0065-0668, E-ISSN 2151-6561 ; 1
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-45623 (URN)10.5465/AMBPP.2019.14906abstract (DOI)
Conference
79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) 2019, August 9-13, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Available from: 2019-08-20 Created: 2019-08-20 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Sollander, K. & Edh Mirzaei, N. (2018). Contextualising ambidexterity in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. In: : . Paper presented at 25th International Annual EurOMA Conference, June 24-26th, 2018 Budapest, Hungary.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contextualising ambidexterity in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41341 (URN)
Conference
25th International Annual EurOMA Conference, June 24-26th, 2018 Budapest, Hungary
Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Edh Mirzaei, N. & Halldorsson, A. (2017). Employee flexibility in operations in the era of digitalisation: Implications for social sustainability. In: : . Paper presented at 4th International Annual European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Conference, Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Forum, 27-28 February 2017, Milan, Italy. International Annual EurOMA Conference
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Employee flexibility in operations in the era of digitalisation: Implications for social sustainability
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper provides a perspective on why employee flexibility is critical to manufacturing in the changing industrial landscape, how this links to efforts of digitalisation and automation in operations, and what opportunities and constraints this may have for achieving social sustainability. First, employee flexibility should be regarded at both horisontal and vertical dimensions. Second, responding to digitalisation of manufacturing requires both horisontal and vertical type of employee flexibility. Third, digitalization should relate more firmly employee flexibility, and too even greater extent to social sustainability. Employee flexibility can bridge the gap between digitalisation and social responsibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2017
Keywords
social sustainability, automation, employee flexibility, manufacturing digitalisation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-39218 (URN)
Conference
4th International Annual European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) Conference, Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Forum, 27-28 February 2017, Milan, Italy
Available from: 2018-04-30 Created: 2018-04-30 Last updated: 2018-09-11Bibliographically approved
Edh Mirzaei, N., Wlazlak, P., Sansone, C. & Hilletofth, P. (2016). Challenges with competitive manufacturing in high cost environment. In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Annual EurOMA Conference, Trondheim, Norway: . Paper presented at The 23rd EurOMA conference, 17th-22nd of June 2016, Trondheim, Norway. International Annual EurOMA Conference
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges with competitive manufacturing in high cost environment
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Annual EurOMA Conference, Trondheim, Norway, International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Annual EurOMA Conference, 2016
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31601 (URN)978-82-303-3277-1 (ISBN)
Conference
The 23rd EurOMA conference, 17th-22nd of June 2016, Trondheim, Norway
Available from: 2016-08-31 Created: 2016-08-31 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved
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