Levert avhandling

Da har jeg levert avhandlingen Forenklingens logikk ved ISS, NTNU. Her er et engelsk sammendrag av prosjektet:

The logic of simplicity
A study of the reproduction of professional identity in ICT organizations

For the past 30 years, information technologies and software have played an important role in growth and innovation in modern economies. The emergence of the “information age” — the post-industrial society or Internet society — has drawn much attention from academics who have attempted to describe and theorize this development. A key argument in these works is that the information age changes the social prerequisites for work and organization. Different authors have explained knowledge work as reflecting a network logic, characterized by large, informal networks, activity, communication and constant adaptation. Although network metaphors are descriptive of many aspects of modern knowledge work, such work also has important features that cannot be explained in terms of this logic. In the space of 15 years, the programming profession has changed from being associated with flexible forms of work and a great deal of overtime to being controlled and focused on results. This has taken place without  strikes or trade unions involved. The changes have coincided with a strong growth in social criticism of ICT and knowledge work as it unfolded in the 1990s from at least three directions: industrial efficiency, the collective safety and well-being of the workers, and the growth of markets.  Such criticism has gained legitimacy among professionals. The compromise that has developed between these critiques has emerged as a professional ideal rooted in eastern culture: simplicity. According to this ideal, connecting to a network, sharing awareness and content and contributing to the information flow do not create value, but rather lead to complexity, followed by inefficiency and an unhealthy work/life balance. Professional value is on the other hand created through focusing attention and concentrating, turning off e-mail, social media and cell phones. I term this value system the logic of simplicity or the world of simplicity. This logic guides what is considered fair, and provides a means to rank colleagues, relationships, actions and objects. By using simplicity as a higher common principle, industrial ideals relating to performance management and planning is gaining legitimacy in ICT organizations. I show how and why this change is unfolding through two empirical studies. The first is based on a qualitative analysis of interviews with 23 software developers, and the second is based on a discourse analysis of twelve manuals in agile software development and project management. In the first analysis I show how ideals referring to simplicity are used and positioned in relation to other important principles of professional practice, while the second analysis describes the logic of simplicity in detail. Both analyses draw upon and contributes to the pragmatic framework of social action developed by Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot. Structural analyses is often criticized for having functional or mechanical understandings of social action. By linking the logic of the actors’ understanding to the concept of worth, this framework paint a universe of cultural change where social action is dynamic and human actors are vivid.

Jeg har vel lenge lurt på hvordan det ville føles, og må vel så langt si at det kjennes ganske bra ut.

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