102093 Tutkimus

Kirjallisuusanalyysi tyky-toiminnan ja osaamispääoman käsitteiden muodostumisesta ja kehityksestä

Osaamispääoman käsitteistöstä ei ole saavutettu yksimielisyyttä, joten huolellinen syntyhistorian tarkastelu tuo esiin olennaisia havaintoja siitä, mitä käsitteellä on alunperin haluttu määrittää ja minkälaisia lisävaatimuksia siihen on myöhemmin liittynyt. Vastaavasti myös tyky- toiminnan nimikkeellä harjoitettavien hankkeiden kirjo on valtava, joten käsiteanalyysin avulla myös niiden tavoitteita voidaan selkeyttää. Hankkeessa laaditaan syvällisen kirjallisuusanalyysin avulla narratiivinen rekonsturaatio siitä, miten työkyvyn ja osaamispääoman käsitteet ovat kehittyneet, erityistä huomiota kiinnitetään yrityksen kontekstiin. Strategisen suunnittelun osana muokattu tyky- toiminta muodostuu organisaation muodostaman kontekstin tarkoituksenmukaiseksi kehittämiseksi. Tämä konteksti on puolestaan osaamispääoman kannalta merkityksellinen siksi, että sen puitteissa koko osaamispääoma määrittyy. Tämän hankkeen tulokset kytketään yhteen aiemman hankkeen 100061 "Työkyky ja osaamispääoma - työsuojelun uusi näkökulma" tuloksien kanssa, joten kirjallisuuden tarkastelu avaa odotettavasti uusia näkökulmia aikaisemman hankkeen tuottamaan haastatteluaineiston tarkasteluun. Kirjall. katsauksen ja syvennetyn analyysin avulla muodostunut kokonaisuus tuottaa uuden näkökulman siihen, millaisia tavoitteita Suomessa yleisesti harjoitetulle työkykyä ylläpitävälle toiminnalle tulisi asettaa, jotta se edistäisi osaamispääoman kehittymistä ja tukisi siten yrityksen pitkäjänteistä tuloksellisuutta.

Hankkeen vastuuhenkilö
Rita Asplund

Aineistoa Materials-välilehdellä.

TYKY–TOIMINTA TUKEE YRITYKSEN TALOUTTA JA TYÖNTEKIJÖIDEN LUOVUUTTA

11.1.2004

Työkykyä ylläpitävään toimintaan eli tyky –toimintaan kohdistuva tutkimus on osoittanut, että yritykset arvioivat työkyvyn ylläpitämisen tuottavan myös taloudellista hyötyä. Näiden vaikutusten taustalla olevia mekanismeja on kuitenkin tutkittu melko vähän. Useimmiten taloudellisten vaikutusten esitetään parantuneen laadun ja tuottavuuden seurauksena.

Työsuojelurahaston rahoittamassa tutkimuksessa, jossa selvitettiin tyky –toiminnan ja osaamispääoman käsitteiden muodostumista ja kehittymistä, esitetään kuitenkin, että taloudelliset vaikutukset syntyvät parantuneesta innovoinnista. Tyky –toiminnan osoitetaan tukevan organisaatioiden tiedonmuodostusta, joka on keskeinen innovoinnin mekanismi tietämyksen hallinnan teoriassa.
Suomessa tyky –toiminta on keskeisessä asemassa työhyvinvointia tuotettaessa. Tyky-viitekehys sisältää työntekijöiden terveyden ja osaamisen, työyhteisön toimivuuden sekä työympäristön. Tyky-toiminnalla on keskeinen asema maassamme työelämää kehitettäessä, sillä se on kirjattu työterveyshuoltoa koskevaan lainsäädäntöön.
Tutkimuksessa tulee esiin työympäristön merkitys myös työntekijöiden luovuutta tukevana rakenteena.

Analyysin tuloksena syntyneen tarkastelun havaittiin muistuttavan johtamisteorioihin liittyvää management-leadership–jaottelua. Yksilötasolle kohdistuva tyky-toiminta liittyy management-näkökulmaan, kun taas työyhteisön kehittämisessä oli selkeästi leadership-piirteitä.

Managementiin liittyvät leimallisesti pysyvyys, järjestys ja tehokkuus tavoitteiden saavuttamisen keinoina. Leadershipin määrittelyt korostavat joustavuutta, innovatiivisuutta ja sopeutumiskykyä organisaation muutoskyvyn edellytyksinä. Työelämässä ei enää riitä annettujen tehtävien suorittaminen, vaan innovaatioihin pyrkivää vuorovaikutusta tarvitaan yhä enemmän. Tämä painotuksen muutos korostaa työyhteisötasolle suuntautuvan tyky –toiminnan merkitystä, koska työyhteisön toimivuudesta tulee tärkeä kilpailutekijä.

Toimittaja
Ritva Reinboth

Aineistoa Materials-välilehdellä.

Formation and Development of the Concepts of Maintenance of Work Ability and Intellectual Capital — a Literature Review

23.5.2004

This research project produced three papers on different aspects of knowledge management. The first one defines knowledge management in a new manner by combining the concepts of intellectual capital, intangible assets and knowledge creation in a single model. The second paper analyses intellectual capital within the frame of reference of the maintenance of work ability (MWA), bringing a well-being perspective to the discussion concerning intellectual capital. The third paper points out that MWA activities are a relevant framework for studying the emergence and functioning of ba, the foundation for knowledge creation.

Reconfiguring knowledge management

Intellectual capital has been considered to be the source of long-term success of an organisation. It is commonly defined to consist of three dimensions: human capital, internal structures and external structures. The value platform model is used to describe the holistic nature of intellectual capital. According to the model, the intersection of these three dimensions forms the basis of knowledge-based value creation. The value platform model does not, however, provide tools for elaborating on the mechanics of this value creation.

Many authors, e.g. Sveiby and Lev, prefer the term intangible assets to intellectual capital. On the other hand, "intangible assets" has been criticised in that the static nature of the concept does not allow for the dynamics of knowledge-based value creation. Ahonen's division of intangibles into generative and commercially exploitable intangible assets was adopted as an outline in defining intangibles in the present study. The division into generative and commercially exploitable intangible assets reveals the logic behind value creation that is beyond reach using the value platform model. Commercially exploitable intangible assets form the basis for current intangibles-based cash flow, whereas generative intangible assets are the source of renewal and creation of future commercially exploitable intangibles. The static nature of the concept of intangible assets is revealed in this model, as it provides no way of describing how generative intangible assets are converted into a commercially exploitable form.

The static nature of intangible assets requires a dynamic element to meet the interrelatedness of different elements that is present in intellectual capital. With their revolutionary book in 1995, Nonaka and Takeuchi become the pioneers of knowledge creation theory, a theory that today holds a central position in knowledge management. Nevertheless, serious attempts have not been made to link this approach to the general discussion on intellectual capital. By considering theory as the dynamic element of intellectual capital, the present study makes the connection.

The more recent work of Nonaka in collaboration with Toyoma and Konno has resulted in a model known as the "Unified Model of Knowledge Creation". This model was used as a starting point for developing a synthesis of the ideas presented above. The "Reconfigured Model of Knowledge Management" introduced in the present study suggests that static intangible assets and the dynamic processes of knowledge creation together constitute intellectual capital. This synthesising model also overcomes the limitations observed in each of its constituents.

Knowledge management and intellectual capital are very closely related, but there is one difference that separates them: knowledge vision is included in the former but not in the latter. Knowledge vision is seen as external to intellectual capital because it is the frame of reference against which the intellectual capital of an organisation is defined. In the present study, knowledge management is considered as the managerial approach aimed at harnessing the value creation potential of intellectual capital.

Intellectual capital and MWA – the well-being perspective

Knowledge creation is cognitive activity, which inevitably requires contribution by human beings. The well-being of its employees is the key to a company's sustainable development, because employees are the source of its innovativeness and capacity for renewal. In the present study, the interview data from ten top-level intellectual capital experts was analysed with Finnish MWA activities as the frame of reference.

In Finland, MWA is the central framework for promoting well-being at work. It encompasses employees’ health and competence, the working community and the working environment. The essence of MWA is to develop these sectors in a holistic way. When analysed in the framework of MWA, the data show that the most significant change in intellectual capital has been the shift from individual to collective features of competence. In previous frameworks, competence was perceived as static, whereas the intellectual capital discourse emphasises dynamics and an organisation's collective capability to create new knowledge. The originating idea of competence as an element of MWA is to secure professional skills and thus alleviate mental strain. The intellectual capital discourse, in turn, is aimed at creating value using the knowledge-based resources of a company. These perspectives are not contradictory, because the common factor behind both approaches is sustainable economic development.

Improvement of the working environment is a natural dimension of MWA. The increased knowledge-intensiveness of work has highlighted the role of ergonomics, as information and communication technology tools are being used to carry out new kinds of tasks. In the intellectual capital discourse, the approach is somewhat different, with much of the discussion concerning new, alternative ways of working. The greater effectiveness of information flow brought about by information and communication technology is reducing barriers related to geographical distance, for example. Another perspective is the development of working environments to support the creativeness of the employees. This view is very different from the original MWA approach of eliminating occupational health hazards. It is characteristic of the intellectual capital perspective to emphasise the positive effects of information and communication technology and more broadly the whole working environment, whereas MWA focuses on various threats to well-being at work. It would therefore seem that MWA brings many new insights to the discussion on intellectual capital and the working environment, but also vice versa.

The working community and the work climate are considered to be important determinants of work ability. The need and requirements for a new style of leadership have been identified in the literature. Leadership in the current sense is not so much about supervision as about the ability to stimulate different relationships. On the other hand, an ability to crystallise the vision of the organisation is also needed. Restructuring leadership practices increases employees’ prospects of influencing the operation of their organisation. It should be noted that the working community also has to be able to provide social support to its members, thus providing a buffer against rapid changes caused by needs for organisational renewal. The insights of the intellectual capital experts interviewed for the present study were well in line with the MWA theory.

In the literature, health as a broad concept is seen as a central element of MWA. Accordingly, not only physical but also mental and social capabilities are included in the definition. The burnout syndrome in particular has been topical in MWA literature. There was considerable variation among the interviewed intellectual capital experts in their responses concerning the relationship between an individual's health and the organisation's intellectual capital. Some were not willing to comment on the relationship at all, whereas others adeptly justified broadly defined health as a prerequisite for using competencies to master work tasks.

The most topical challenge in modern working life is how to mould individual competencies into organisational characteristics. Such modification requires that various aspects of the working environment, the working community and employees’ health be developed accordingly to ensure the shift in focus.

Knowledge implications of MWA

Research on MWA has shown that companies perceive MWA activities as yielding considerable financial benefits. There has been limited research on the mechanics behind these effects, however. The most popular explanation has been the improved quality of products and services. In the present study, it was hypothesised that economic benefits are generated through improved organisational innovativeness. MWA was found to be conducive to knowledge creation. Knowledge creation, of course, is the central mechanism of innovativeness in knowledge management theory.

In the present study, the two approaches to MWA, i.e. targeting individual employees or entire working communities, were combined by analysing data from both perspectives. The analysis showed that this distinction was related to the academic discussion concerning management and leadership. Activities targeted to individuals are characterised by the management approach, whereas those targeted to working communities are based on leadership strategies. Management is characterised by stability, order and efficiency to meet given goals. Accordingly, MWA activities targeted to individuals are characterised by similar features. Leadership emphasises flexibility, innovation and adaptation in the search for organisational change by developing a vision of the future and a strategy for making the necessary changes. In modern working life, the ability to perform given tasks is not sufficient but collaboration leading to innovations is increasingly needed. This shift of emphasis highlights the importance of working community-oriented MWA. MWA activities at the working community level have obvious leadership characteristics because of the importance of the empowerment approach in defining the organisation's development needs.

It should be noted that neither of these approaches alone is sufficient. Kotter has maintained that too tight management suffocates the innovation capacity of an organisation while excessive emphasis of leadership results in reduced organisational effectiveness. Equally, a working community-oriented leadership approach to MWA promotes the collective development of work, and an individual-oriented managerial MWA ensures that the organisation has suitable human resources at its disposal. In today's workplaces, there is an increasing need for constant development of work tasks, but at the same time the physical and mental abilities of the employees must be sustained.

The leadership-management dichotomy was also examined using the SECI (socialisation, externalisation, combination, internalisation) model of knowledge creation following Ormala's scheme. According to this model, conversions of tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge and, further, tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge require leadership. In terms of Nonaka's and Takeuchi's SECI model, these phases involve socialisation and externalisation. In contrast, converting explicit knowledge to explicit knowledge (combination) and explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge (internalisation) are characterised by a need for management. From the viewpoint of knowledge creation theory, the leadership perspective is related to generating new ideas, and management is required for embedding them in daily operations.

According to the theory of knowledge creation, ba is the space or context in which knowledge creation takes place through the SECI process. In conclusion, the present study indicates that MWA, as the framework for supporting employees’ well-being, is relevant for generating ba. MWA therefore plays a pivotal role in enhancing the innovation capability of an organisation.
Translated and edited by
Esko Meriluoto

Project-related materials can be found under the Materials tab.

Hanketiedot

  • HakijaElinkeinoelämän tutkimuslaitos ETLA
  • ToteuttajaElinkeinoelämän tutkimuslaitos ETLA
  • Lisätietoja
  • Rita Asplund
    (09) 609 900
    (09) 601753
  • Toteutusaika
  • 24.3.2002 - 1.6.2003
  • Työsuojelurahaston päätös
  • 22.4.2002
    54 000 euroa
  • Kokonaiskustannukset
  • 80 100 euroa
  • Tulokset valmistuneet 1.12.2003

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