Characteristics of Finnish medical and engineering research group work
Julkaistu sarjassaJyväskylä studies in education, psychology and social research
Tutkimusryhmätyöskentelyä lääketieteissä ja teknisissä tieteissä tutkinut Jani Ursin toteaa väitöskirjansa olevan puheenvuoro tutkimusryhmien puolesta. Ursin kuvailee tutkimilleen tutkimusryhmille tyypillisiksi piirteiksi sisäisen harmonisuuden, mutta akateemisten piirteiden vähäisyyden sekä tieteenalaan sidoksissa olevien käytänteiden ja normien näkymättömyyden ryhmätyöskentelyssä.The study examined research group work characteristics from the perspective of the work design approach. The purpose was, first, to describe research group work characteristics and, second, to explore the relationships between different work characteristics and form a model with which to analyse research group work. Third, attention was also paid to the advantages and disadvantages of research group work and the allocation of working time. The respondents were drawn from medicine (n = 110) and engineering (n = 121). The data was collected through semi-structured questionnaires and analysed using descriptive, comparative and explanatory statistical methods.The findings suggested that the respondents highly valued research group work: they had a high team orientation, task and outcome interdependence, team self-management and team spirit. The respondents were also supportive, and they reported good opportunities to participate in decision making and clear cooperative group norms. The only dissimilarity within-groups was in group members’ goals. Furthermore, the respondents rarely experienced conflicts and, if so, these were usually task-related. The respondents also trusted each other. The different research group work characteristics found were incorporated into the model of research group work design which showed a close relationship between trust and different forms of conflict. In the model trust and conflict explained process characteristics not vice versa although there was one important exception: team-oriented behaviour, which was an important determinant in creating a conflict-avoiding social climate. Structural characteristics, like group size, only modestly explained other group work characteristics. The main advantages of research group work were opportunities for scientific discussions and co-operation, whereas the main disadvantage of group work was always having to take others into consideration. Rank-and-filer members spent more time on research than group leaders, who performed more administrative and group management tasks.The general conclusions suggest (1) that the medical and engineering research groups were internally harmonious, (2) that research group work was not academic in nature and, (3) that the role of discipline in medical and engineering research group work was modest. Thus, in future research attention especially needs to be paid to determining the cultural aspects of research group work, the relationships between group outcomes and work characteristics, and dyadic relationships between group members, especially between the group leader and rank-and-file members. ...
JulkaisijaUniversity of Jyväskylä
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