Knowledge work enablers and challenges in different professions
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The purpose of this study was to examine the enablers and the challenges of the knowledge work in different professions. The chosen professions were teacher, physician, lawyer, pastor and conductor. The objective of the thesis was approached by studying the knowledge work enablers and challenges first theoretically and then empirically. Finally, the empirical findings were analysed by comparing the professions with one another and discussing the findings together with the theoretical findings. The study was a qualitative research which followed the hermeneutic idea of science. Therefore, the study aimed to gain an understanding of the research phenomenon and examine it from different angles. In addition, the study was slightly influenced by the conceptual approach. The research was carried out as a multiple case study research so that the different professions presented the separate cases. The data for this thesis was gathered by using the narrative interview method. From each profession there were interviewed four professionals. The enablers and challenges raised from the empirical part of the study were broadly in line with the theoretical results. Consequently, almost all of the knowledge work enablers and challenges presented in the context of the literature review were realised in the empirical part of the study. These elements were for example the physical work environment, information technology and organisational climate. In addition, the empirical part highlighted also various other enablers and challenges which were specific for the professions. As a whole, there were seen also a lot of similarities in the enablers and the challenges that were indicated in the empirical part of the study. They were typically the elements that facilitated or challenged the professionals’ core work. In addition, the enablers and challenges that were discussed in the empirical part of the study helped or prevented the professionals to cope with their heavy workload. On contrary to the similarities in the enablers and challenges of knowledge work, the specific factors made it that the enablers and the challenges in the different professions were not completely the same regardless of the profession.