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By Bjorn Gustavsen

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Additional info for Dialogue and Development: Theory of Communication, Action Research and the Restructuring of Working Life

Sample text

In the third round the participants are asked to develop ideas and suggestions for ways in which the problems can be overcome. Here there is no fixed group composition: This matter has to be settled on the basis of the dynamics of each specific conference - the group composition should be made in a way which maximizes the likelihood of bringing forth ideas. In the fourth and last round the representatives from each enterprise sit together to discuss possible projects which can represent steps towards the realization of the idea of the good enterprise and workplace.

There was a - long overdue - need to look more deeply into the theoretical basis for research involvement in work life development with a view to establishing another basis. Thirdly, diffusion is not possible. This does not mean that broad change is not possible but such change may have to be seen as restructurings in parallel rather than as diffusion. Fourthly, boundaries should not be drawn. An experiment does by necessity have to take place in a specific location in social space since clearly defined boundary conditions is a necessary prerequisite.

In plenary session. each group summarizes the conclusions which have emerged out of its discussion. The next topic is what problems will be encountered in trying to make real the vision of the good workplace. This discussion is conducted' in diagonal groups where employees from one enterprise meet with managers from another. In this way it is possible to create a fairly open debate which can also include some of the basic issues in management-worker relations. In the third round the participants are asked to develop ideas and suggestions for ways in which the problems can be overcome.

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