Work Informatics studied are part of Information Systems research. WI currently consists of following interrelated research areas:
In the 2010's we have had projects to develop SMEs businesses and information systems iun collaborationwith regional universties (ESF and ERDF, 6aika), health technologies and innovations jointly with local industries (6aika, Edu Min, ERDF), and with private and public sectors to develop digititation and usability of tools, applications and systems (ESF, City of Turku, ERDF). Few companies to mention: CGI, TeliaSonera, Supercell, Nokia, F-secure, HK Scan, and, Felix Abba.
- Knowledge work and Management of Work Systems
- Health Technologies
- Ethics and Responsibility
Work Informatics had its beginnings in the middle of the 1980s. In 1994 the Information Systems Laboratory (known as LaborIS) of Turku University was founded. Our work began with research in information systems and it has since grown to encompass various research projects utilizing the theoretical principles that we have developed and refined through decades of work.
In our work, we seek to develop and utilize information systems by doing basic research relevant to a particular problem, and then apply our research methods to product development. The inseparability of work and information systems is always emphasized in our research work because data-processing activities cannot be isolated from other activities, not even for the purpose of designing information systems.
The theoretical foundation of our research work is situated in the concept that information systems and their activities are unconditionally rooted in the activities of human beings. The computer cannot do anything on its own, and so it is obviously only a tool of human activity. When this principle is recognized, we are then in possession of excellent guidelines for repairing problems in the real world. This has also been proven in numerous customer assignments.
Critically executed fundamental research supports our work across the board. Concepts developed by fundamental research have been tested on numerous occasions, which in turn have contributed to a more detailed definition of concepts and the creation of even better ways of dealing with phenomena.
The relevancy of fundamental and applied research is now being demonstrated in commissioned research projects in which there is no prescribed research area or theoretical framework, but real problems in practice. By studying problems in practice, relevant fundamental research and an analytical review and theorization of authentic phenomena can be produced. This holistic research approach also generates product development innovation, which increases the efficiency of technology.
We have co-worked with many research partners, including the Academy of Finland, the Finnish Work Environment Fund, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Health Care and Social Service, City of Turku, the European Regional Development Fund, Ministry of Labour, Turku Science Park, Turku School of Economics, Åbo Akademi University, University of Tampere, University of Oulu, Turku University Hospital and The Hospital District of Southwest Finland.