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New Challenges and New Positions in WI 28.5.2013

Work Informatics has very active customer project services as part of our education in Bachelor and Master degrees.

New Positions

Currently we have appointed project researcher, (M.Sc. in WI) Jesse Kaukola to ICT-portti. His responsibilities are customer projects and development of work life oriented teaching into curriculum. Jesse is a real Portti enthusiastic. He has been around since the early days of Portti, and now after his own master studies, he is continuing his doctoral studies on same topics. "I myself find the SMEs and their knowledge management most interesting topic. I have seen what it means in a small company, and I have also seen what actual viable and feasible improvements we can make with WI based approaches", says Jesse and laughs. As he always does.

ICT-portti hired also research assistants: Niko Kangas and Maija Väisänen will be supporting the integration of work life oriented customer projects into education. "These intern positions will be available on regular basis, check the faculty policy on intern vouchers", informs lecturer Antti Tuomisto. One of the key things in Portti projects is to recruit the best possible students to each customer project.

"Students' personal interests should be taken into account when allocating them into business cases, and when Portti succeeds in this, the results are amazing", tells ICT-portti project's manager, lecturer Antti Tuomisto. “We just started a new ESF funded ICT-portti project on May, and it will continue to end of 2014. Now we are harnessing the knowledge of our inspired teachers into customer based research projects as part of teaching.”

Niko and Maija state that "this is a huge opportunity for us to get our skills and knowledge into action with some real world projects. We are really looking forward to it".

New Challenges

WI and Portti has also other research projects going on. One project is researching knowledge workers and their habits (KWH). The researchers, Ali Raffad and Shouaib Hashemi have done significant basic research on building the work informatics based model of KWH, and next we are going into the empirical part. 

Ali and Shouaib: "Research, as the name implies, is the act of establishing and confirming facts, reaffirming results of previous work, solving new issues and finding new, better solutions to existing ones. This involves the acts of theorizing which uses existing theories and models from trustworthy sources in order to provide a better understanding of how to get such issues addressed. The Knowledge Worker Habits research project involves finding new paradigms for actor oriented knowledge work, which would help in identifying and generating new perspectives on the actors, the work and the co-operation."

They continue: "As with all projects, there was a high level of uncertainty initially with what needed to be done, how it needed to be addressed, what to focus on to get new perspectives as a lot of existing theory already exists in the literature. The key point here is not to reaffirm somebody’s work but propose some new perspectives. For this reason detailed study has been conducted on the knowledge workers ecosystem and this ecosystem has been elaborated and questions generated using a theoretical framework that is unique to the project. Great success is hoped for the project in the upcoming days where data as a result of the questions raised from the framework would reveal new perspective and give a new insight into the modern KW Habits."

WI has currently several other customer projects undergoing as part of M.Sc. education. These teams are often international, and customers vary from small IT service companies to large organizations and new entrepreneurs, from machinery and industry to e-health sector and non-profit organizations. Everything goes as long the project is in line with the principles of Portti and Work Informatics. "I believe that we need more and more research assistants and similar fixed term positions integrated into our Master studies, because there is a real demand for this kind of well-defined research services for companies", Tuomisto says, and continues: "We need to re-think our current internal educational practices, because there is real added-value in our projects for all: students, customer organisations, and researchers and teachers."

Tuomisto has an offer: "Summer time is almost here, but for example the Pärjäin-pilotti (cizizen based e-services to support home-like being, short description in English) needs new students to join the team at Fall. Especially the business survey and the analysis of empirical data could use some extra work informatics oriented beautiful minds. Please contact me directly, or use ICT-Portti form. This form is currently in Finnish, but the most important field is the Profile. English version is coming."

These and many more eye-opening customer projects are available, just let us know about you.

Follow WI at LinkedIn and WI pages.

Sincerely, Antti Tuomisto
Work Informatics