The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Knowledge Support in Learning Operative Organisations

Jyrki J. J. Kasvi

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science (Technology) to be presented with due permission for public examination and debate in the Luna Auditorium of the Spektri building at the Helsinki University of Technology (Metsänneidonkuja 6, Espoo, Finland) on the 24th of January, 2003 at 12 o'clock noon.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-6288-6)   [2175 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-22-6276-2)


The aim of this study is to understand the requirements, critical success factors and outcomes of knowledge support, particularly in learning operative organisations. Initially, the work focused on support of individual employees performing individual work tasks, but it soon became evident that the perspective was too limited. First, it was expanded to cover smaller work units, and later the scope was extended to organisations.

This study summarises many years of work, starting in the early 1990s and concluding on present day. It is based on five constructivist case studies, four of which address knowledge support of employees and teams performing light-weight end-assembly tasks, and one which addresses organisational learning and knowledge management in project organisations.

The key findings include:

While the results of a study consisting of case studies have limited generalisability, the results can be considered mostly valid in the domain of knowledge support of assembly work tasks. The assembly line cases studied had several similar key characteristics. But when it comes to findings concerning knowledge support in learning organisations, one should be more careful. Nevertheless, even those findings were most fascinating and indicate interesting possibilities for further research.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 4 publications:

  1. Eloranta, E., Mankki, J. and Kasvi, J. J. J., 1995. Multimedia and Production Management Systems. Production Planning and Control 6, No. 1, pages 2-12.
  2. Kasvi, J. J. J., Vartiainen, M., Pulkkis, A. and Nieminen, M., 1997. Information tools for the shop-floor. AI & Society 10, No. 1, pages 26-38.
  3. Kasvi, J. J. J., Vartiainen, M., Pulkkis, A. and Nieminen, M., 2000. The Role of Information Support Systems in the Joint Optimisation of Work Systems. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing 10, No. 2, pages 193-221.
  4. Kasvi, J. J. J., Vartiainen, M. and Hailikari, M., 2003. Managing Knowledge and Knowledge Competences in Projects and Project Organisations. International Journal of Project Management. Accepted for publication.

Keywords: knowledge support system, learning operative organisations, constructivist case studies, organisational learning, knowledge management, project organisations

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© 2003 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26