Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management

Doctoral theses

In 2015, 50 candidates were awarded a doctoral degree by the Faculty. Please see the following list with summaries of some of the most recent theses. Search in Diva for more.

Live Bakke Finne

Influence of psychological and social work factors on mental health

Live Bakke Finne

The overall aim of this thesis was broadening the scope of specific psychological and social work factors investigated as possible predictors of employees` mental health, focusing on mental distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression).

Design was prospective full-panel (i.e. measurement of all variables at each time-point) with a two-year follow-up period. Data was gathered by questionnaire. Organizations represented a wide variety of occupations and job types. Study I included 20 organizations with 1971 respondents in the prospective sample. Study II included 48 organizations with a prospective sample of 3644 employees. Study III incorporated 63 organizations and had a prospective sample of 4158 employees. Different statistical designs were employed in all three studies. This was done as the optimal exposure-outcome measurement interval is unknown and to elucidate which factors were the most consistent predictors across analyses.

Study I demonstrated both “normal” (i.e. work as predictor of health) and “reversed” (i.e. health as predictor of work) relations between workplace bullying and mental distress.

In study II, 14 of 19 work factors showed some prospective relation to incidence of mental distress “caseness”, while role conflict, support from immediate superior, fair leadership, and positive challenge were consistent predictors. Prevalence of “cases” was 11.9 % (n = 432) at baseline.

Study III demonstrated that eight of 10 work factors; decision control, role conflict, positive challenge, support from immediate superior, fair leadership, commitment to organization, human resource primacy, and social climate, were consistently related to mental distress and positive affect. Rumors of change was a consistent predictor of mental distress only. Impact of exposures was most pervasive and consistent at the individual level, however, department level relations were also demonstrated for all work factors.

In conclusion, a broad set of psychological and social work factors predicted mental health. Role conflict, support from immediate superior, fair leadership, and positive challenge were seemingly particularly important as these were consistent predictors of mental distress “caseness”. Many of the work factors associated with mental health were others than those traditionally studied. Knowledge obtained through the present work should be highly useful for organizations in developing practical efforts targeting employees` health.

Roy Aksel Waade

Tegnspråk i musikken:
Soundpainting som improvisatorisk-kompositorisk verktøy

Roy Aksel Waade

This dissertation is about the sign-language, Soundpainting, which was created in the middle of the 1970s in New York, by the American jazz/avant-garde musician Walter Thompson. I wanted to find the reason why Thompson made this sign language and understand the ideology characterizing it – from a postmodern focus on "everyday life" and irony, and interdisciplinary ideas about linking music. dance, acting and visual art forms closer together. Soundpainting can be used in different contexts, whether you're talking about "pure" Soundpainting-performances, or Soundpainting used as an "ingredient" in different music-settings, or together with other disciplines of art- whether you are performing on a stage or for instance in a classroom. And it was particularly with regard to the latter aspect I would consider Soundpainting: How would it be to learn this sign language for the music students at our university-college, and how would they experience using it during their practice periods, together with pupils and practice-teachers in primary school and in Music & Art-school? I wanted to find out what possibilities this sign language can give us, particularly related to the field of improvisation, because of the lack of "didactic tools" in working with improvisation, spontaneity and creativity in the educational/performative field. But I would also focus on the musical, communicative and didactical challenges we meet when music shall be created on the basis of gestures given by a "conductor", called a Soundpainter - and then developed and "negotiated" in an ensemble.

Martin Rasmussen

The Development of Performance Shaping Factors for the PetroHRA Method:
A Human Reliability Method for the Petroleum Industry

Martin Rasmussen

This dissertation is written as part of the “Analysis of human actions as barriers in major accidents in the petroleum industry, applicability of human reliability analysis methods (Petro-HRA)” project, a research project funded by the Research Council of Norway, PETROMAKS program. Statoil and DNV GL were industry partners and the Institute for Energy Technology, SINTEF, Idaho National Laboratory and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology were project participants. The primary objective of the project was to test, evaluate and adjust human reliability analysis (HRA) methods for use in quantifying the likelihood of human error and identifying the impact of human actions on the post-initiator barriers in the main accident scenarios in the petroleum industry. This led to the creation of a new HRA method called PetroHRA. This dissertation presents part of the work that was conducted in the creation of this method.

The first part of this dissertation attempts to show how the four included journal papers tie in with the rest of the work in the PetroHRA project, followed by how the PetroHRA method and HRA in general fit into the larger context of safety, risk and accident theories. This section includes the history of HRA, the steps of the HRA process, a short presentation of the included journal papers and the other works Rasmussen has contributed to and discussions on the challenges and future of HRA. The second part of the dissertation includes four journal papers focusing mainly on how to include and how to quantify performance shaping factors.

Hawa Suleiman Mkwela

Land Injustices
- Tracing the Impact of Land Development Projects on Farmers' Land Justice in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Hawa Suleiman Mkwela

Land is an important resource in any society because it provides food and shelter. It also harbours the waters which are essential of life. Proper plans for the use of land and its security of tenure ensure orderly development and equitable sharing. This study concerns the impact of land development projects on land justice for the urban farmers in Dar es Salaam city, the economic hub of Tanzania. It draws inferences from a small farmers' village located in the outskirts of the city named Mbweni Mpiji. The study investigates the impact of 20,000 Plots Delivery Project (PDP) on urban agriculture and farmers land justice in Dar es Salaam city. The 20,000 PDP was one of the largest land development projects in the country aiming at reducing informal settlements by supplying planned residential plots for housing to residents. In more specific terms, the study assesses stakeholders' perception on urban agriculture and its influence on agriculture activities and farmers land justices in the study area. Also, it examines the land injustices faced by Mbweni Mpiji urban farmers as a consequent of implementation of the 20,000 PDP. Lastly, it assesses efforts initiated by various stakeholders to ensure farmers' land justice after implementation of the 20,000 PDP. In achieving its objectives, the study poses four questions; (1) how is urban agriculture perceived by various stakeholders in Dares Salaam? (2) How do stakeholders' perceptions influence the practice of urban agriculture and land justice for farmers in Dar es Salaam? (3) How did the 20,000 PDP affect farmers in terms of justice relating to land? (4) What initiatives have been taken by different stakeholders to ensure justice for farmers with respect to land? In terms of theory, the study adopts the urban political ecology (UPE). Through the influence of UPE, the study traces the contribution of various land tenure and economic systems (from the communal system to the current Neo-liberal economy) to explain the source of farmers’ land injustices in the study area. The study explains the root cause of malpractice and corruption which are at the core of farmers' land injustices. By the use of concepts derived from UPE, the study has been able to compare the existing economic situation in Dar es Salaam to that of the global world and how they are related. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect data from the study area. The study largely uses qualitative methods enabling the researcher to bond and closely observe farmers’ predicaments and triumphs.

From its findings, the study reveals that the perception of stakeholders on urban agriculture varies according to their position in the society. The majority of the interviewees had hold the opinion that urban agriculture has low or no value in urban settings. The proponents perceive urban agriculture as an important activity in the city in terms of food security and income generation, while the opponents look at it as an activity for the poor occupying land informally or illegally. This finding coincides with the position of various policies which govern land use in Tanzania. The policies admit that urban agriculture is important, but its development should be restricted in urban areas. The study realises that due to their economic status, urban farmers are not represented in decision-making processes regarding urban land development projects or land matters within the city. Exclusion of farmers in the process can be manifested and has culminated into ambiguity use of the land laws, misconduct and corruption, unfair compensation and its impact on the original landowners change of livelihood and land tenure insecurity. Stakeholders' efforts to ensure farmers ' land rights can be seen from involvement of the central and local government, international NGOs, famers and the village government. Each of these stakeholders at different intervals has provided support to urban farmers in terms of land, farm implements and financial support. However, these efforts have yielded low or no sustainable results up to now.

The study concludes that the increase in urban land development projects has a negative impact on urban agriculture and contributes to land injustices for urban farmers in Mbweni Mpiji. Similarly, the society's general perceptions of urban agriculture and farmers have resulted in the neglect urban agriculture in urban planning and the disregard of farmers in decision making process in Mbweni Mpiji. Little has been done by various stakeholders to ensure long term solutions and promotions of urban agriculture. This implies that urban farmers need to form collaborations in order to safeguard their interests in urban planning and development in the future.

Markus Steen

Becoming the next Adventure?
- Exploring the complexities of path creation: The case of offshore wind power in Norway

Markus Steen

The point of departure for this thesis is the path dependence/path creation debate in economic geography. This thesis explores complexities of path creation processes, focusing empirically on the development of an emerging offshore wind power (OWP) industry in Norway. The OWP industry can be seen as a distinct new industry - a new 'industrial development path' - albeit one with strong linkages to various established industry paths and – in Norway - the offshore oil and gas (O&G) industry in particular. In the first decade of the 2000s, OWP became framed as a potential new 'industrial adventure' in Norway. In analysing the development of this industry, the thesis revolves processes of technological change, innovation and transformation at the intersections of firm, industry and institutional dynamics.

The main aim of this thesis is to contribute to economic geography theorizing on path creation. Although the development of new industries is high on both research and political agendas across the globe, the actual emergence of novelty in many respects lacks explanation. A variety of theoretical concepts and debates inform the thesis. In particular, the thesis aims to contribute to evolutionary economic geography (EEG). As such, it questions some of EEGs theoretical underpinnings and provides both supplementary and alternative perspectives that are of particular relevance to understanding path creation processes, especially within sectors such as energy.

The thesis addresses four different themes relevant to path creation processes. The first theme concerns the issues of relatedness, related variety and knowledge spillovers. The article Same Sea, Different Ponds: Cross-Sectorial Knowledge Spillovers in the North Sea departs from a questioning of the notion of relatedness in EEG and analyses knowledge spillover processes between established industries (focusing on offshore oil and gas (O&G) and OWP. The second theme relates to the regional context of path creation. The article Path creation in a single-industry town: The case of Verdal and Windcluster Mid-Norway employs an open non-constraining perspective on path dependent evolution to analyse how the cluster initiative came about and was shaped by past trajectories as well as emerging opportunities. The third theme relates to the need for a broader perspective on path creation than the firm-centred explanations that dominate EEG. The article Barriers to path creation: the case of offshore wind power in Norway analyses the broader OWP path formation process in Norway, using a framework which focuses on key conditions (and barriers) to path creation. The fourth theme is more conceptual and relates to theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches for understanding the role of agency in path creation or industry emergence. The article Reconsidering path creation in economic geography: aspects of agency, temporality and methods argues that whilst it is well established that 'history matters' economic geographers have largely overlooked the generative power of expectations (i.e. anticipations concerning the future) on path creation processes, implying that also 'futures matter' for understanding the evolution of economic landscapes.

See more theses: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:49:52 +0200