Project work in Finnish KASTE projects

Marjo Suhonen, Leena Paasivaara


Project work been seen as a solution for developing social and health care work. However, project work is not one-dimensional. In addition, there are some characteristics in social and health care that pose challenges for projects. There is a need to study social and health care project work critically. The aim of the article is to describe and analyze project work in social and health care. The data were collected from KASTE projects in 2008-2011. The data consisted of essays written by project managers (n=11) and interviews (n= 14) with project managers and workers. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Based on our findings, project work in social and health care was characterized by project management within an organized chaos, power struggles between professions and organizations, attitudes related to co-operation with different sectors, successful team feeling and multi-dimensional peer support. Peer-support and team feeling were valued as important resources in project work although there were different kinds of experiences of their existence. Team feeling can be seen as a means to compensate for the lack of common instructions and to relieve the feeling of chaos. Different kinds of power structures could be distinguished on different levels of co-operation in projects: on project team level, on inter-professional level and on the level of organizations and municipalities. This poses challenges for inter-professional and cross-sectional co-operation in projects, which might affect project progress.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413