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Time: Fri 2020-01-31 10.00

Location: F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm (Swedish)

Subject area: Industrial Economics and Management

Doctoral student: Helena Innergård , Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Opponent: Professor Bengt Kristensson Uggla,

Supervisor: Docent Maria Hammarén, Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.); Professor Johann Packendorff, Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

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This thesis deepens the concept of competent guidance from a praxise-centered view upon professional skill. It is done by investigating what analogies from equestrianism and equestrian sports can tell us about competent guidance in the profession of technical consultants. As a technical consultant, it is expected that you practice leadership, or what I in this thesis call competent guidance. Using examples from the equestrian world is a way of pinpointing and isolating aspects of competent guidance, that appear more explicitly in the art of riding a horse than in the profession of technical consultants.

Qualified knowledge and skill is developed by growing into a world of experiences – and we grow with the help of other people. The Norwegian philosopher Kjell S. Johannessen has from the late works of Ludwig Wittgenstein developed a theory of knowledge for professional skill. The concept of praxis plays a vital role. Johannessen also points out competent guidance as crucial when developing (professional) skills. Both showing and verbal tuition of a person’s seeing is necessary.

The focal point of thethesis is an empirical study, where examples of competent guidance from the consultant business and the equestrian world are put side by side. The examples have been selected from texts written during more than twenty years at technical consulting company Combitech (one of the major actors in the Nordic region), and from interviews with equestrians and texts written by masters in the equestrian field.

Competent guidance appears as a complex web of language-involved actiions. The web consists of for instance different aspects of rule following, acting responsibly in difficult situations and technical/theoretical skill compared to creativity and intuition. Last but not least the understanding of the meaning of “passing-bye--growing” is an important aspect. Competent guidance seems to play an important role when it comes to development of professional skills. At the same time, the personal guidance is an often overlooked element in the educational context. In the business of technical consultants – where competence and skill are said to be the most important assets, the thesis wants to broaden the view of how learning and competence development come to pass.