Prof. Yrjö Engeström

Prof. Yrjö Engeström

University of Helsinki, Finland

Professor of Adult Education

Director, Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research, University of Helsinki, Finland

Professor of Communication at University of California, San Diego

Honorary Professor, School of Education, University of Birmingham, UK

  • Director of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, University of California, San Diego (990 to 1995)
  • Interested in Cultural-historical Activity Theory and developmental work research in general. Currently, focusing especially on co-configuration as a new way of organizing work, and expansive learning in multi-activity settings
  • Works within the framework of cultural-historical activity theory – known for his theory of expansive learning. Studies transformations in work and organizations, combining micro level analysis of discourse and interaction with historical analysis and modeling of organizations as activity systems working through developmental contradictions
  • His research groups use intervention tools such as the Change Laboratory, inspired by Vygotsky’s method of dual stimulation, to facilitate and analyze the redesign of activity systems by practitioners
  • Current research is focused on health care organizations, a bank, and a telecommunications company striving toward new forms of co-configuration and knotworking
  • Recent books include: Cognition and Communication at Work (edited with David Middleton, 1996), Perspectives on Activity Theory (edited with Reijo Miettinen and Raija-Leena Punamäki, 1999), and Between School and Work: New Perspectives on Transfer and Boundary Crossing (edited with Terttu Tuomi-Gröhn, 2003)
  • New book: Collaborative Expertise: Expansive Learning in Medical Work (to be published by Cambridge University Press)
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