"Det blev dålig stämning" - Vardagsritualer, konflikter och motsägelser i mångnationellt svenskt kontorsliv



This project shall engage with micro-rituals and micro-agencies in working spaces in Sweden, that is offices with international and Swedish staff placed in Sweden. Our aim is to study “uneasy mood” or “dålig stämning” as it is called in Swedish. The working hypothesis is that this very specific Swedish category of a uneasy or difficult situation, and the ways of dealing with it, has profound effect on how work is done and how co-workers communicate and construct a workplace. We view “dålig stämning” as an entry point for studying a formation of a Swedish office space, its routines, rituals, and conflicts.

As we intend to include both Swedes and non-Swedes, we base the study on following questions:

What are the experiences of “dålig stämning” narrated by Swedish and Non-Swedish staff and management?
How is it ritualized, performed and culturally transmitted within an office environment?
How is office conflict perceived and expressed in relation to the common sense construction of office uneasiness?
Is it perceived and narrated as part of Swedish office culture?

This study takes can be said to start in the question ‘what if you don’t share this common sense’. The demographic of office space professionals in Sweden is more varied than ever, leading to a diversity in the understanding of common sense (Stewart 1979). This study aims to open up the question of how Swedish and international professionals in a Swedish work space makes sense of culturally embedded fear of conflict. Common sense is created and upheld by a constant negotiation of everyday life, expectations and traditions (Stewart 1979). The negotiation of common sense is crucial for a sense of commonality and understanding. Common sense is also culturally learned through narrative, ritual and performance.

By studying the experience of “dålig stämning” in a Swedish setting, the intention is to deepen the knowledge of how the embedded fear of conflict is transmitted, performed and culturally learned and taught within organizational culture. It will also serve to deepen the understanding of intercultural workplace relations, helping to prevent misunderstanding in conflict resolving situations with management. The study will focus on Swedish and international workplace migrants who, primarily, migrated and settled in order to take up leadership positions in Swedish management. By studying their experiences of the performance and rituals surrounding office negociations, one can analyze workplace integration and experienced problems thereof.

This study has a strong applicable dimension. It is focused on culturally constructed notion of an undesired element in the office world that, although harmless in itself, can contribute to problems with integration, quality evaluation of the environment, or personal well-being. Many official statistics point out that the number of people taking a sick leave from work based on problems with stress, burnout and pressure from workplace is on the rise. The proposed study is going to tackle an elusive, hard to define, yet present problem in many professional environments that can contribute or stimulate other, more serious challenges if not addressed properly.
Kort titelDet blev dålig stämning
Gällande start-/slutdatum2019/07/012023/12/31