A social study of the daily life at a small MedTech Design Innovation company in Copenhagen, Denmark
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Johansson, Viktor Anders1, Forfatter
Oxlund, Bjarke2, Vejleder
1Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7001              
2Institut for Antropologi, Det Samfundsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7008              
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 Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to describe and analyze the organization of interns at MTDI, a small MedTech Design Innovation company in Copenhagen, Denmark. Data collection comprised of empirical data collected through observational and participant studies, written and digital recorded interviews, during a four moths voluntary internship work at the company. The data were analyzed by using Goffman’s and Kunda’s theoretical frameworks but also by utilizing other anthropological theories. Access to the MTDI establishment was accomplished by agreeing to fulfill an internship where I was expected to assist in social research of designing a potentially useful medicine technology for a target user group. What was peculiar for the time of my study was that MTDI had been affected by the current financial crisis and had thus a lack of real client based projects for the staff and the interns to work with. The interns were therefore set to work with the goal to attain real clients for projects stored in the CEO’s drawer. The batch of interns I belonged to was not assigned to work together with the employees with real client-based projects. The reason was that the company’s few employees were busy finalizing their own projects and did not have the time to teach interns. I learned that the current financial situation of the company interfered with the interns’ expectation to learn from experienced workers. As a result, the interns were set to work independently, having little assistance from the experienced employees. The internship at MTDI did not live up to the interns expectations’ of learning proper knowledge useful for their professional career. They did not learn how to work individually, being without the aid of experienced employees, which resulted in that the interns lost both face and self-esteem. According to my analysis of the interviews, it became clear that the key to success for interns was not the management-imposed idea of independent work. Instead, the success was confined to letting them co-operate with experienced (mentor) employees.
It is also discussed in my thesis how the physical layout of the office impacts on the social organization at the company. The various “stages” at MTDI are demonstrated and it is shown that each stage was set up with a special scene in mind and has a special set of rules attached to it. In particular, I argued that the physical layout of the office does not offer any backstage where the staff can rest from their performance. The results from analyzing the physical layout further revealed that the open office at MTDI produces a public order according to which the staff adjusted their behavior based on who was physically present. I claimed that the open office setting contributes to always being on-stage, which may have a negative impact on the interns’ ability to work and learn. In a final remark, I discuss that the management of MTDI believed that the interns attained a good training opportunity, but in reality and from the interns own point of view, their possibility for professional development was limited. In conclusion, the terms, obligations and tentative learning opportunities for which interns are subjected to at MTDI are not ideal and leaves space for considerable improvements.
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 Type: Speciale
Alternativ titel: Master of Science in Anthropology and People Centered Business
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Sprog: English - eng
 Datoer: 2013-08-01
 Sider: -
 Publiceringsinfo: København : Københavns Universitet
 Indholdsfortegnelse: 1. Introduction 1
1.1 The discovery of the informal organization . 3
1.2 Theoretical framework and structure of thesis 6
1.3 Fieldwork 9
2. Projects, work, and computers . 13
2.1 Theoretical frame . 14
2.2 The benefits of using interns 15
2.3 Face and projects 17
2.4 Face and Proengineer 21
2.5 Face-work and role-sectors . 24
2.6 Shame management . 31
2.7 Summary . 38
3. The stage of work . 39
3.1 The Office Setting . 41
3.2 Times in the office setting . 46
3.3 Seeing yourself with a small company . 51
3.4 The temporary workforce . 59
3.5 Summary of chapter 64
4. Working individually 65
4.1 Sitting, working, and appearing 68
4.2 The public order . 74
4.3 The glass cage . 80
4.4 Summary of chapter 86
5. Summary and conclusions 87
6. References . 89
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 Type: Speciale
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