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Short biography

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Summary of research

Ongoing research

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Summing up with pictures


CV> Summary of Research

The best sources for a summary of research are the two books – Social and Community Informatics – Human on the Net (Routledge 2006) and Information and Communication Technologies, Society and Human Beings – Theory and Framework. Honoring Professor Gunilla Bradley (IGI Global 2011). The books of Proceedings from the IADIS conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings” are also recent sources. (See under Publications)

The structure below is derived from the Annual Reports to School of ICT at Royal Institute for Technology before my position as professor emerita.

Below are the headlines and sub headlines and you can point at and open each headline to read:

  • Research in the 2000s at School of ICT, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
    • Research overview – Social Informatics
    • Research projects in Social Informatics
    • Network of Excellence: ICT and the Psychosocial Life Environment – Main changes (Coordinator Bradley)

  • Research in the 1990s

  • Research in the 1970´s and the 1980s

Research in the 2000th at School of ICT, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

1. Research overview - Social Informatics

A research program on Social Informatics (SI) was elaborated in 1997 by Bradley and entitled: "Research on Interplay ICT - Humans - Society". It also inspired other universities in Sweden and abroad and themes/tracks at international scientific conferences in IT-related disciplines.

The following figure is an overview of the research areas in the program:

Social Informatics (SI) refers to research and study that examines societal, social, psychosocial and organisational changes at the development, introduction and use of computers and later what we name ICT. I focus on all the changes that occur at the interplay between ICT, Society, and Human Beings. SI includes research that are labelled as Social impacts of computing, Social analysis of ICT, Studies of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), Organizational Design and Management and ICT, Computers and Society, Organizational Informatics, Community Informatics, Media and Communications. There are new terminology contiously.

The following selected books have played a major role in the process of "defining" the social informatics research programs:

  • Bradley, G. (2006). Social and Community Informatics - Humans on the Net. London/New York, UK/NY: Routledge.
  • Bradley, G. (Ed.) (2001). Humans on the Net. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Work Organization and Human Beings. Stockholm, SE: Prevent.
  • Bradley, G. E., & Hendrick, H. W. (Eds.) (1994, May 29-June 1). Human factors in organizational design and management: Development, introduction, and use of new technology challenges for human organization and human resource development in a changing world. In Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Organizational Design and Management (ODAM IV), Stockholm, Sweden. Amsterdam, London, New York, & Tokyo: Elsevier.
  • Bradley, G. (1989). Computers and the Psychosocial Work Environment. London/Philadelphia, UK/PA: Taylor & Francis.

A model to capture the broader concepts and the dynamics of their interrelations - "Convergence Model - ICT and Psychosocial Life Environment" is presented in figure 2 (Source:Bradley 2001 and 2006)

2. Research projects in Social Informatics

There were five original groups and projects in the research program from 1997 on ICT, Humans, and Society (see below):

  • The cross disciplinary research program "Interactive Creative Environments" (ICE-project), that Bradley coordinated at KTH was a strong contribution to "Social Informatics"
  • "Networking" (NET)
  • "Societal and Psychosocial Challenges and ICT - comparisons between a rural community and a suburban community" (RURBAN)
  • "Towards a Global Learning Space - ICT, Learning, and Competence in organisational and societal contexts"
  • "Home of the Future - ICT and Changes in human behaviour patterns in the Net Era" (see under "Ongoing Research" below).

3. Network of Excellence: ICT and the Psychosocial Life Environment - Main changes (Project coordinator: Gunilla Bradley)

The Network of Excellence was concerned with human organisation and psychosocial work environment related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), as well as the psychosocial home environment. The purpose was to disseminate and synthesise research with a crossdisciplinary perspective and thereby elaborate on the interaction between ICT and work organisations, human communication, stress, allocation issues, knowledge transfer, and so called "global villages". The purpose was also to contribute to a discussion on desirable actions on various levels and utmost how ICT can be used for deepening human qualities. The participants were distinguished researchers/ professors from Europe and some researchers from USA and South East Asia, about 10 persons. Most of the participants contributed with one chapter in the book "Humans on the Net" subtitled "ICT, Work Organization and Human Beings" (Bradley (Ed.), 2001). The network was established at an EU workshop that I was invited to organise in Brussels 1999.

Research in the 1990´s

In 1991 I returned to Stanford to do the final reporting from the research project on "Knowledge Based Systems and Organisational and Psychosocial aspects" (KBS project) and to develop new research on competence development in 10 high tech companies in Silicon Valley, top ranking in sales, profits and return on sales. Among the companies were both electronic industries and pharmaceutical industries. The focus was on main theories on competence requirements and development as well as strategies for education, in house courses, and on the job training. This study was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Southern California.

In 1991 I was invited to serve as general chair (1992-1994) for the international conference on "Organizational Design and Management (ODAM IV)" with the subtitle "Development, Introduction and Use of New Technology - Challenges for Human Organization and Human Resource Development in a Changing World". Researchers from more than 30 countries in Europe, USA and Asia participated and the proceedings are available in a hardcover book (750 pp) published by Taylor & Francis. I also served as the main editor of the book of proceedings.

In 1989 I received two awards, the "Golden Leaf" for important contributions within research on psychosocial work environment and was elected to the "Professional Woman of the Year" in Sweden. In 1997 I received the IFIP Namur Award for pioneering crossdisciplinary research on the impact of Information and Communication Technology especially concerning the interaction between Technology, Organization and Humans.

At the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) starting from 1994, I was involved in extensive research planning, trying to integrate international, national and local research approaches. I thereby served as program manager for the interdisciplinary research on "Interactive Creative Environments" (ICE) with the subtitle "Computers, Networks and Organizational Design Supporting Technology Transfer". The program was coordinated from the Department of Teleinformatics, KTH. I collaborated with Faculty from the following disciplines; Social psychology and Pedagogics; Industrial economy; Regional planning; Social anthropology; Ethnology; Law and Informatics; Teleinformatics. The ICE project was directly associated with the interdisciplinary research and education program between Stanford and Swedish universities (Sweden Silicon Valley Link Program; S-SVL-program.)

In the middle of the 1990s I initiated a regional development and research project supported by the EU programs "Employment" and "Adapt". The project contained the development and implementation of an IT-center to support the upstart and survival of small enterprises in a rural area as well as strengthening the citizen's role in the community. The research part concerned analyses of the development of networks and IT-supported organizational structures, employment rate, various aspects of quality of life, and integration of immigrants into the Swedish work life. This brought me back to my home village in Småland in the rural area in the South of Sweden. A R&D strategy was to integrate my academic, industrial, and local community networks.

Research in the 1970´s and the 1980´s

The very first part of my research focused on women in work life. I made a broad study of employees in a large commercial bank (Svenska Handelsbanken) in 1968. Based on this study I presented my Ph D thesis, entitled "Woman and Career" in 1972. I then specialized in organizational behavior and information technology and initiated and led an interdisciplinary research program on computerization and its effects on structural and psychosocial changes in working life. Researchers in Department of Business Administration, Psychology, Computer Science and Sociology joined my research group at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University. Initially I developed two theoretical models with two levels of abstraction on the relation between information technology and changes in working life. They were tested empirically in three main companies, representing three main historical phases in computer technology; batch systems with mainframe computers, on line systems with visual display terminals, and systems with micro-computers. The companies included the Swedish post office, an insurance company and an electronic industry.

Within the project on microcomputerization, two professional roles in a multinational electronic industry, were analyzed both historically and in relation to the use of computer support in the work process. The subproject "The Role of Engineers and the New Computer Technology" concerned the most common traditional male profession at the time and the engineers were using CAD systems (computer aided design). The subproject "The Role of Secretaries using Word Processing" deals with the most common traditional female profession at the time.

While a visiting research professor at Stanford university in 1987, I designed a research plan for a project entitled "Knowledge based systems (KBS, applied AI) and the Psychosocial and Organizational Impact". At that time artificial intelligence (AI) was discussed mainly in computer science and philosophy. I made a pilot study in an electronic company close to Stanford and with interviewed AI pioneer scholars at the Stanford and Berkley Universities. Then I formulated a set of hypotheses and carried out the empirical studies in Sweden in three frontline companies; an electronic production industry, an aircraft industry, and a commercial bank – with support of two Swedish research foundations.