I am an associate professor in education at Stockholm University and researcher at Jönköping Academy. My theoretical expertise concerns knowledge use and learning at work. I am particularly interested in the conditions for learning and the development of professional expertise in the light of society's increased confidence in evidence. The interplay between theory and practice has a prominent role in my research, but also other paradoxes that occur in working life, such as the relationship between new and old, structure and chaos, control and creativity, and standardization and flexibility.
In October, I and colleagues at Jönköping University will launch the new research project "System for leadership development". The project has been granted SEK 12 million from the Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen) and their program Synergy. The key issue is to investigate how organizations can create sustainable systems for leadership development that both contribute to organizations achieving their goals and that they can handle constant change. To achieve this, the project will collaborate with companies and organizations that have a strong interest in leadership development.
In previous projects, I have studied the conditions for learning and innovative working in relation to the introduction of financial incitaments in Swedish primary health care. Our latest studie, LearnOvation, was financed by Vinnova and aimed at enhancing the innovation skills of managers and staff in daily practice. The intervention was based on ambidexterity theory for the content and the research study design.
Avby, G. (2015) Evidence in practice. On knowledge use and learning in social work. Linköping: Linköpings Universitet.
Peer Reviewed articles
Karlsson, H., Avby, G. & Svendsen, T. (2020) QUAL – A perfomance management system for the analytical stage of child-protection investigations. Child & Family Social Work.
Hasson, H., Gröndal, H., Hedberg Rundgren, Å., Avby, G., Uvhagen, H. & von Thiele Schwarz, U. (2020) How can evidence-based interventions give the best value for users in social services? Balance between adherence and adaptions: a study protocol. Implementation Science Communications, 1(15).
Avby, G. & Kjellström, S. (2019) LearnOvation: an intervention to foster exploration and exploitation behavior in health care management in daily practice. BMC Health Services Research, 19(319).
Avby, G., Kjellström, S. & Andersson Bäck, M. (2019) Tending to innovate in a Swedish primary health care context. BMC Health Services Research, 19(42).
Karlsson, H., Avby, G. & Svendsen, T. (2019) QUAT – A tool for evalutating the quality of core assessments in child protection investigations. British Journal of Social Work, 49(7), 1875-1892.
Areskoug Josefsson, K., Avby, G., Andersson Bäck, M. & Kjellström, S. (2018) Workers´ experiences f healthy work environment indicators at well-functioning primary care units in Sweden: a qualitative study. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 36(4), 406-414.
Kjellström, S., Avby, G., Areskoug-Josefsson, K., Andersson Gäre, B. & Andersson Bäck, M. (2017) Work motivation among healthcare professionals: A study of well-functioning primary healthcare centers in Sweden. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 31(4), 487-502.
Avby, G., Nilsen, P. & Ellström, P-E. (2017) Knowledge use and learning in everyday social work practice: A study in child investigation work. Child & Family Social Work. 21(4), 51-61.
Avby, G. (2016) Att genom reflektion organisera för en medveten och kunskapsrik praktik. Pedagogisk forskning I Sverige, årg. 21(3-4), 261-282.
Avby, G. (2015) Professional practice as processes of muddling through: a study of learning and sense making in social work. Studies in Vocational and Professional Education, 8(1), 95-113.
Avby, G., Nilsen, P. & Abrant Dahlgren, M. (2013) Ways of understanding evidence-based practice in social work: a qualitative study British Journal of Social Work, 44(6), 1366-1383.
Nilsen, P., Nordström G. & Ellström, P-E. (2012) Integrating research-based and practice-based knowledge through workplace reflection. Journal of Workplace Learning, 24(6), 403-415.
Teaching Material and Popular Science Material
Kjellström, S. & Avby, G. (2021) Vardagsslit ger mer än dyra chefskurser. Dagens Samhälle, ledarskap 2021-05-27.
Avby, G. & Kjellström, S. (2021) Inga bevis för att chefer blir bättre av att gå på kurs. Dagens Nyheter, debattartikel 2021-04-22.
Avby, G. (2018) Att utveckla professionell expertis. En bok om kunskap och lärande. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Avby, G. & Kjellström, S. (2020) Innovationskraft i vardagens processer. Chefer & Ledare i vården, nr 4, årgång 52, s. 24-27.
Kjellström, S. & Avby, G. (2020) Metoder i vårdens vardag för att skapa kreativitet och delaktighet. Chefer & Ledare i vården, nr 4, årgång 52, s. 28-30.
Kjellström, S. & Avby, G. (2020) Hälsa Vårdmagasinet, nr 3, s. 16-17.
Avby, G, Kjellström, S., Areskoug Josefsson, K., Andersson Gäre, B., Andersson Bäck, M. Sparf, A. & Siljehult, M. (2017) Samarbete bygger en stark primärvård. Dagens Nyheter 2017-08-17, ISSN 1101-2447.
Avby, G. & Arnsvik, A. (2017) Vem formar professionen? Socionomen, nr. 1, 2017, s. 74-75.
Nordström, G. (2004) Vuxnas lärande otydligt inslag i lärarutbildningar. Tidningen KOM, nr. 2 maj, 2004, årgång 30, s. 40-41.
Avby, G. (2018) En lärande socialtjänst. I SOU 2018:32 Ju förr desto bättre – vägar till en förebyggande socialtjänst. Delbetänkande för Framtidens socialtjänst. Stockholm: Norstedts Juridik.
Kjellström S., G. Avby, M. Andersson Bäck, K. Areskoug-Josefsson. B. Andersson Gäre (2017) PM till Tillitsdelegationen, Ledarskap och arbetssätt vid välfungerade vårdcentraler.
Nordström, G. & Bengtsson-Sandberg, K. (2004) Kunskapslyftet – Ett lyft för hela själen. Högskolan i Jönköping: Encell.
Avby, G. (2016) Organizing for deliberate practice through workplace reflection. In S. Billett, D. Dymock & S. Choy (eds.) Supporting learning across working life: Models, processes and practices. Springer Publ. Netherlands.
Avby, G., Nilsen, P. & Ellström, P-E. (2015) Evidence-based practice in practice - the case of social work. In M. Elg, M. Klofsten, P-E. Ellström & M. Tillmar (eds.) Substainable development in organizations, Edward Elgar Publ., UK.
Nordström, G. (2009) Gränsöverskridande kunskapsbildning – praktik och teori i interaktion. In M. Elg & B. Andersson Gäre (eds.) Vägval och dilemman i interaktiv forskning. Högskolan i Jönköping.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Quality of the analysis-A performance management system for the analytical stage of child-protection investigations
2020. Henrik Karlsson, Gunilla Avby, Tore Svendsen. Child & Family Social WorkArticle
This article presents a performance management system for reviewing the quality of written analyses in child-protection investigations. The system, called quality of the analysis (QUAL), is based on the Swedish adaptation of the British Integrated Children's System and Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families called Children's Needs in Focus (BBIC). QUAL was applied to 280 child-protection investigations to review the compliance with the BBIC standards. The investigations took place in 2011 and 2014. The results indicate improvements in various quality indicators, such as answers provided to all investigative questions, both risk and protective factors documented, and an assessment of the child's need for protection or support documented. However, in 40% of the investigations from 2014, the analytical stage was more a summary than an analysis. Many countries struggle to find and develop tools that can provide feasible systematic feedback on professional performance and support quality improvement in child-protection work. We suggest that QUAL can be used as one method among others to develop and strengthen the analytical work in practice by visualizing and monitoring the written analysis. QUAL may function as a tool to stimulate professional development, facilitate organizational learning, and improve investigative work.