Vision and Mission
APeL shall be a social entrepreneur that initiates, pursues and supports organisational development and change in cooperation with other actors in the academy and the working life.
APeL contributes to innovative learning processes and a sustainable development!
We do this by:
- organise learning processes where we analyse the development work together with the client
- challenge existing thought patterns and structures through research-based knowledge about sustainable development work
- combining steering with participation for learning at all levels
- producing new knowledge in the interface between the practice of organisations and the research community
Our work partners
We co-operate with key actors on the employment market, with industry associations, as well as with decision makers at all levels: local, regional and national. We also cooperate with both employers and employees and their respective organisations. Our work with learning evaluations and workplace learning can be commissioned by separate companies and municipal administrations, but also by larger units, as entire organisations and regions.
Simultaneously with our support of development processes, we perform interactive research. This means that our research is carried out together with, not on, the participants, i.e. we organise joint learning processes with the participants, with the purpose to obtain built-in, sustainable and long-term development processes within our partners’ organisations.
APeL does not seek short-term outcome, instead we aim at long-term effects from the change processes. The utility perspective is a beacon for our R & D activities. We wish that the projects and assignments that we participate in will hopefully lead to something that is sustainable and useful. Together we and the participants create the knowledge necessary to achieve a workplace in favor of the employers, the employees and the customers.
APeL’s mission and business idea is to take initiatives to processes which will provide a sustainable development, and to support these processes during a long period of time. We try to achieve this mission by organising learning and development processes that are interwoven with the daily work and other activities at the workplace.
We also work on a broader system level with the development of the whole regions, where we try to improve collaboration between municipalities, counties and other actors. Our work also reaches outside the Swedish borders; it is transnational. The working methods we use include the formation of networks, the establishment of partnerships and the promotion of innovation systems. We define innovation systems as a combination of actors, the links between them, and the driving forces and rules that affect the ability to create change and innovation. It can concern such concrete things as to establish links between companies and colleges/universities, i.e. between theory and practice.
While we support concrete development processes, we also contribute to the evolvement of new forms and methods for reflective learning; a sort of learning which can combine theory with practice, and which covers both individual and organisational learning. For a workplace to change and develop in a fundamental and sustainable way, it is not enough that a few employees attend a course. The work must be organised so that the learning of the individual becomes a valued and integrated part of the organisational learning at the work place.
APeL is in constant and close contact with the academic world. Our staff is highly educated, e.g. we currently have PhDs employed, as well as PhD-students, working on their dissertations. Since APeL carry out both research and development support, we do not only work with single projects, but also contribute to new theories, which focuses on workplace learning, project work and sustainable change. We publish books and scientific papers, and we are actively involved in opinions making.
A substantial part of our assignments consists of evaluations of large projects financed by state authorities and carried out at several workplaces simultaneously. Traditionally, evaluations are made with an outside perspective at half-time, and after projects are finished. However, at APeL we use a different and more profound evaluation strategy. Our approach is the learning evaluation, which is ongoing and performed together with the participants (i.e. with an internal-perspective), during the entire time period of the project. One of the methods used in the learning evaluation is the practise of frequent feedback to the project participants, e.g. through dialogue-based seminars.
The advantage with the on-going learning evaluation approach is that occurring obstacles and difficulties connected to the development process can be assessed quickly by the researchers together with the participants. The researchers and the project participants can subsequently address these problems in a joint analysis. This method enhances the understanding of the problems, which, in turn, facilitates the finding of solutions. An additional advantage with the use of an on-going evaluation, compared to the more traditional evaluation methods, is that there is still time for necessary changes to be made in the development process when the project is still up and running.
We strive to work in an open and transparent way. We freely share the questions which we wrestle with, and, within limitations of secrecy and anonymity, we invite commissioners and others to view our data and to take part of our documentation. We try to be accessible and work in a flexible way. In our point of view, this way of working provides possibilities for observation and insight, while it also is valuable for joint and critical learning.
We raise questions and invite to a dialogue, rather than provide ready-made and one-sided answers.