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Annika Engström's research interests include the importance of interaction and communication for task management, effectiveness and learning in groups and organizations. Her interest lies is in leading and organizing interpersonal communication to deal with conflicting logics in the organization, where discrepancies cause tensions that may be challenging to deal with. This can include development versus execution, existing versus new knowledge, stability versus change and standardization versus variation in work processes as well as in customer order based offerings. Work meetings are of special interests. Paradox thinking and the concept of ambidexterity is often used as a theoretical lens in her research.
Previous research projects, InPot, focused on leaders' utilization of innovation potentials in managers day-to-day work in lean-inspired industrial companies. She also led the research project, Innovate, which together with four other researchers and six manufacturing companies, investigated organizational ambidexterity, the art of balancing management of what is already planned while the organization manages to be innovative and development-oriented. She has participated in the research project The Whispering Game and studied communication and information flow in customization settings in industrial companies. Annika also participates in the research group for Lifelong Learning, with a focus on school principals' work and the school as a learning organization.
Today, her research is conducted mainly in the newly started multidisciplinary research profile AFAIR, where Annika is a member of the steering group as well as the management group and she leads one of the projects in the research area of AI transformation. The research is close to practice and carried out in close collaboration with organizations in both the private and public sectors. Knowledge creation between researchers and practitioners is central.
Annika was born in 1964 in Kiruna. She graduated as a counsellor in 1989 and came to Jönköping in 1990 where she took her Master's degree in Education. Annika has, alongside counselling, devoted herself to teaching and coaching in communication skills, counselling and coaching at the University of Umeå and at Jönköping University as well as a consultant in her own company. Since 2006 Annika Engström she is working as a lecturer at JTH, where she teaches courses in communication, leadership, change management and organizational development. Annika has over the years at JTH held various positions as coordinator, program manager and as part of the department management team. In June 2014, Annika defended her thesis Learning Interaction for Effectiveness. A study of work groups in a medium-sized industry at Helix and the Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning at Linköping University, which got rewarded as best HR research 2015. Today Annika's is leading several research projects and have been rewarded for SPARK Award in both 2018 and 2021.