Yrjö Engeström

University of Helsinki, Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE), Department of Education

Yrjö Engeström is a Professor of Adult Education and Director of the Center for Research on Activity, Development and Learning (CRADLE) at University of Helsinki. He applies cultural-historical activity theory as a framework in studies of transformations and learning processes in work activities and organizations. He is known for the theory of expansive learning and for the interventionist methodology of developmental work research.

Bio excerpted from helsinki.academia.edu.

Selected Publications

Medical settings:

  • Engeström, Y., Brown, K., Engeström, R., Koistinen, K. Organizational Forgetting: An activity theoretical perspective, first published in (1990) in D.  Middleton and D. Edwards (Eds.). Collective Remembering.  London: Sage

Legal settings:

  • Engeström, Y., Brown, K., Christopher, C., Gregory, J. (1997) Coordination, Cooperation and Communication in  Courts: Expansive transitions in legal work.  Published in  The Quarterly Newsletter of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition  13:4;  88-97.
  • Engestrom, Y. and Middleton D. (1998). Cognition and Communication at Work.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Engeström, Y. (1987). . Helsinki: Orinta-Konsultit.

Postal Buddy:

  • Engestrom, Y. and Escalante, V. (1996) Mundane Tool or Object of Affection: The rise and Fall of the Postal Buddy. In B. Nardi Ed. Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human Computer Interaction. Cambridge: the MIT Press.


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