Specialists manage and are expected to be responsible for their own workloads and schedules. Yet work cannot be done independently of other people’s timelines, clients’ needs and changing working environments.

Schedules cannot always be synchronized and timelines need to be rearranged. The interwoven and bound nature of different stakeholders’ processes is particularly evident in project-type work and when work is highly networked.


I. Determine how timelines and time structures are managed in specialist jobs, and how job autonomy is affected when work involves multiple stakeholders and interwoven processes.

II. Describe how the possible asynchrony of timelines affects specialists in their work.

III. Predict the extent of such asynchrony and its impact on the work life in future.

IV. Develop a battery of questions to measure asynchrony that relates to timelines in specialist jobs.

V. Identify practices that help synchronise work processes.



Different types of data are collected:

  • A quantitative survey among specialists. (N= ~3000)
  • Qualitative research among specialists and employer representatives (N=~30)
  • Occupational safety panel, a survey among occupational safety personnel (N=~2000)

This varied data will illustrate the extent of timeline-related asynchrony in specialist jobs at Finnish workplaces. It will also increase understanding of the types of jobs and workplaces that are most affected, the possible consequences of such asynchrony, and how to better manage it. Finally, the project will deepen understanding of specialists’ work autonomy.


The project schedule is 9/2014-12/2016.


The Finnish Work Environment Fund.



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Minna Toivanen
Ari Väänänen
Minna Janhonen
Kirsi Yli-Kaitala
Merja Turpeinen
Marja Känsälä