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Lärandekulturer: en studie av organisatoriskt lärande under olika institutionella betingelser
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences.
1995 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Organizational learning is a research area which has grown rapidly in importance the last decade. It is often argued that modern organizations have to increase their ability to learn in order to survive in rapidly changing environments. The literature on organi­zational learning is characterized by a normative bias. Lot of emphasis has been put on giving sound advice on how to create a learning organization. Less emphasis has been put on the actual conditions for learning in different types of organization.

The purpose of this study is to answer the question how organizational learning arise, and how it is affected by the institutional conditions the organization work under. The research strategy is based on in-depth case-studies of 6 organizations. The organiza­tions have recently implemented large re-orientation projects, which make up the empirical focus for studying learning.

The organizations come from two different organizational fields - municipalities and technical consultancy firms. The two fields are characterized by different insti­tutional conditions, which makes the learning processes vastly different in the two fields. The concept of learning-cultures is used to capture the different institutional conditions in the two fields.

The municipalities are characterized by bold re-orientation ideas from the top mana­gement. All three organizations have started projects inspired by the "new" ideas of market orientation. In that sense they seems to be learning from each other which projects are legitimate in the field. On the other hand they have difficulties imple­menting the ideas internally, due to heterogeneous conceptions in different sub-groups. The learning-culture in the municipalities is summarized as reformative-split.

The technical consultancy firms are characterized by more conservative attitudes towards re-orientation. The firms are using established techniques in the field, thus learning which projects are appropriate. Internally they are characterized by homo­geneous conceptions among subgroups. The learning-culture in the technical con­sultancy firms is summarized as adaptive-unified.

A major finding in the study is the organizations from the two groups use different mechanism for learning, both externally (that is, from the field) and internally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1995. , 358 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 35
Keyword [en]
Organizational learning, Learning-cultures, Institutional conditions, Sense-making, Organizational fields
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-65598OAI: diva2:604243
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved

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