Learning processes in an inter-organizational context A study of krAft project
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to understand learning in an inter-organizational learning project, focusing on the enablers and obstacles of learning.The study shows that traditionally research on organizational learning has focused on intra-organizational learning, paying attention to learning within focal organizations. Organizational learning today is more often done in interorganizational contexts. Companies of today are increasing their collaboration activities by taking part in inter-organizational projects or temporary organizations. This study has highlighted the need for a better understanding of inter-organizational learning in those contexts. The thesis’s ambition is to develop further the concept of organizational learning where the context is inter-organizational. Theoretical focus is on behavioral and cognitive processes as collective development.Through an intensive study of one learning project, krAft, the focus is on how information is generated, interpreted, and understood by the participants within the learning project, the agreement process, and what type of learning happens in an inter-organizational learning project? The Empirical parts are based on forty qualitative interviews and over 100 hours observation.The results show that if organizational learning is going to happen there is a need to meet several times to be able to challenge old mental models and handle new and unknown information. The results also indicate that issues discussed in seminars need to be connected to participants’ own problems if learning is going to take place. This study indicates that if inter- organizational learning is going to take place trust among participants is vital.Theoretically, this study has developed a framework to understand and analyze inter-organizational learning. The results strengthen the link between the necessities of connecting theoretical issues to practical understanding. They illustrated that that organizational learning in the context of a learning project or a temporary organization principally leads to mental changes rather than behavioral ones within the group.
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