To what extent are the dynamics of change management supportive of the learning organization?: A case study

Hammond, Walter (2008). To what extent are the dynamics of change management supportive of the learning organization?: A case study. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fd7e

Abstract

This case study examined the relationship between the implementation of strategic change and its consequences for the development of a learning organization. An Irish subsidiary of a multinational was chosen as the focus of the research. The subsidiary had, six years prior to the change programme under consideration, started on the journey to becoming a learning organization.

As little empirical evidence has been accumulated in respect of the workings of the learning organization in practice, and still less on the impact of radical change on the process of becoming a learning organization, an emergent approach was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted across the organization and the grounded theory method was used to gain an understanding of the phenomena as witnessed by the respondents.

There was evidence that the journey to becoming a learning organization had been made more difficult as a result of implementing the change programme. The adoption of a prescriptive monoculture was not conducive to the questioning of assumptions inherent in the new value system, nor facilitative of exploration and risk-taking. The imposition of one acceptable management discourse did not encourage dialogue or deeper forms of learning.

The concept of the learning organization may not be sufficiently robust to claim priority in establishing organizational effectiveness when radical change processes are in train in organizations that are driven by the profit motive.

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