The institution as a learning system
The work reported here was carried out whilst the author was Head of Education and Training at the TSB of Birmingham and the Midlands. Ten studies were carried out. They were part of a new training operation and so their objectives and relationship to the work of the Department and the needs of the Bank are carefully described. The major influences on the work are reviewed from three perspectives: Psychological definitions of man; promoting learning at work; evaluating the learning enterprise. The studies were directed at establishing a method whereby managers can significantly influence the development of the learning competence of their staff, and at installing a management development system using the principles on which this method is based. The early part of the research dealt with the nature of learning in organisational settings and the role of education and training processes in achieving business results. The survey-based proposal to management about how to cost-effectively direct managerial learning was not taken up, and the sequence of studies was concluded by acquiring a detailed understanding of the rejection of the proposed learning philosophy. Whilst this work was in progress, the method for influencing the learning competence of subordinates was developed. It is based upon the philosophy of self- organisation of learning elaborated by the Centre for the study of Human Learning. Its utility for engendering significant revision of both the conceptualisation and practice of learning was confirmed.