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Title: Organisational learning in the Welsh government : an exploratory analysis and wider implications
Author: Tew, Simon
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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It has been recognised that organisational learning (OL) possesses considerable potential for developing workers and, through them, organisations. Although its relevance to the public sector has been acknowledged, a relatively small amount of empirical work has been undertaken. Where it has been, emphasis on learning embedded in daily practices has been lacking. This study fills a significant gap by providing a holistic and empirically-based exploration of OL within the public sector based on three diverse case studies in the Welsh Government. This study illustrates how OL practices in the Welsh Government emerged from mediations between individuals and six structures – namely physical, accountability, development, management intervention, workplace social and work task-based. OL is shown to be a locally formulated and pluralist phenomenon, based on the capacities of individuals involved and the highly nuanced dynamics created by and among the six structures. A new framework for the comprehensive investigation and analysis of OL emerges from the analysis. Some key findings from the study are that learning involving identifying and assessing new ways of doing things was neither practised nor required in all areas, that engagement in change during the undertaking of day-to-day work activities was a stimulant for learning, that different work tasks presented different possibilities for making and remedying mistakes, that the absence of a target-driven environment was an important enabler for staff to pursue off-the-job learning, that different work tasks presented varying opportunities for engaging with people, that engagement with people tended to happen only when staff felt that it would result in them being able to perform their roles more effectively, that inter-OL was not generally part of working life and that efforts to capture knowledge were generally not made unless there was a clear purpose or value seen for doing so.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JS Local government Municipal government