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Title: Interactional learning : a study of how a local Social Service unit learnt to construct the interface of inter-sector collaboraton prescribed by Care in the Community legislation
Author: Davies, Morris G.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3412 8684
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1994
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Contemporary government policies for mixed economy service provision shifts the relational emphasis between public and private sector service agencies to a more collaborative form of interaction. This study seeks to gain an understanding of how such interactions can be formulated. The study particularly examines whether, prior to the event, organisations can learn how to interact with one another. A case study methodology examines how one Social Services Locality Team undertook a multidisciplinary training programme with Health Service, Local Authority, voluntary and private sector agencies in preparation for the implementation of Care in the Community. The case study uses an "actor oriented" approach focused by questions drawn from a conceptual framework constructed from current organisation, learning and interaction theory. Data collected over an eighteen month period from a series of interviews, observations and documentary examinations is interrogated through contextually modified research questions to present an account of Locality learning in terms of "input processes", "outward evidences" and "indwelling changes". It is argued that learning is not solely limited to individual processes but is a legitimate process of organisational development. This challenges the entrepreneurial view that organisational learning is a risk driven mechanism aimed at continuous organisational transformation by showing that knowledge assimilated into organisational rules, procedures and systems creates a type of "learned organisation" that provides the stability and authority that empowers members to manage change. The research findings, although highlighting weaknesses in the researched Locality's learning process, show that organisations can arrange their internal systems so that facilitative interactive mechanisms can be mobilised. It is therefore argued that pre-emptive learning for interaction is possible. The study gives an additional dimension to the conceptualisation of organisational learning by showing that learning related to interagency interaction may prove more effective when emanating from the stable and authoritative platform of a "learned organisation".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Management & business studies