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Title: An exploration of factors affecting absorptive capacity of knowledge in an organisation in the Caribbean
Author: St. Clair Auguste, Merle
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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Learning in organisations was examined using the concept of Absorptive capacity (AC) in circumstances where new knowledge enters a public organisation. AC is investigated using notions of exploratory, transformative and exploitative learning to study how new knowledge is mobilised. This builds on existing literature of AC which explores the same phenomena in private sector organisations. This investigation provides a deeper understanding of how scarce organisational resources can be effectively deployed, in a Caribbean setting. This is pursued through exploring the behaviors, processes and structures that influence the implementation of new knowledge in an educational institution, named Aquacon, based at two sites in the Caribbean. Using a Critical Realist perspective, this study has adopted a structured sampling approach, where evidence was gathered using semi-structured interviews, observation and documents. The data analysis has included both within and cross case analyses. The findings show that AC processes do not always follow a sequential path. Prescriptive and emergent forms of learning were used to provide a novel perspective of organisational learning. The propensity for innovation to occur was found more likely when the distinctions between the dimensions of AC were blurred, and critical reflection extended throughout the entire process. The results suggest that power and politics can be a negative influence on the extent of knowledge absorption. This investigation contributes to theoretical and practical understanding of organisational learning processes associated with new knowledge and change or innovation. This has implications for managers and the ways in which power and politics can be perceived to encourage a richer technological learning experience for employees in a Caribbean context. 3
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available