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Exploring the complexity surrounding barriers of learning
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Computer Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7880-2770
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Learning is seen as important both within and between projects so that the whole organization can benefits from the lessons learned, and achieve competitive success. Also, projects are seen as suitable organizational units for stimulating learning and creating knowledge. However, organizations have difficulties in dissemination, and applications of lessons learned fail to deliver the intended results. Therefore the purpose of this paper is to explore the complexity surrounding barriers of learning in a project environment, and to present suggestions of how to overcome them in practice. That is, to give examples of means that can support learning in a project environment. Findings are based on a literature review, and findings from a longitudinal case study within a project@based organization. 

We argue, in accordance with Duffield and Whitty (2015) that there is a need of a new paradigm for organizational learning in the project management field that conceptualises and articulates how projects are interlinked and generate value to a higher order learning purpose. Especially in project@based organizations (PBOs) where the main part of business is conducted in project form. This paper aims to explore the complexity surrounding barriers of learning, which exist between different levels of learning in organizations, but also in relation to different approaches to learning, e.g. hard focusing on control and quantitative measurement or soft focusing on social processes and qualitative aspects. 

The tentative results, based on a case study, show that even though learning is brought up on the agenda and discussed as important in the PBO, learning is often marginalized, and treated as a separate activity. Also, results from a literature review reveals that the view of learning can be described from different perspectives and approaches, either scientific/hard with a focus on capturing and storing learning, or social/soft with a focus on disseminating and unleashing learning. The first could be regarded as rigid, while the latter could be seen as vague. We adopt a push/pull analogy of learning in project environments, suggesting the increased need to foster a pull approach, in which a demand for learning is facilitated, and hence supporting value creation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keywords [en]
Project management, Learning
National Category
Economics and Business Reliability and Maintenance Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Quality Technology & Management; Information systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70380OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-70380DiVA, id: diva2:1238821
Conference
23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Copenhagen, 12-14 August 2015
Available from: 2018-08-14 Created: 2018-08-14 Last updated: 2019-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Sundqvist, ErikChronéer, Diana

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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