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Facilitating Experience-based Learning in Groups: A Method for Capturing Lessons Learned

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisMonograph

Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages240
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-2967-2
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-2918-4 
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2012
Publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication;
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Volume1077
ISSN (Print)1459-2045

Abstract

An increasing number of the organizations use projects and working in teams to achieve their strategic objectives, and to adapt to the changing business environment. When the project teams cannot exploit previously established, organizationally embedded routines and operating practices, they need to develop new ways of working. If the projects do not analyze their experiences to see what worked, what did not, what can be changed and what must be managed, most likely, the group routines remain unchanged and inconsistent with the changed operating environment. Usually, the projects do not engage in the learning by themselves, e.g. due to lack of time and the other responsibilities having a higher priority. Therefore, the learning process needs to be prompted and structured, to be meaningful and useful for the project teams. In this study, a facilitation method is designed for capturing the lessons learned in a group of 5-20 persons, to improve the group routines. The method structures the experiential learning process so, that the group members’ experience and knowledge can be articulated, captured and prepared for the use in the own group, or for the transfer to the other group. The method is based on the causal relations of the elements affecting knowledge creation and sharing in the groups. These elements are identified in the theoretical part of the study, and the causal relations of the selected elements are assessed with the case studies in the empirical part of the study. This dissertation contributes to the theory by illustrating the causal relations of the elements affecting knowledge creation and sharing in the groups, and by modifying the 4i framework of organizational learning. Practical implications are twofold. Understanding the causal relations of the elements, helps the organizations plan actions to support the learning activities. The created facilitation method offers a simple and easy to implement tool for capturing experience-based learnings in the groups, thus providing an opportunity for the groups to modify their routines to better match their operating environment. Additionally, the group members’ involvement in defining the group routines increases their motivation to follow the routines in the daily work.

Keywords

  • Experience-based learning, Knowledge creation, Knowledge sharing, Facilitation, Formal work groups, Project teams

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