Beyond discontinuity: Expansive organizational learning remembered
Engeström, Y., Kerosuo, H. & Kajamaa, A.
Published: July, 2007
Engeström, Y., Kerosuo, H. & Kajamaa, A. (2007). Beyond
discontinuity: Expansive organizational learning remembered.
Management Learning, 38, 319-336.
We analyze traces of past organizational change projects in order to uncover dynamics of continuity and discontinuity of organizational learning in two Finnish primary health care organizations. The method of the study is ‘archaeological ethnography,’ which integrates narrative analysis of participants’ accounts of past change efforts with analysis of documents and material traces of change. The study shows that similarly motivated expansive learning efforts initiated ten years ago have been discontinuous in both organizations, punctuated by breaks between projects. But in one case, this discontinuity involved a radical shift in the direction of change efforts, while in the other case the discontinuous projects proceeded in basically the same direction. Mundane discontinuity needs to be distinguished from directional discontinuity. The former may be mended by actions of bridging, while the latter would require joint historical analysis, modeling and argumentation. Directionality emerges as a decisive element of organizational learning.
Expansive learning (ekspansiivinen oppiminen), organizational memory
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