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We’re too much in ‘to do’ mode : action research into supporting international NGOs to learn

Document type: report
Download file(s): 145272 (273 KB)
Abstract: Organisational learning is crucial to improve international development efforts, but developing organizational learning capacity requires a conscious effort, which at its core involves jointly making sense of experiences. Supporting people and organisations to reflect on their own learning processes and capacity is central to assisting people and organisations to learn. Action research, in which the researcher and respondents in an organisation jointly make sense of their organisational learning, can then be seen as a valuable way of promoting the learning capacity of the organisation. This paper investigates how development NGOs in the Netherlands think and talk about organizational learning, how they learn in practice, and how action research can help support organisational learning. Most organizations do not appear to have a clear concept of what learning is, or an explicit organizational learning strategy. However, they do have implicit ideas about learning and how their organisational learning can be supported by sharing knowledge or information. Using action research as a way to support organisational learning proved to be worthwhile. Making organizational learning concrete by looking at learning experiences in practice made the subject of organisational learning come alive for respondents, and triggered ideas and enthusiasm on how to learn more.
Authors: Smit, M.
Series Title: Praxis Paper
Category: Policy
ISBN: 978-1-905240-13-5
Serial number: 16
Keywords: non-governmental organizations , capacity building , knowledge management
Language: eng
Organization: PSO - Capacity Building in Developing Countries
PAGE: 44
Place: Oxford [etc.]
Publisher: INTRAC [etc.]
Year: 2007
Right: © 2007 INTRAC and PSO
Subject: Development Cooperation General
Title: We’re too much in ‘to do’ mode : action research into supporting international NGOs to learn