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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2031/5009

Title: The development and implementation of Project Action Learning framework (PAL) : from theory to practice
Other Titles: Xiang mu can yu zu zhi xing xue xi (PAL) fang fa de li lun yan fa yu shi jian
項目參與組織型學習 (PAL) 方法的理論研發與實踐
Authors: Law, Kris Mo-yin (羅慕賢)
Department: Dept. of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Active learning
Organizational learning
Problem-based learning
Notes: CityU Call Number: HD58.82.L373 2007
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 208-230)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2007
xxiv, 356, 68 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: This PhD research sets out to examine how organizational learning (OL) principles can be applied to intervene organizational development. It was carried out in close collaboration with a company that has set its goal to becoming a learning organization (LO). This thesis is the culmination of the collaborative effort to develop and implement an effective organizational learning methodology in the collaborating company. In essence, this PhD research is a longitudinal case study of a company’s organizational learning initiative and effort about how principles of OL are applied to initiate and sustain organizational development and improvement. This research consists of two main parts: the study of the organizational factors influencing OL process and outcome, and the development and implementation of an OL framework. For the former part, both quantitative and qualitative studies are adopted. For the latter, multiple rounds of OL framework implementation are undertaken to study in order to verify how the proposed OL framework effected OL, led to organizational development and improvement. I propose that OL can be described as a series of repeated processes, i.e. D-E-L-O (Driving-Enabling-Learning-Outcome). The DELO process is envisaged to start with management’s vision and subsequent intervention through the initiation and propagation of repeated or recurring learning activities within an organization. Through a groundwork study, I examined the positive linkages among the OL enabling factors, namely individual job values (IV), organizational culture (OC) and interpersonal forces (OIF), and their influence on the learning and performance. Based on this, a Project-based Action Learning (PAL) OL framework was developed and implemented in the collaborating company. In total, five rounds of PAL were conducted from late 2003 to early 2006, including a pilot run. Evaluation measures were devised to track the PAL progress and a quantitative study was carried out as to identify changes in individual job values and organizational culture as the result of the PAL implementation. The results of the quantitative analysis suggested that there were positive linkages among enabling factors and also on the performance. It was found that process-oriented culture influences individual values on jobs and this further affects learning motivation. Differences between different position groups and between PAL and non-PAL members are noted. Furthermore, changes are also noted in the results obtained in 2002 and 2005. In the beginning, the case company has neither a process-oriented culture nor a strong result-oriented culture. Later, the company was found to be moving towards being process-oriented. This shows that the introduction of OL has influenced the culture within the organization. The qualitative study in this research included interviews, focus group discussions and case studies of the PAL implementation. The preliminary interviews with managers, at the time before OL was introduced, helped the researcher to understand the situation the company was in. The subsequent periodic focus group discussions with PAL teams and the interviews were to verify the results obtained from the quantitative studies and to gather more first hand information about the PAL implementation. Results on the whole indicated that PAL implementation has positive effects on OL development, even though there were hard times at the beginning. PAL served as an important ‘catalyst’ in the building of learning culture within the case company. It integrates team learning, action learning and project-based learning in one. It facilitates the enhancement of both process-oriented and result-oriented learning cultures, which are found to be influential to individual values and learning motivation. A PAL guidebook, ‘PAL Developer’ has been written up. This guidebook is intended for the practitioners, interested to implement PAL based OL in an organization. It provides the guidelines and operational procedures related to the building up of PAL Program in an LO. Furthermore, the guidebook also provides a basis for the development of the computerized PAL supporting system. This research is instrumental to and documents the real life experience of a company’s OL development process. To sum up its contribution, first, this research explores the linkages among influencing factors vital to the OL process. Second, an OL framework (PAL) integrating project and learning was developed and implemented. The framework helps to realize the concepts and practices of OL in a Southern China manufacturing environment where the concepts of OL were not initially well understood or accepted. Thirdly, the research also contributes to the methodology in organizational learning research in the adoption of triangulation, case study and longitudinal study. This is seldom done in engineering management research.
Online Catalog Link: http://lib.cityu.edu.hk/record=b2218054
Appears in Collections:MEEM - Doctor of Philosophy

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