Challenges of Organisational Learning in a Netherlands Project-Based Organisation

Sander Boerkoel, Barry Gledson*, Michelle Littlemore, Hazel Ponton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Project-Based Organisations (PBOs) in the Dutch construction sector face continual challenges to become more adaptable and increase their performance. Whilst there are several cultural and procedural issues that need to be addressed to fully overcome these problems, this research explores the possibility of Organisational Learning (OL) as a theoretical lens for overcoming some of the inherent concerns and to aid the industry in the quest to create, disseminate and apply new knowledge for the common good. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven construction managers and leaders from a high-level Dutch construction case study firm. Primary and secondary research results reveal that many construction PBOs fail to effectively practice OL, as most learning stays within project boundaries due to a lack of organisational learning mechanisms (OLM) that would institutionalise learning. Furthermore, the project-based manner of working prioritises short-term project objectives instead of improvements that are associated with learning. Barriers that impede OL include project uniqueness, geographical dispersion, fragmentation, the dissolvement of project teams, the temporary nature of projects and decentralised organisational structures. Increasing the organisational commitment of project team members and priority towards learning can improve OL.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 38th Annual ARCOM Conference
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780995546363
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2022
EventThe 38th Annual ARCOM Conference 2022: Build Back Wiser - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sept 20227 Sept 2022


ConferenceThe 38th Annual ARCOM Conference 2022: Build Back Wiser
Abbreviated titleARCOM 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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