Employee learning in a transient alliance: Exploring learning enablers, facilitators, and obstacles.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The aim of this study is to explore the main contributors and obstacles to employee learning in the context of an alliance using the framework of a complex embedded multiple-case study. The two participant alliance partner organisations (APOs) are natural competitors that have joined to respond to urgent community needs of the city of Christchurch following the major earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011. At the moment of the in-depth interviews, it had been about four years since those events occurred. There are continuous, unexpected circumstances that still require attention. However, the alliance has an expiry date, thus reinforcing the uncertain work environment. The main enablers found were participative, collaborative learning encouraged by leaders who embraced the alliance’s “learning organisational culture”. Employees generated innovations mostly in social interaction with others, while taking on responsibility for their learning by learning from mistakes. The main obstacle found is competition, as inhibitor of collaboratively sharing their knowledge out of fear of losing their competitiveness.