Doctoral Project Abstract
The Learning Institution: Reframing a Small College's Central Function
Gregory S. Waddell
This was an Action Research project designed to introduce concepts of the Learning Organization into the thinking and processes of a small, mid-western, Bible College. The college had functioned within a traditional framework that sees educational institutions as receptacles of and centers for the distribution of knowledge. The project sought to reframe the school's essential function from that of a teaching institution to that of a learning institution. The outcome objective was that this new perspective would provide the school with a framework for assessing its processes and culture from a learning perspective rather than simply assuming that its stakeholders know what needs to be done and what the school's students need to know. According to the Action Research methodology, the project proceeded in stages, each stage including an intervention plan, a training session, and an After Action Review (AAR) report. The project included three such stages and resulted in reports and PowerPoint presentations for each stage. In addition, the project also resulted in an Organizational Learning survey that follows a seven-point Likert scale and an article on Organizational Empowerment that was submitted to Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. The topics explored in this project include: organizational learning; the learning organization; mental models; systems thinking; employee empowerment; and systems archetypes.