Management Change Impact on Organizational Learning in a Business School

Authors

  • Karen Voolaid
  • Üllas Ehrlich

Keywords:

Organizational learning, learning university, learning business school, university management, management change, Dimensions of Learning Organisation Questionnaire (DLOQ)

Abstract

Management is one of the key factors of ensuring and developing the organizational learning ability. The paper analyses the impact of changes in management on organizational learning (hereinafter OL) in a business school of a public university. A fundamental change in the management system was carried out in one public university in Estonia, which replaced the academically democratic elections of the rector, deans and directors with a management model that is typical for business organisations, where the heads at all levels are nominated. To identify the impact of changes in management on the organizational learning, Watkins` and Marsick’s learning organization questionnaire (DLOQ) has been used in the research. This research differs methodically from the classical application of DLOQ, which measures the absolute value of organizational learning. Therefore the members of business school were asked to evaluate changes in OL using DLOQ in comparison with the period prior to the reform. For that, the respondents were asked to rate the DLOQ characteristics on a scale from ‑3 to +3, where a negative score means that the characteristic has become worse after the reform and positive scores imply that they are now better. The results show that changes in the management affects the most the part of OL that is measured by DLOQ dimensions “foster inquiry and dialogue” and “promote collaboration and team learning”. The reasons pointed out are the loss of confidence in the organization as well as sharpening of competition between the employees. The sample size was not adequate to draw reliable conclusions about the whole organization but was sufficient to analyse tendencies. On this basis it is argued that at least in short‑term perspective, replacement of academic democracy with the management model typical of a business organization has rather a negative effect on organizational learning.

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Published

1 Dec 2019

Issue

Section

General Paper