Action Learning: a process which supports organisational change initiatives

Joyce, Pauline (2011) Action Learning: a process which supports organisational change initiatives. [Conference Proceedings]


This paper presents an evaluation of action learning as a process which supports organisational change initiatives and demonstrates how students can be co-creators of knowledge. An interprofesisonal group of healthcare professionals met monthly to partake in a highly structured, facilitated team process of reflection and action. An Action Learning Set Evaluation (ASLE) tool was used to survey the students who participated in this process as part of their master's programmes. In addition focus group meetings with the facilitators were carried out to evaluate action learning from their perspectives. To date the survey suggests that action learning is a powerful tool in engaging students to take ownership of their change projects. This ownership is assisted by the use of questioning from team members so that peer accountability ensues. The importance of the use of challenge and support from peers and facilitators is discussed. The action learning process is also linked with the ability of the student to problem-solve and demonstrates that students can come to a solution themselves. The power and benefits of action learning are discussed with examples of quotes from students and facilitators. The use of action learning to support students undertaking organisational change initiatives is highlighted. The findings also suggest the importance of questioning by peers and of engagement in reflection during and following the meetings. Drawing on the literature around action learning, the use of a framework to underpin the success of this process is recommended. In addition to supporting students to undertake projects in their organisations, the facilitation of action learning set meetings has encouraged them to use this process following the completion of their postgraduate studies.

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