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Project Work as a Locus of Learning: The Journey Through Practice

Scarbrough, H. & Swan, J. (2009). Project Work as a Locus of Learning: The Journey Through Practice. In: Community, Economic Creativity, and Organization. (pp. 148-177). UK: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545490.003.0007


Many organizations 're-invent the wheel' by failing to capture and spread what has been learned from particular projects. This inability to exploit the learning from projects has worrying implications for the growing popularity of the project form as a way of organizing work. This chapter identifies the role which project work plays as a source of learning which emerges alongside, within, and sometimes against, communities of practice. The theoretical framework produced by this analysis is explored through brief case-study descriptions of three projects which produced very different outcomes in terms of the generation, capture and spread of learning. This allows us to derive some conclusions as to the factors influencing the role of projects as a source of learning within organizations, and the implications for attempts to exploit such learning as an organizational resource.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an accepted draft of a chapter that has been published by Oxford University Press in the book Community, Economic Creativity, and Organization, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199545490
Publisher Keywords: Community; Innovation; Organizational learning; Project; Social practice
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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