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‘Copernicus’ Experiencing a Failing Project for Reflection and Learning

Journal article
Authors Christian Hardless
Malin Nilsson
Urban Nuldén
Published in Management Learning
Volume 36
Issue 2
Pages 181-217
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 181-217
Language en
Keywords double-loop learning, experiential learning, individual learning, interactive multimedia, organizational learning, problem-based learning, role-playing, situated learning
Subject categories


In this article, we discuss an approach to initiate learning and improvement of practice related to complex business processes in corporations. The approach called PIER (Problem-based learning, Interactive multimedia, Experiential learning and Role-playing) uses interactive multimedia scenarios for role-playing in groups. We describe an action research project where PIER was applied as a large-scale competence development initiative in an industrial setting. The purpose was to facilitate experience sharing, discussion and reflection, with the intention of improving project management practices both at the individual level and the organizational level. The results of the evaluation present a situation where PIER supported organizational maintenance but failed to promote organizational change. Hence our study provides support for several key arguments in the debate about organizational learning; in particular, concerning the relationship between learning interventions and organizational development.

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