REMOVING THE CULTURAL AND MANAGERIAL BARRIERS IN PROJECT-TO-PROJECT LEARNING: A CASE FROM THE UK PUBLIC SECTOR
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 90, Issue 3, pages 664–684, September 2012
How to Cite
HALL, M., KUTSCH, E. and PARTINGTON, D. (2012), REMOVING THE CULTURAL AND MANAGERIAL BARRIERS IN PROJECT-TO-PROJECT LEARNING: A CASE FROM THE UK PUBLIC SECTOR. Public Administration, 90: 664–684. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2011.01980.x
- Issue published online: 7 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011
- Date received 4 June 2010. Date accepted 4 February 2011.
Project-based initiatives form a major part of government investment and, so, learning from past projects should be a major concern for public sector organizations. Previous research has explored systems and processes for project-based learning but little research has examined the social and cultural factors that enable this learning to be applied with useful effect. This paper reports on two successive major UK government projects. The introduction of independent learning accounts (ILAs) and the subsequent introduction of educational maintenance allowances (EMAs) following the scrapping of the former. Although similar in many respects, the first was a major failure while the second, having learned the lessons of the first, was acclaimed as a success. Using a cultural analysis, this case study shows how project-to-project learning enabled the EMA project team to learn from the failed project. This resulted in two significant changes in government and civil service organizational culture.