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Pedagogy and Process in 'Organisational Problem-Solving

Pedagogy and Process in 'Organisational Problem-Solving
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Presenter(s) Dr. John Kawalek, University of Sheffield
Seminar type Open Seminar Series
Date and time 17/04/2007, 14:00 – 15:30
Organiser(s) SEERC Seminar Room
Website http://
This paper outlines a case study in which a management development learning process was tightly coupled to organisational change and development objectives. The case discusses how a research and consulting team came together to develop highly reflexive pedagogy to support the work of internal managers who were organised into teams ('learning sets') to undertake 'organisational problem solving'. These learning sets had as their objective, to become catalysts of organisational change and 'performance improvement' within a large organisation. In order to structure the discourse amongst learning set members, a range of principles and constructs were used. Central to these was a form of process modelling, (termed 'models of teleological human process'), derived from Systems Theory. These were carefully introduced to learning set members, and were used to provide a 'basis for a discourse' amongst set members about 'problematic' organisational processes and how to change them. Each learning set was considered a social process in which the principles and constructs had an intrinsic power role, in a process which was purposely designed to integrate the subjective understandings of complex organisational situations of the set members. The learning sets were operationalised in a 2-day workshop followed by a three month period which was supported by an e-learning technology infrastructure. During each phase, the learning sets were facilitated by learning set advisers. The pedagogy, methods and learning outcomes are outlined in this paper.

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