Scripties UMCG - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
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De lerende organisatie

(2015) Storteboom, E. (Esther)

The research that has been fulfilled at the Wenckebach Instituut of the UMCG, focuses on the optimization of the co-operation between employees. The main research question is: In extent to wich the organization meets different characteristics of a learning organization and what does the organization need to become a learning organization. This question is formulated from the management team. The current organization has a columnwise organizational structure and consists of four departments who barely co-operate with each other. To guarantee the quality of the services, the management team want to optimize the co-operation between the departments, by using the concept of ‘the learning organization’.
To answer this main research question, a qualitative research is conducted. Ten interviews have been held with employees and managers from the two departments Postgraduate School of Medicine and the Expertise Center. In advance, a desk research about learning organizations and the characteristics, is performed. The interviews are based on three important characteristics found in the literature: psychological safety, horizontal communication & knowledge sharing and coaching leadership. Besides discussing these topics, there is also asked how to increase the characteristics.
The results show that the Wenckebach Instituut at some points meets the characteristics of a learning organization. The psychological safety within the teams is high and this is also a negotiable topic within the teams. Besides that, the horizontal communication should be improved. Within the teams, the horizontal communication is good, but between the teams there is a lack of communication. The lack of communication and co-operation between the teams is because the employees don’t have knowledge about each others activities and expertises. The results also show that the managers already have different characteristics of a coaching leader. They give the employees much responsibility and freedom. Something the managers can improve is involve the employees more within organizational decisions and by clearly communicate the mission, vision and goal of the organization. The results also show some barriers in the organization who hinder in becoming a learning organization. These barriers are: a lack of presence of the employees in the organization, wich means that the employees often work outside the organization, the split in groups (docters and nurses) which the departments serve, a low intrinsic motivation concerns co-operation and the functioning of organizational systems.
There can be concluded that the employees have the intention to create a learning organization. But the intrinsic motivation to actually do it, can be improved. The role of the management team is to stimulate this and to make clear what they expect from their employees. The management teams should also communicate the mission and vision of the organization. There also can be concluded that there is a tension between the expectations of the employees and the management team about each others role. The employees expect a stimulating and steering role of the management team, while the management team discribes their own role only as facilitating. Besides that, the lack of knowledge about each others activities is the main reason why colleagues from different departments don’t co-operate. To map these activities is a first stap to better co-operation.


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