Title: Learning engineers to reflect: obstacles and remedies in an engineering community

Authors: Karina Aase, Odd Einar Olsen, Cathrine Pedersen

Addresses: Department of Media, Culture and Social Science, University of Stavanger, N-4036 Stavanger, Norway. ' Department of Media, Culture and Social Science, University of Stavanger, N-4036 Stavanger, Norway. ' Norwegian Postal Service, N-0001 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: The article reports results from a research facilitated learning project carried out in an engineering department in an oil and gas company. The objective of the project was to enhance an awareness of and the ability to use, dialogue and reflection-based learning approaches. The results document that the project-based engineering setting induces structural, organisational, and cultural obstacles to learning. Obstacles may come in the forms of a discipline-based organisation, employee turnover, time pressure, insufficient management involvement, lack of commitment, conflicting reifications, and an overstated belief in codification. Remedies for some of these obstacles have been to create spaces in the engineering setting for multi-disciplinary discussions, for reflection and common understanding of procedures and cases, in facilitated learning sessions and case study sessions.

Keywords: case study; communities of practice; dialogue; project-based engineering; organisational learning; reflection; research intervention; trailing research; oil and gas industry; learning obstacles; facilitated learning; case studies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2007.017816

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2007 Vol.2 No.4, pp.343 - 364

Published online: 18 Apr 2008 *

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