Title: Sometimes, to change the people, you've got to change the people: when learning is not enough

Authors: Deborah Blackman; Monica Kennedy

Addresses: Faculty of Business and Government, University of Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. ' Faculty of Business and Government, University of Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Abstract: This paper discusses organisational learning and change management in a major change in an Australian University. The qualitative data highlight the issues faced in the management of change, particularly in the institutionalised resistance of organisational members. Analysis suggests that the development and consolidation of shared genres of doubt about organisational information and leadership intentions accommodated entrenched resistance. In discussion, this paper revisits previous literature in change management and organisational learning that highlights the impact of the misalignment between learning and organisational imperatives. Discussion of the findings illustrates the ways in which organisational genres of doubt have the ability to undermine strategic intent in change. The findings may be used to inform change leaders about the factors that can contribute to change failure. It may also be used to alert managers to the complex relationship between change management prescriptions and organisational members' learning and subsequent behaviour in times of change.

Keywords: change management; organisational learning; higher education; institutionalised doubting; mental models; organisational genres; universities; higher education; Australia; institutionalised resistance; organisational members; shared doubt; organisational information; leadership intentions; leaders; entrenched resistance; entrenchment; learning imperatives; organisational imperatives; organisational genres; strategic intent; change failure; complex relationships; learning behaviour; change contexts.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2011.045069

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2011 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.208 - 226

Published online: 24 Jan 2012 *

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