Title: Institutional and personal reflexivity in processes of organisational learning

Authors: Tobias Hallensleben; Matthias Wörlen; Manfred Moldaschl

Addresses: Chair for Socio-Economics and Entrepreneurial ResponsAbility, European Center for Sustainability Research (ECS), Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Am Fallenbrunnen 17/2, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany ' Chair for Socio-Economics and Entrepreneurial ResponsAbility, European Center for Sustainability Research (ECS), Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Am Fallenbrunnen 17/2, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany ' Chair for Socio-Economics and Entrepreneurial ResponsAbility, European Center for Sustainability Research (ECS), Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Am Fallenbrunnen 17/2, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany

Abstract: The discourses in the fields of strategic management and organisational learning broadly refer to the idea of dynamic capabilities or meta-competences of complete firms to cope successfully with all kinds of dynamic environments and rapidly changing requirements. They are suffering from severe problems in operationalising such necessary complex and diffuse constructs. It is not much better with respect to individual or personal competences. While 'intelligence', 'knowledge' and traits had lost attractiveness as predictive factors for personal performance, a skill- or competence-turn took place in research and practice. Most of the offered competence models are far-off theory, offering lists of numerous individual capabilities and countless indicators, often tautological by just duplicating functions in terms of competence (e.g., 'leadership competence'). In this paper, we apply a new conception to study organisational and individual learning as well as their results, focusing on reflexivity. This conception tries to understand the co-evolution of organisational and individual practices, epistemic styles and capabilities, and how that contributes to change. We demonstrate the application of this approach by case studies, in knowledge-intensive entities of high-tech companies. Our findings indicate particularly how complex interaction between management techniques, contextual conditions and sense-making is, so that measures aimed at promoting innovation may even have adverse effects.

Keywords: organisational learning; institutional reflexivity; reflexive modernisation; resistance; competence; dynamic capabilities; personal reflexivity; individual learning; high-tech firms; high technology; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2015.071192

International Journal of Work Innovation, 2015 Vol.1 No.2, pp.185 - 207

Available online: 16 Aug 2015 *

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