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Community, Economic Creativity, and Organization$
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Ash Amin and Joanne Roberts

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545490

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545490.001.0001

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Project Work as a Locus of Learning: The Journey Through Practice

Project Work as a Locus of Learning: The Journey Through Practice

Chapter:
(p.148) 6 Project Work as a Locus of Learning: The Journey Through Practice
Source:
Community, Economic Creativity, and Organization
Author(s):

Harry Scarbrough

Jacky Swan (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545490.003.0007

Many organizations ‘re-invent the wheel’ by failing to capture and spread what has been learned from particular projects. This inability to exploit the learning from projects has worrying implications for the growing popularity of the project form as a way of organizing work. This chapter identifies the role which project work plays as a source of learning which emerges alongside, within, and sometimes against, communities of practice. The theoretical framework produced by this analysis is explored through brief case-study descriptions of three projects which produced very different outcomes in terms of the generation, capture and spread of learning. This allows us to derive some conclusions as to the factors influencing the role of projects as a source of learning within organizations, and the implications for attempts to exploit such learning as an organizational resource.

Keywords:   project, community, social practice, organizational learning, innovation

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