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Volume 1 / Issue 3

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Toward a Project Learning Organization: a Multifaceted View

Roberta Cuel (University of Trento, Italy)

Filippo Manfredi (Agenzia per lo Sviluppo S.p.A., Italy)

Abstract: A huge number of Knowledge Management (KM) approaches and solutions have been developed in the last 20 years. Companies are usually dealing with those theories and practices to make corporate knowledge explicit, collected, and organized into large and homogeneous knowledge systems based on repositories, groupware, wikis, portals, etc. According to this milieu, some practitioners believe that the introduction of such solutions "mechanically" conduct innovation within the company, causing shortage of organizational integration in strategies and culture, business processes, and technological (or KM) solutions. In this article the authors take into account the Project Based Organizations. In fact those organizations might be considered an interesting case study for their characteristics of flexibility and complexity. These firms usually take advantages from the implementation of project management solutions aimed at conducting innovation, efficiency, and effectiveness. However these solutions cannot be considered valuable in all the situations, because they don’t solve the lack of systematic learning and the overwhelming repetition of the same mistakes. To overcome these problems Project Based Organizations should introduce KM solutions and set up a new model (the Project Learning Organization) that integrate learning paradigms, organizational strategies and culture, business processes and KM solutions. In this paper, authors describe: (i) the concept of Project Learning Organizations, (ii) the model of projects life cycle with the memorizing and the corporate alignment phases and (iii) the model of knowledge coordination processes among projects, and their alignment with corporate knowledge.

Keywords: integrated knowledge management, knowledge intensive firms, knowledge management techniques, project learning organization, project management

Categories: A.0, A.1, C.2.1, C.2.4, H.1.0, H.4.3