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PURSUING LEARNING AND ENDING UP WITH CONTROL. REFLECTIONS FROM THE FIELD OF PATIENT SAFETY

By Jeanne Mengis, Davide Nicolini, Jacky Swan, Justin Waring and David Meacheam

Abstract

The paper discusses a case in which a new managerial approach was proposed to engender organizational learning from incidents, but became, in practice, a system oriented toward consensus, closure, and bureaucratic control-- three well known “enemies ” of organisational learning (Weick and Westely, 1996; Sitkin et al., 1994; Gherardi, 1999). We suggest that this puzzle can be explained if we focus on the discourse that allowed the approach to successfully circulate and diffuse. In particular, we develop the idea that the approach travelled on the wings of a „rhetorical package‟ which combined the discourses of „anxiety ‟ and „reassurance‟. While the package (and its related socio-technical network) was very successful at sustaining the journey of the innovation, it also ended up reconfiguring the approach shifting the emphasis from organizational learning to control

Topics: Evidence-based learning, organisational control, travel of ideas
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.412.451
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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