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The learning organisation ideal in Civil Service organisations: deriving a measure

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As part of the Government's drive for responsive, high quality public services, the 1999 White Paper on Modernising Government suggested that the public service must become a learning organisation. Yet the application of the learning organisation ideal in public sector organisations is viewed in the literature as significantly constrained by a number of factors, including the obligation for public accountability. The research reported here sought to assess the feasibility of the learning organisation ideal for Civil Service organisations by devising and applying a measure comprising seven dimensions of organisational behaviour, drawn from the learning organisation literature, with an eighth dimension of "notions of accountability". In 1996 all Civil Service organisations were placed under an injunction to achieve accreditation as Investors in People (IIP). The research offered an opportunity to assess the extent to which striving for this contributes to progress towards the learning organisation ideal.
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Keywords: Civil Service; Learning Organizations; Organizational Behaviour; Public Sector

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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