Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The interorganizational learning lifecycle: Knowledge for use in international development
by Zaghab, Roxanne Ward, D.Mgt., University of Maryland University College, 2011, 143; 3509316
Abstract (Summary)

Billions of dollars are invested annually in international development assistance, still institutional donors and host organizations in less developed countries are openly perplexed about the ineffectiveness of aid. Using a systems lens, this paper reframes the aid effectiveness challenge and asks how organizational learning can improve the effectiveness of development assistance. The purpose of this paper is to improve international development practice by contributing to the understanding of organizational learning in resource-constrained settings. The paper seeks to identify elements in the Host-Agent learning exchange which can enhance or discourage learning and knowledge outcomes.

The cultural and learning orientation differences between less developed country host organizations and international donors are explored. Tacit and explicit knowledge contributions, as well as indigenous knowledge aspects of interorganizational learning, are discussed and integrated into a multi-theoretical framework for knowledge creation in international development projects. With the use of logical deductive analysis and the extant literature, this paper provides a best-evidence synthesis from which to propose the Interorganizational Learning Lifecycle Framework. The presented TEHA (Tacit-Explicit-Host-Agent) interorganizational knowledge blending process builds upon Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation, organizational learning theory, resource exchange theory, and evidence regarding knowledge transfer.

Case examples illustrate how the Interorganizational Learning Lifecycle can produce blended, locally adapted, relevant Knowledge for Use (K4Use) in international development. This paper introduces interorganizational knowledge creation in the context of the international development assistance project lifecycle. Findings suggest that K4Use generates renewable and relevant knowledge resources for organizations in low-resource settings. Recommendations include: a) development of K4Use measures and integration of these metrics into project management tools; b) theoretical exploration of indigenous knowledge capabilities in blending knowledge; and c) expansion of the scope of international project management practice to include the identification, mobilization, integration, and reuse of knowledge.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gelatt, James
Commitee: Edwards, Kathleen, Evanchik, Michael, Glennie, John
School: University of Maryland University College
Department: Doctor of Management Program
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Aid effectiveness, International development, Interorganizational learning, Knowledge creation, Organizational learning, Project lifecycle
Publication Number: 3509316
ISBN: 9781267356611
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