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Chandra, V and Loosemore, M (2008) Cultural learning during briefing: a facilities management perspective. In: Dainty, A (Ed.), Proceedings 24th Annual ARCOM Conference, 1-3 September 2008, Cardiff, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 403–12.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: cultural learning; externalisation; hospital briefing; partnering; strategic facilities management
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-1-4
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2008-403-412_Chandra_and_Loosemore.pdf
  • Abstract:
    Background: Outsourced Facilities Management (FM) has been noted to be problematic in terms of understanding clients’ needs. An understanding of these needs inevitably requires an understanding of the hospital’s organisational culture, where the ‘value’ for FM rests. Method: Using a hospital partnering project as a case study, it investigates the process of learning about culture, an approach which has traditionally been treated as a black box. Nonaka’s concept of externalisation helps portray cultural learning as the process of interpreting project-related knowledge by the Hospital and FM groups. Laukkanen's Comparative Cause Mapping method further compares the groups' interpretations over time. Result: It was found that a majority of interpretations on project-knowledge were collectively learned, largely supported by early exposure to those differences. Unlearning and non-learning were also evident where the groups’ previous anticipation of those problems was inadequate, or when the emerging problems impinged upon their own goals and interests. Conclusion: Early collaborations between the groups through partnering approach and "creative chaos" in the form of problems and disagreements at the initial briefing stage provide opportunities for cultural learning. With this, sound technical knowledge and openness created a trusting environment that persuaded compromise were factors supporting cultural learning.