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Are Universities Learning Organizations?. Jozef Hvorecký Vysoká škola manažmentu, Bratislava, Slovakia University of Liverpool Liverpool, UK. Abstract. Why should university education face radical changes? Bologna Process = Application of Knowledge Management to Universities?

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are universities learning organizations

Are Universities Learning Organizations?

Jozef Hvorecký

Vysoká škola manažmentu, Bratislava, Slovakia

University of Liverpool

Liverpool, UK

  • Why should universityeducation face radical changes?
  • Bologna Process = Application of Knowledge Management to Universities?
  • Universities = Learning Organizations?
  • Evaluating implementations of Bologna
    • Europe
    • -Slovakia
  • Conclusions
why are changes needed
Why Are Changes Needed?

In no case!

We havn´t

got time!

massification of the university education why
Massification of the University Education: Why?
  • Constant increase in average qualification
    • Level of education expands
      • 19th century:

massification of elementary education

      • 20th century:

massification of high school education

      • 21st century:

massification of university education

    • Educational systems have to keep pace with the progress of technology
from individuals to masses
From Individuals to Masses
  • How to make it functioning?
    • Professional approach to school management
    • Education is a managerial task
    • Let’s set up quality standards
    • Let’s enforce them

Massive Education

“Knowledge-building Factory”

Quality Standards

Unified Procedures

education is a business
Education is a business

It therefore must:

  • Have a vision
  • Build its long-term and short-term strategies
  • Form its internal policies
  • Follow general rules and standards
  • Respect its “customers”
principal challenges the universities face
Principal Challenges the Universities Face
  • Massification
  • Innovation

Universities must become learning organizations

becoming learning organization
Becoming Learning Organization
  • Strongly supported: 3
  • Moderately supported: 3
  • Weakly supported: 4
    • Enabling structures
    • Reward flexibility
    • Inter-company learning
    • A learning climate

For proper management People are much more important than Technology

a learning approach to strategy
A learning approach to strategy

The use of trials and errors to improve understanding and generate improvements, and to modify strategic direction as necessary.

American and British Universities are leaders

European Continental Universities are now trying to mimic their approach

It is not a trial and error method but a better strategy than doing nothing

participative policy making
Participative policy making

All the organization’s members are involved in strategy formation, influencing decisions and values and addressing conflict.

The Bologna initiative was ignited by universities

It is now in the hands of the member states

The results vary from country to country

*Buchanan and Huczynski: Organizational Behavior, p. 125

in formative and collaborative
Informative and collaborative

Sharing knowledge is key to double-loop learning; ICT is used to make information available to everyone and to enable front-line staff to act on their own initiative.

Information technology is used in e-learning and communication of researchers

It is negligibly used for coordination of Bologna process or further development

EU countries’ legislation is local and restrictive

The knowledge sharing does not reach its innovative potential

formative accounting and control
Formative accounting and control

Accounting, budgeting and reporting systems are designed to help people to understand the operations of organizational finance.

The most of continental universities are paid from public budget

Self-financing is not very popular

Regulations are often not-long-lasting

Accounting does not influence universities’ life substantially

intensive internal exchange of information and knowledge
Intensive Internal Exchange of Information and Knowledge

Sections and departments think of themselves as customers and suppliers in an internal ‘supply chain’ and learning from each other.

Our students are our “products” and we should be shaping them to perfection (and to the needs of society)

Universities are not trying to learn from each other (splendid isolation)

The approach to the Bachelor – Master – Doctor ladder must be better developed and refined (self-supporting programs)

reward flexibility
Reward flexibility

A flexible and creative reward policy with financial and non-financial rewards to meet individual needs and performance.

Universities prefer fixed salary scales

Promotion often depends on the served years

“Secret brotherhoods” vs. Knowledge Factories

Barriers to self/fulfillement

The universities are repelling creative individuals (brain-drain to the USA)

boundary workers as environmental scanners
Boundary workers as environmental scanners:

Everyone who has contact with customers, suppliers, clients and business partners is treated as a valuable informative source.

Creation of new study programs is slow, difficult and financially not-encouraged (unless at the pan-European level)

Universities cope with enterprises much less than needed (except of fachhoschulen)

Teaching for schools, not for life

inter company learning
Inter-company learning

The organization learns from other organizations through join ventures, alliances, and other information exchanges.

Many internal and external obstacles to making alliances (as it contradicts the traditional university culture)

Universities collaborate via pan-European projects, their number is growing (A success story – one of a few)

The university climate is not positive to such changes

enabling structures
Enabling structures

Organizational charts, structures and procedures are seen as temporary, and can be changed to meet task requirements.

The university structures are ossified; a chance for change is not on horizon

State regulations are driven by one model only

How to change it?

a learning climate
A learning climate

The manager’s primary task is to facilitate experimentation and learning in others, through questioning, feedback and support.

Learning and Doing Research is not the same.

Universities of refuse offers for changes (e.g. in salary structure and promotion system)

How to make universities to become eager for changes? (Call for independence)

self learning opportunities for all
Self-learning opportunities for all

People are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, and facilities are made available, especially to ‘front-line’ staff.

Universities offer many opportunities but they mostly target research – not the university management.

Let’s try to become more open to new ideas

  • The lectures was about universities – but not only about them
  • Learning is a way to progress but must be versitile and address all aspect of the company’s life.
  • Look for your opportunity to learn more – and do not miss it!
thank you for your attention

Thank you for your attention!