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?
Vysoká škola manažmentu, Bratislava, Slovakia
University of Liverpool
In no case!
massification of elementary education
massification of high school education
massification of university education
It therefore must:
Universities must become learning organizations
For proper management People are much more important than Technology
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
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
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
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?
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)
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