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Moving towards optimising demand‐led learning: The 2005‐2007 ECUANET Leonardo Da Vinci Project

Richard Dealtry (IPC Ltd, Birmingham, UK)
Keith Howard (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present the key project learning points and outcomes as a guideline for the future quality management of demand‐led learning and development.


The research methodology was based upon a corporate university blueprint architecture and browser toolkit developed by a member of the team to provide depth in practice evidence and a searchable database for comparative case to case practice evaluation.


It was found that the corporate university organisation and business development concept is a subject area which is either well understood by company management and education institutions or there is considerable confusion about its role and purpose. In large part this arises from the very different interpretation in the concept's development and practice across the world, region by region. From a wide and diverse portfolio of companies and organisations who where invited to participate in the action research case studies, those who accepted have one very important characteristic in common: they are all intensively engaged in managing a major innovation, i.e. they already have the commitment to making new ideas work in practice. In addition it also demands serious reflection about the creative nature of the learning leadership role and also the style of its management.

Practical implications

The results of the project show that a successful corporate university intervention needs to be founded upon a sustainable commitment by top management who should promote, if not present already, a spirit of curiosity leading to better ways of doing business today and in the future. It requires an in‐depth understanding of the organisation's strategic learning needs and good knowledge of the models of corporate university development that are available and reliable.


The database of case foundation information, key performance indicators (KPIs) and best practice outcomes will be one of the most comprehensive and world class quality reference sources published to date. The variables that make up the portfolios of emergent best practices – process and management – have originality and value both individually and collectively. The impact of these best practice ways of working will have far reaching consequences for leadership and the future shape of lifelong interdependent learning between employers and employees and policy in government departments and education institutions.



Dealtry, R. and Howard, K. (2008), "Moving towards optimising demand‐led learning: The 2005‐2007 ECUANET Leonardo Da Vinci Project", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 214-224.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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