Thesis title: An investigation of cultural learning during the hospital process from a facilities management perspective

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Publication date: 4 October 2011

Citation

(2011), "Thesis title: An investigation of cultural learning during the hospital process from a facilities management perspective", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 2 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijdrbe.2011.43502caa.003

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Thesis title: An investigation of cultural learning during the hospital process from a facilities management perspective

Article Type: PhD abstracts From: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Volume 2, Issue 3

Abstract

The continued development of facilities management (FM) as a profession largely depends on it playing a stronger strategic role in the decision making of organisations. This requires the capability of better understanding the clients’ facility needs and requirements, which ultimately means that facilities managers must learn about the nature of clients’ organisations and their organisational cultures. This study contends that in a project it is the briefing process that provides the greatest opportunity for cultural learning to occur, a process wherein it is important for the actors to converge upon shared understanding of facility needs and requirements. By focusing on culture at a cognitive rather than a behavioural level, this study has specifically attempted to identify the types of knowledge learned during a briefing process, to explore the process of cultural learning and the factors that encourage or impede such learning, and to produce an insight into the process.

A hospital partnering project was adopted as a case study for investigating the process of cultural learning during the briefing process. Using Nonaka’s (1994) theory of knowledge creation, this study portrays the briefing process as one wherein the social processes during briefing facilitate the conversion of tacit and explicit knowledge in a cyclical way. Sackmann’s (1991) categorisation of knowledge has been used to analyse the social interactions during briefing by dissecting the different levels of knowledge being shared. In support of the cognitive perspective of learning and the conceptual understanding of culture as mindsets or cognitions, Laukkanen’s (1996) comparative cause mapping method was used to measure the cultural learning occurring among members of both the FM and their clients’ groups, using an in-depth inquiry into five key concepts during the briefing process. Data were collected longitudinally during the briefing process using real-time observations and semi-structured interviews which maximised the comparative measures of similarities and differences in the cause maps depicting cultural learning.

This integration of culture, learning, and briefing theories using Nonaka’s (1994) knowledge creation theory, Sackmann’s (1991) categorisation of knowledge, and Laukkanen’s (1996) comparative cause mapping method has produced interesting and useful insights into the process of cultural learning during the briefing process within a hospital partnering project. The study has found that significant cultural learning did take place during the briefing process and that partnering projects can present opportunities for this to occur. In particular, it is established that cultural learning is best conceived of as a process of social construction in which individuals, subgroups, and groups engage in a collective approach to understanding facility needs and requirements. More specifically, briefing meetings were found to represent contexts for social interactions in which cultural learning took place. This learning occurred in constantly negotiated boundaries and through conflicts and disagreements, with actors competing in a dynamic process of social construction to have their version of understanding of the clients’ needs and requirements prevail. The diverse client groups within the hospital context being studied provided a management opportunity for facility managers to act as “mediators”, which facilitated cultural learning. Finally, FM technical knowledge was shown to be an important tool for the FM group during the process of cultural learning as the participants negotiated their versions of knowledge:

  • Degree: PhD

  • Candidate name: Venny Chandra

  • Department: Built Environment

  • College/university: University of New South Wales

  • University city, state, country: Sydney, Australia

  • Month/year completed: March 2007

  • Language of the thesis: English

  • Thesis supervisor(s): Professor Martin Loosemore

  • Postal address (current): Unit 2c, Tower Atlantik Marina, Apartment J1 Pluit Samundra, Pluit Jakarta Utara 14450 Sharon Ali Ang, Jakarta, Indonesia

  • Phone (current): +62 812 31205098