Improvement is fundamental to the competitiveness of networks and requires the participating firms to collaborate in identifying and introducing changes. This book presents collaborative strategic improvement as a cycle of activities in which firms in a network can engage together. Drawing on actual cases, authors link this cycle with disciplined action learning as a means of building upon experience generated through collaborative action. They describe how a network can learn from experience and deploy that learning in the marketplace.
This unique book brings together the domains of operations management, organizational learning and action learning. From an operations management perspective, the work extends the established concept of strategic improvement in operations to the network within which firms collaborate to improve and to compete. From an action learning perspective, it draws on the emerging literature on network learning, re-frames the established concept of action learning as a learning mechanism and extends action learning into the network setting. Here, it values the inter-organizational insights that emerge through collaboration. Finally, the study articulates a philosophy and a framework for action learning research, extending the reach of action learning beyond practice to knowledge generation.
Directed to researchers engaged in active intervention in improvement initiatives in organizations, this insightful book will prove to be a must-have resource. Also, it will appeal strongly to practitioners, including managers and action learning facilitators.