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Enhancing learning in emergency services organisational work

Owen, C ORCID: 0000-0002-1985-7886, Brooks, B ORCID: 0000-0001-7954-6281, Curnin, S ORCID: 0000-0001-5248-7250 and Bearman, C 2018 , 'Enhancing learning in emergency services organisational work' , Australian Journal of Public Administration , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1111/1467-8500.12309.

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Abstract

The paper aims to assist emergency services organisations to learn how to learn so thatmanagers better understand how to embed effective learning practices and systems intotheir organisation’s culture. Learning in emergency services organisations occurs in a rangeof contexts. These include after-action reviews, externally led inquiries, and practice-ledresearch projects. The paper outlines key themes from the work-related learning literatureand introduces a modified experiential learning framework to ground real-world experiences. Interviews were conducted with 18 emergency services practitioners. The findings provide examples of the broad challenges that agencies need to manage to enhance and sustain learning. These include shifting value from action post an event, to reflection, focusing on the bigger picture and allowing enough time to effectively embed new practices after an emergency. No organisation can forgo learning. All experiences provide opportunities for learning to occur. A key insight for agencies interested in facilitating improvements in learning is to locate potential weak links in the learning cycle and to develop a better understanding of how to learn.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Owen, C and Brooks, B and Curnin, S and Bearman, C
Keywords: experiential learning, organisational culture, emergency management
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Public Administration
Publisher: Blackwell Publ Ltd
ISSN: 0313-6647
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/1467-8500.12309
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Institute of Public Administration Australia

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