The impact of unexamined assumptions and beliefs on organizational learning: A grounded theory investigation

by Anderson, James C., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 156 pages; 3290659


The exploration of unexamined assumptions and beliefs in an organization has theoretical and empirical value. The problem is that unexamined assumptions and beliefs limit performance improvement in organizations. This dissertation presents research on how unexamined assumptions and beliefs impact an organization's ability to learn. The literature on complexity theory, organizational learning, and symbolic interactionism is reviewed, evaluated, and synthesized to form the theoretical background of the research. There are six concepts of interest in this study that are considered in relation to each theory. These concepts are (a) unexamined assumptions and beliefs, (b) individual, (c) group, (d) organization, (e) internal reference, and (f) learning. The theoretical and conceptual similarities and differences in the three bodies of literature are discussed related to these concepts. The qualitative methodology of grounded theory connects to the topic, literature, and researcher in a discussion of its advantages and limitations. This choice of methodology results in the research design that is presented. The results of the research included the analysis process and answers to the research questions. Two assumptions or beliefs were identified in all levels of the organization in both groups and individuals. Theory was developed grounded in the discovery of those two assumptions or beliefs. The researcher considered implications of the theory related to the organization that was studied as well as future research opportunities.

AdviserApril Boyington Wall
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3290659

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