Problem Structuring Methods have most commonly been employed in one-off interventions to address non-routine problem situations. This paper argues that problem structuring methods are by their nature also appropriate for routine use within multi-organizational partnerships as a means of supporting inter-organizational learning. An experience of the use of a problem structuring methods approach in this mode is reported, within a UK construction industry partnership context. The approach which was developed has been called the Cross Organizational Learning Approach (COLA). COLA uses Strategic Choice-based workshops to identify and review critical incidents and project successes, in order to generate a limited set of key actions to feed back both to project partners and to future joint projects. The paper describes and discusses the process of developing and using this approach, with particular concentration on the apparent success in embedding it as a continuing business practice.
- Construction industry
- Group decisions and negotiations
- Multi-organizational partnerships
- Organizational learning
- Problem Structuring Methods
- Project review
- Strategic Choice Approach