In a world of values and views : Information and learning activities in a military setting

Abstract: This thesis is about information and learning activities in organisations. A case study of the Swedish Armed Forces has been conducted and it consists of two parts; the first involves a licentiate thesis and two papers, while the second part includes two additional papers. The study focuses on learning from experiences in training and field action. The research endeavours to synthesise interactive and interdependent aspects of informality and formality. These aspects are used to explain how the nature of relationships manifests itself in a setting and how it relates to learning. Moreover, preconditions that contribute to how the nature of relationships is formed and reformed are explored. Finally, an effort has been made to find and describe implications of intervening with relationships in a setting. Such intervention may be desirable or required to accommodate or increase learning and knowing in organisations. Taken together, the findings show the complex dynamics between information, learning and knowing in the studied setting. Furthermore, it is illustrated how values and views in social interaction are part of how people construct relationships and learning within them. It is concluded that in order to facilitate learning by intervening with these relationships, it is important to understand the nature of them. Such intervention may vary from gentle facilitation to intrusive design, and success or failure depends on which is suitable. The research in this thesis adds to previous research emphasising the need for understanding the dynamics between information, learning and knowing in order to facilitate these activities. Future research may therefore build on the provided empirical findings and conceptual analyses to continue this line of reasoning.