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Journal cover: Learning Organization, The

Learning Organization, The

ISSN: 0969-6474

Online from: 1994

Subject Area: Organization Studies

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Triple-loop learning in a cross-sector partnership: The DC Central Kitchen partnership

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Title:Triple-loop learning in a cross-sector partnership: The DC Central Kitchen partnership
Author(s):Patrizia Ameli, (George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA), D. Christopher Kayes, (George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
Citation:Patrizia Ameli, D. Christopher Kayes, (2011) "Triple-loop learning in a cross-sector partnership: The DC Central Kitchen partnership", Learning Organization, The, Vol. 18 Iss: 3, pp.175 - 188
Keywords:Cross-functional integration, Learning, Partnership, United States of America
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/09696471111123243 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – This paper aims to build on notions of a higher level of organizational learning to suggest another dimension: interorganizational learning that emerges in a cross-sector partnership.

Design/methodology/approach – A case study was conducted with the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) partnership with for-profit and governmental entities. Research methods included interviews with the founder, CEO, and manager responsible for the relationship with partners; direct observation during volunteer work at DCCK; and review of archival data and physical artifacts.

Findings – At the organizational level, DCCK was a learning organization because the principal variables – culture, strategy, shared vision, and knowledge management – were focused on learning. At the interorganizational level, the network was like a constellation of organizations. DCCK had many dyadic relationships with its partners, but the partners were not always interconnected with one another. Triple-loop learning occurred in DCCK but was not yet developed among partners. DCCK benefited the community both tangibly, as seen in its education projects, and culturally, by giving a more central role to the nonprofit organization in the economic system.

Originality/value – The paper illustrates the value of interorganizational learning across two or more sectors of organizations.

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