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UNIVERSITY AND INDUSTRY INTERACTION IN LEARNING FROM INCIDENTS

D. Lukic, A. Littlejohn, A. Margaryan

Glasgow Caledonian University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Learning from incidents (LFI) typically refers to a set of initiatives in organisations aimed at improving individual, team and organisational learning from health and safety incidents in the workplace. It is important to understand the incidents and learn from them so that they do not reoccur, as well as draw learning points for new types of incidents. However, in practice the development in the industry regarding LFI is not usually underpinned by education and organisational learning research into learning processes, but predominantly relies on health and safety specific knowledge. This is due to tendency for knowledge to be developed in separate disciplinary (e.g. learning sciences and health and safety) and sectoral silos (e.g. industry and university). A research project titled ‘Learning from Incidents: A social approach to learning from health and safety incidents’ aims to bridge this gap by engaging university research directly with the industry through working with two multinational industries in the energy sector. The project involves series of workshops which are conducted with the employees using the Change Laboratory method originating in the Activity Theory (Engeström, 1996).Through highly participative, iterative sessions, researchers and employees work together in finding solutions to issues uncovered through research. Change Laboratory provides an opportunity for bringing together university researchers and industry practitioners in order to promote effective LFI in organisations. Therefore the Change Laboratory' method has a potential for boundary crossing learning at two fronts. Firstly, it provides a platform for intersectoral boundary crossing in learning between academia and the industry. Secondly, it allows for interdisciplinary boundary crossing between the areas of health and safety and (organisational) learning.