Institutions and Participation

The last two blog posts looked at learning together and participation – so what do institutions claim in relation to these two themes? As my main field of work is currently workplace learning and management development, it seemed most appropriate to examine examples from this field.

Interestingly in light of the last two blogs, is the fact that many management development programmes emphasis one-to-one work with a coach particularly at senior management levels and there is little mention of learning together or participative learning strategies. Perhaps this reflects prevalent models of management and leadership at that level? In addition a great deal of focus is placed on meeting the organisation’s needs, presumably aimed at marketing the course to the business client as opposed to describing the delivery strategies.


Dale Carnegie 1 is a well-known provider in this field. Their homepage hints at participation with phrases such as ‘engage your teams’, ‘coach them’ but has no specific information on delivery methods.

Investigating one of their courses, the Executive Leadership Programme 2 describes how it:

  • brings ‘together senior leaders with similar values and aspirations’
  • in a ‘safe environment’
  • with ‘the catalyst of an experienced Dale Carnegie coach’

The implication is that the participants will be learning together and presumably from each other. However in terms of participation the content appears to be fixed so participation is limited to sharing examples of application and experience – something which is a valid and in my opinion extremely effective form of participation but is not on the same level of true participative learning.


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