Exploitative learning in inter-organizational projects: Evidence from Dutch infrastructure practices

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Purpose - How learning is facilitated in inter-organizational projects remains underdeveloped in the literature. The aim of this study is to focus on viewing the relationship between the multiple organizations in a project, from a perspective of the learning aspect. Design/Methodology/Approach - This research analyses the learning trajectory that occurred in the largest tunnel project in the Netherlands. Data were collected through archival documents, in-depth interviews, and site visits. Answering the research question will be done through inductive research. Findings - The results indicate that the most significant change that exploitative learning has led to is the change in mind-set. The learning paradox of projects does not play a factor in the learning trajectory present at the GSP project. Research Limitations/Implications - While the research was conducted in a Dutch context, it is suggested that the findings presented would align with the experiences of construction organizations in other parts of the world. Practical Implications - The findings have implications for understanding learning in practical project management. The organizations need to focus on learning initiatives on people, and not on the collection of data. Originality/Value - This research responds to the debate over the learning in projects. Learning stimulates openness and that this has positive impact omcollaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmerald Reach Proceedings Series
Subtitle of host publication10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
PublisherEmerald Publishing
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83867-051-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Exploitative learning
  • Inductive research
  • Infrastructure construction projects
  • Inter-organizational projects
  • Mind-set change
  • Organizational culture


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