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How do local authorities experience learning in response to changing practices: a case study of the digitalisation of planning at the London Borough of Camden
This dissertation aims to assess how local authorities experience learning in response to changing practices, utilising the case study of digitalisation at the London Borough of Camden’s planning team to do so. The investigation uses the frameworks of new institutionalism and new public management to approach the research, drawing from these to inform a conception of organisational learning that informs the project’s argument. Through the conducting of semi-structured interviews with five professional planners at different levels of Camden’s planning team the study identifies some core topics of investigation, using these to answer the initial research question and conclude that digitalisation can bring both positive and negative learning – though this is dependent on certain factors. These findings are then broadened to the wider study of local authorities, suggesting that they are adaptive institutions that can adjust to change, but need support to garner positive benefits from this. The dissertation concludes by suggesting future avenues of research into the identified phenomenon of ‘intra-organisational cultures’, as well as possible repeats of this methodology in different context to support this study’s conclusion.

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