IN IT TOGETHER: ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING THROUGH PARTICIPATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
This research explores opportunities for organizational learning through participation in environmental assessment (EA). The study examines information sharing, information interpretation, organizational memory and learning outcomes of organizations involved in two concurrent but geographically separate EAs: the Wuskwatim generation station and transmission lines projects (Manitoba) and the Snap Lake project (Northwest Territories). Primary data collection included semi-structured interviews with EA participants, and a review of documentation generated through each EA. Data were analyzed based on criteria derived from organizational learning literature. Findings indicate that organizations have a variety of structures that facilitate learning. Learning outcomes by state actors emphasized "single-loop learning", activities designed to improve performance within the existing EA process. Public actors, however, identified a wider range of outcomes centred on changing the EA process, termed "double-loop learning". These learning outcomes provide invaluable information about strengthening project specific EA, and provide insight into improving resource management.
Organizational learning, environmental assessment, public participation, Canada
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