Isomorphic Learning at a Disciplined. Nuclear Power Plant
In this thesis we have examined the Swedish nuclear power plant Ringhals by asking three questions: How does the search for legitimacy take shape at Ringhals?, What kinds of disciplining in Foucault’s terms can we find, and how do these affect the organization? and Which types of learning can we find at Ringhals and how do they learn from experiences? To answer these questions we have interviewed 24 employees, mainly about learning issues, but found indicators for legitimacy seeking and disciplining as well. The special characteristics of the nuclear power industry with its safety rules, authority control, terrorist threat, public fear, risk management and environmental issues, make it interesting to study. In line with our questions we have analyzed the material along three master tracks; new institutional theory, disciplining and organizational learning. We have been overloaded with ingredients, which we have tried to sort out, cook, package and serve in a delicious takeaway meal, provided in this thesis. We concluded that the search for legitimacy has many faces at Ringhals. Giving an old phenomenon a new costume brings attention to the issue and might speed up the change process, which always is slow due to inertia. We also found fractions of strong corporate culture (or brainwashing, depending on which mood you’re in), separation from the outside world, division of space and functional locations. Although Ringhals has a substantial learning toolbox, we have considered high reporting frequency as a crucial prerequisite for learning, which turned our interest to factors contributing to reporting. Besides the reporting, we believe that their practice to ask “Why” is a good way of learning from experiences. If you think that it is enough to read the abstract or the conclusions to understand this thesis, we strongly recommend that you read the complete composition, since there are some grains of gold along the way...