Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Visual Models as Vehicles for Organisational Learning

Vibeke Dalberg, Siri Moe Jensen, John Krogstie.

The ability to change through learning – both in the sense of adaptability and through more proactive or innovative behaviour - was increasingly described as a key success factor for organisations in the previous century. Major challenges are related to the sharing, combination and exploitation of knowledge distributed across individuals and organisational units, especially knowledge of a tacit character, which is not easily expressed.

This paper uses examples from a case project to illustrate the use of visual process models (representations of work processes with graphics as their main structuring element) to facilitate organisational learning in different contexts. The case project objective was to streamline and harmonise work processes across the local offices of a global organisation. The offices differ in size, origin, service profile, market and customers – and are spread all over the world. Collaborative learning within and across several groups of employees was critical in several phases of the project: Local and central management needed to agree on the new harmonised process, domain workers and IT developers had to communicate in the development of tools to support the new process, and local workers and project representatives cooperated to implement and adjust the new process and tools in the local offices.

The case examples are analysed and categorised in light of organisational learning theories. The experience of developing and using visual process models in the case are discussed in relation to this, indicating under which conditions visual process modelling seems to be better suited to support organisational learning.


Vibeke Dalberg  (Norway)

Det Norske Veritas

Siri Moe Jensen  (Norway)
Senior Research Scientist
Research Department
Det Norske Veritas

John Krogstie  (Norway)

Sintef and IDI, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU)

  • Visual Process Models
  • Organisational Learning
  • Tacit Knowledge

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)