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Sustaining swedens competitive position: Lean lifelong learning
Uppsala University.
Luleå University.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.
Norrbotten County Council.
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2015 (English)In: Measuring Business Excellence, ISSN 1368-3047, E-ISSN 1758-8057, Vol. 19, no 1, 92-102 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore what options the adult learner has for continued learning and what role universities are playing in providing net-based education. Current options for lifelong learning and improvement opportunities in the educational process are described based on an assessment inspired by principles of lean management. Design/methodology/approach – Sweden is chosen as an example. The current level of net-based university education and the demand for it is assessed using official Swedish data. Lean management principles are used as a starting point to define parameters for interest for the adult learner. These parameters are then converted into a five-level scale for assessing current performance with focus on university courses. The authors also study how Swedish County Councils manage their employee education and carry out a check of courses offered by massive open online course providers. Findings – Lean management principles in combination with customer focus seem to present relevant parameters for assessing distance education. Preliminary results indicate that lean lifelong learning has a considerable improvement potential. The main reasons for this potential seem to be more of a bureaucratic and political nature, whereas technology and resources appear to be less of an issue. Practical implications – The results have implications for both universities and organisations. The pressure on universities to become more customer-focussed, while at the same time, cost-effectiveness is likely to increase. Originality/value – Using the customer perspective for educational services and applying lean principles to education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015. Vol. 19, no 1, 92-102 p.
Keyword [en]
Lifelong learning, Organisational learning, Competence development, Distance education, Lean learning, Massive open online courses
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-44880DOI: 10.1108/MBE-11-2014-0045ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84928106561OAI: diva2:952754
Available from: 2016-08-15 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-15Bibliographically approved

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