How does organisational culture influence the process of implementing PBL?

Keywords: change process, implementation, organisational change, organisational culture, problem based learning,


With the growing demand to use pedagogical approaches to foster 21st-century skills such as problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, collaborative learning and innovation, problem-based learning (PBL) has been the pedagogical approach chosen by many educational institutions. However, moving from traditional teaching to PBL demands an organisational change. Although organisational culture is widely recognised as a critical success factor in the implementation of PBL, the literature provides very limited insight into how it influences the implementation process of PBL. This paper provides an empirical analysis of the influence of organisational culture on PBL implementation. The research is based on the analysis of two groups that have been involved in implementing PBL for several years. A focus group interview was conducted with each group to identify traits of organizational culture. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) was applied to identify the dominant type of culture in each group. The findings indicated that some cultural traits better supported the implementation of PBL. In particular, traits of clan culture were identified to be more aligned with PBL principles. In addition, understanding the current culture of a given organisation enables people to be more aware of the level of change that is required to implement PBL in their organisations.


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