Institutionalization of Governance and the Transition from ‘Fake’ Learning to ‘Real’ Learning: Dispute over the Modernization of a Wastewater Treatment Plant and an Incineration Plant

  • Marta Strumińska-Kutra


The case illustrates the process during which a new participatory governance mode was being institutionalized within the organizational structures of the city, how it found its way through the established ways of thinking and acting, eventually becoming part of formal regulations at the city level. Initially, governance as an approach to public management was used above all instrumentally. Yet, even such ‘fake’ learning resulted in institutional changes, initially unintended by the subjects of learning. This unintended result emerged through the process of negotiations over meaning and power struggle. Observation of the process facilitates differentiation between learning as an individual and institutionalization as a meso-level phenomenon.


Institutionalization Fake learning Double-loop and single-loop learning 


  1. Argyris, C., and Donald A. Schön. 1978. Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  2. Gilardi, F., and C.M. Radaelli. 2012. Governance and Learning. In The Oxford Handbook of Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Hallet, Tim, and Marc Ventresca. 2006. Inhabited Institutions: Social Interactions and Organizational Forms in Gouldner’s ‘Patterns of Industrial Bureaucracy’. Theory and Society 35 (2): 213–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Rządca, Robert, and Marta Strumińska-Kutra. 2016. Local Governance and Learning: In Search of a Conceptual Framework. Local Government Studies 42 (6): 916–937. Scholar
  5. Schreyögg, Georg, Jörg Sydow, and Philip Holtmann. 2011. How History Matters in Organisations: The Case of Path Dependence. Management & Organizational History 6 (81): 81–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Strumińska-Kutra
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Kozminski UniversityWarsawPoland
  2. 2.VID Specialized UniversityOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations