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Learning, Development, and Change in a Community-Based Enterprise in Myanmar Open Access

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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the process of learning and organization development and change (ODC) in a community-based enterprise in Myanmar as impacted by a certificate program in organizational development. Decades of military rule, civil war, and limited access to high-quality health and education services led to the creation of over 200,000 community-based organizations and enterprises in Myanmar. One initiative to support development and change in these organizations was the Payap University-International Rescue Committee Certificate Program in Organizational Development that was offered to members of over 100 organizations in Southeast Myanmar and along the Thai-Myanmar border from 2014-2017. One exemplary organization that had four members participate in the certificate program was selected for this study, and data were collected over a four-week period through interviews, observations, documents, and a focus group. The primary research question framing this study addressed how the process of learning and ODC occurred in this organization as impacted by the certificate program. The following three categories emerged from the data analysis: learning from the certificate program, the process of learning and change, and evidence for change. These findings led to an understanding of the essence of the process of learning and change, first through the diffusion of learning in the organization as a driver of development and change, and then through an open-systems change model including its inputs, changes processes, and outputs. In addition to the certificate program as an input to development and change processes, this study showed the importance of political and economic changes, culture, and organization characteristics as antecedents to change. This research highlighted the centrality of social learning through role modeling in the diffusion of learning and demonstrated the importance of buy-in from the organization’s members as well as their perceived alignment of the change efforts with the needs or the organization.

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