No shine without friction. Community-based action research on the values of transformative mediation in a Dutch ' learning school' organisation.

  • M. Zoet

Student thesis: Master's Thesis: Humanistic Studies


This study is about the contribution of a transformative approach on conflict in school organisations to the foundation of a learning school. Using a mix of survey questions and semi-structured interviews, a community-based action research was conducted in a Dutch secondary school to 1) investigate the relation between empowerment and conflict in establishing a learning school 2) demonstrate the potential of transformative mediation as organisation development model. The effect of the school’s focus on empowerment to enhance collaboration, independence and diversity among staff members caused an increase of conflicts, because more people were enabled by the school to use their voice. This lead to a conflict avoiding culture in which people felt disconnected from the school’s management and self-absorbed in fear and apathy. Through the double-loop learning effect of this thesis’ research into the organisation’s mental models on conflict, new perspectives were discovered to transform their approach of the learning organisation. Based on these results, it’s concluded that a conflict management system based on the values of transformative mediation is indispensable to successfully implement the concept of a learning organisation.
Date of Award1 Jan 2017
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorH. van der Meide (Supervisor) & Y. A. M. Leeman (Supervisor)

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