Title page for ETD etd-05072008-142038

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Byers, Erin Diane
URN etd-05072008-142038
Title Learning about Accountability: The Case of the Operations Evaluation Department at the World Bank
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Weisband, Edward Committee Chair
Hoon, Parakh Committee Member
Hult, Karen M. Committee Member
Luke, Timothy W. Committee Member
  • Organizational Learning
  • World Bank
  • Accountability
  • Systems Thinking
Date of Defense 2008-04-28
Availability unrestricted
For decades, the World Bank has been criticized for the social and environmental consequences of its practices in implementing projects. In response, many different groups, including NGOs, have demanded greater World Bank accountability. One avenue through which accountability can be achieved is organizational learning. The Operations Evaluations Department (OED) at the World Bank is one organization that can hold the World Bank accountable through learning. Therefore, this study examines the OED as a learning organization. It does this by applying Peter Senge’s conceptualization of learning as “systems thinking.” The study seeks to answer the question: Has “systems thinking” contributed to organizational learning in the case of the OED? The study finds that the answer to this question is “yes.” This finding also has implications for the study of “systems thinking” itself through developing a method to measure “systems thinking” and for accountability at the World Bank through the OED organizational learning.

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