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De Alliantie Academy

Aligning strategic learning

Rademakers M. (2014)

The parent organization of this corporate university is the Netherlands-based housing corporation “De Alliantie” (The Alliance), which houses approximately 130,000 people. De Alliantie was created through a merger of various housing corporations and, over a period of over 10 years, transformed itself from “De Alliantie 1.0” (a rather loose association of organizations) to a more integrated “De Alliantie 2.0” and then into a firmly integrated company, “De Alliantie 3.0”. De Alliantie Academy has been initiated by the Board of Directors of De Alliantie. The corporate university got assigned a modest role as a low-profile binding factor in a loosely coupled organization. The case describes how De Alliantie Academy soon had to expand its role, transforming into a corporate university with an annual budget of half a million Euros, and with the aim to drive further integration of the parent organization. The corporate strategy of De Alliantie still is to realize a tighter integrated, learning organization. With the help of ‘learning lines’ (function focused learning programs) developed in tune with the parent company strategy, the organization evolves into the desired direction. Among other things, the impact of learning consists of behavioral change, change of corporate processes, and leadership development. One of the insights of De Alliantie Academy that can be found in the case is that:

“A corporate university stimulates the company to translate abstract strategy into concrete learning goals. This can only be done on the condition that the corporate university has the position within the company to be accepted to do that, and also has the expertise to be able to make it work.”

Keywords: strategy, corporate university, organizational learning