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The Learning Organization:: Losing the Luggage in Transit?

Penny West (Department of Organization and Management Studies, Edge Hill Collage of Higher Education, Ormskirk, UK.)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Article publication date: 1 December 1994


Opens up the debate surrounding the wisdom of the attempted implementation of the learning organization approach to deal with environmental uncertainty and examines some potential problems and barriers within traditional organizations. Discusses cultural, structural and socio‐structural factors which have an impact on the individual′s sense of identity with the organization, and focuses on the required realignments to these interrelated variables if the approach is to gain momentum. Considers the view that the process of learning will also necessitate the unlearning of previous behaviours cultivated within former established systems. Argues that the prospect of generating internal confusion, together with a sense of organizational amnesia, might reduce rather than increase stability for some companies. Concludes that, on the basis that cultures and socio‐structures cannot be manipulated at the discretion of managers, alternative strategies to organizational learning may be more appropriate for future survival, but warns that those managers inspired to implement the approach within their organizations, should be aware that the process is lengthy, high in resource implications and not without risk.



West, P. (1994), "The Learning Organization:: Losing the Luggage in Transit?", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 18 No. 11, pp. 30-38.




Copyright © 1994, MCB UP Limited