The learning conference

Ina Louw (Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt (Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 24 May 2011



The aim of this paper is to identify the principles and characteristics of a learning conference which uses action learning and action research (ALAR) processes to create: optimal learning for all participants through a collaborative, inclusive conference culture; further knowledge creation in publishing conference papers post‐conference through a supportive research culture.


The 2010 World Congress of the Action Learning and Action Research Association (ALARA) is showcased to exemplify a learning conference, using the PIP (preamble–interview–postscript) framework to demonstrate the utility of this new genre for research and writing conference papers and action research models as frameworks to support publishing articles.


Discussion offers ways to enhance opportunities for conference learning through creative purposeful activities that promote collaboration, critical thinking and reflection, and models of action research cycles to progress research from conference presentation to journal article.


The paper makes the crucial link between conference procedure and publication of learning from conference to extend knowledge creation. The PIP model used here presents ways for novice researchers to network with experienced researchers through interview, for professional development, career advancement and publication.



Louw, I. and Zuber‐Skerritt, O. (2011), "The learning conference", The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 288-300.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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