Black swans don’t fly double loops: the limits of the learning organization?

Steven Henderson (Southampton Business School, East Park Terrace, Southampton, UK)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 1 August 1997


States that in order to remain competitive, organizations must scan and analyse environmental turbulence, formulate appropriate strategic plans and implement these through a change management process. In short, the organization must routinely learn and relearn about its environment, and learn new ways to change and implement policy and process. Examines how this organizational learning would need to be carried out as scientifically as possible in order to verify that incoming knowledge is demonstrably superior to the old. Attempts to sight the limits of the learning organization by asking questions about what organizations are capable of knowing and understanding. Explains that this is not intended as a critique of the concept. Hopes that such discussion will help to prevent the degeneration of the helpful ideas developed in the literature so far, into another trite managerial fashion and language.



Henderson, S. (1997), "Black swans don’t fly double loops: the limits of the learning organization?", The Learning Organization, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 99-105.

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Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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