The theories of Senge and Argyris and Schön were used in analysing an attempt to develop a learning organization in a Swedish manufacturer of tools. The research was a case study, using different sources of evidence for validating results. The organizational learning theory used puts emphasis on the individual in the flow‐group. Barriers to learning have been found because an individual’s mental models and metaphors are not consistent with management’s. When, as in the studied case, the ideology of organizational learning is not followed by values and norms for behaviour supporting the new ideology then barriers to learning occur. Barriers to learning have been traced to dilemmas caused by the individual and the flow‐group, the organizational structure and managerial actions.
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