Linking mental models and cognitive maps as an aid to organisational learning

David P. Spicer (University of Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 1 June 1998


Effective organisational learning is critical in today’s turbulent business conditions, and for this to occur, an organisation requires an effective means of storing and transferring knowledge and learning between individuals and the organisation as a whole. Reviews two large disparate streams of research, concerning the concepts of mental models and cognitive maps, each of which has been posited as a potential mechanism for the storage and transfer of knowledge within an organisation. Confusion exists between the application of the two terms in studies of organisation, and both concepts suffer from a lack of clarity in their definition. Identifies major similarities and differences, and potential synergies that exist between mental models and cognitive maps, outlines their heuristic value, and identifies how they can be used together to further our understanding of organisational learning.



Spicer, D. (1998), "Linking mental models and cognitive maps as an aid to organisational learning", Career Development International, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 125-132.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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