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The troublesome relationship between action learning and organizational growth

Ivo De Loo (Ivo De Loo is an Assistant Professor in Management Accounting, Open University of the Netherlands, Heerlen, The Netherlands.)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 September 2002



Action learning is one of the “action science” or “action oriented research methods” one finds in the literature. The method is to be used when a firm or a manager is confronted with complex, non‐routine problems for which no standard solutions exist. As a result of applying the method, new problem solving strategies may be identified and personal growth may be realized. The action learning literature suggests that thereafter, organizational growth will occur as well. However, transferring personal into organizational growth is a process that is less clear‐cut than is mostly thought. Knowledge management systems have to be set up in order to avoid moral hazard from appearing, so that an organization may reap the full benefits of an action learning program. The institutions that shape an organization, and organizational culture in particular, influence the structure of such a system. Unless these elements are sufficiently taken into account, they may explain why action learning fails to achieve its wider potential, as is sometimes proclaimed in the literature.



De Loo, I. (2002), "The troublesome relationship between action learning and organizational growth", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 245-255.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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