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Do organizations learn when employees learn: the link between individual and organizational learning

Richard Boateng (Department of Operations and MIS, University of Ghana Business School, Accra, Ghana)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the link between individual learning and organizational learning and offer guidelines to harness the individual capability of learning for organizational objectives.


This is a conceptual paper using arguments from the theory of meaning structures.


The author shows that, learning, whether organizational or individual, is about the construction and accessibility of meaning, and that such processes thrive in a culture which fosters collaborative team work.

Research limitations/implications

The theory presents a perspective of how organizational knowledge exists in a triad – private, accessible and collective – and the interrelationships to create organizational learning. These constructs can form the building blocks for future research.

Practical implications

The theory brings organizations closer to prioritizing and evaluating learning processes to ensure that they facilitate the accessibility of knowledge.

Social implications

The theory can enable organizations to identify processes which inhibit the accessibility of knowledge and create the environment to promote such.


The theory opens a new insight into viewing organizational learning from the perspective of constructing and sharing meaning structures.



Boateng, R. (2011), "Do organizations learn when employees learn: the link between individual and organizational learning", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 6-9.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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