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Fighting for victory on the learning battlefield: Lessons in empowerment from the military

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

While intended as a bridge between the concepts of learning organization and organizational learning, current conceptualizations of organizational learning capability still predominantly lean toward the learning organization side, specifically directed at profit firms. The purpose of this paper is to propose a four-dimensional model of organization learning capability that leans more toward the organizational learning side, specifically directed at non-profit and government organizations in general, and army organizations in particular. This model is applied to the British Army in the Second World War.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper entails a secondary analysis of historical and military sources and data.

Findings

This paper proposes a four-dimensional model of organization learning capability that leans more toward the organizational learning side, specifically directed at non-profit and government organizations in general, and army organizations in particular. The study found that the British Army possessed only a moderate learning capability, which can be plausibly, but not exclusively, related to differences in battlefield performance between the British and the German Army in the Second World War.

Originality/value

The paper ranks among the first organizational papers to analyze army operations and functioning from the perspective of organizational learning capability.

Keywords

Citation

(2017), "Fighting for victory on the learning battlefield: Lessons in empowerment from the military", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 24-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/DLO-04-2017-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited