To read this content please select one of the options below:

Learning culture, continuous learning, organizational learning anthropologist

Hester van Breda-Verduijn (TriamFloat, Utrecht, Netherlands)
Marjoleine Heijboer (Triamfloat, Utrecht, Netherlands)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 7 March 2016




The purpose of this paper is to clarify the way an organizational culture forms the right breeding ground for continuous learning. More and more organizations feel the urgency for innovation and continuous improvement. Learning is a key issue in this. A powerful culture of learning forms an effective breeding ground for continuous learning. That is the reason why in this paper the concept of “learning culture” will be analyzed: how will it contribute to continuous improvement and innovation? The authors will answer this question by taking the perspective of an organizational learning anthropologist.


The paper combines the perspective of educational sciences and cultural anthropology, and is based on a variety of professional literature. The main point of reference is the model of organizational culture of Schein (1999).


Each organization has its own unique learning culture. A learning culture is considered effective when it is supporting the organizational objectives. And a learning culture is effective when it forms an effective breeding ground for the learning needed within the organization.


This perspective will bring learning and development professionals new ways of looking at the learning issues and solutions in their organizations. They will get acquainted with the method to analyze the learning culture in their own organization. They will understand how their organizational culture can influence learning issues. Besides that, they will get some ideas on how to improve the learning culture of their organization.


This paper combines insights from cultural anthropology and educational sciences.



van Breda-Verduijn, H. and Heijboer, M. (2016), "Learning culture, continuous learning, organizational learning anthropologist", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 123-128.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles