This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of learning organization concepts from the perspective of Nancy Dixon, who has been at the forefront of the learning organization discussion since the 1980s.
Through a conversation with Dixon, and a scan of some of her works, this paper discusses several topics pertaining to the evolution of the learning organization debate, from Dixon’s perspective.
Dixon’s understanding of learning organizations was influenced by concepts related to action learning where people in organizations learn through meeting and talking about their problems. What distinguishes her understanding from others in that it is built more on the perspective of psychological safety, as inspired by Amy Edmonson's work.
Dixon acknowledges that her work has had more impact on the practitioner side. Dixon maintains that learning organizations are more egalitarian and move away from hierarchy. There are ethical underpinnings to this understanding as, with psychological safety, people are willing to speak up in those situations when their voices are needed to be heard.
Sidani, Y. and Reese, S. (2020), "Nancy Dixon: empowering the learning organization through psychological safety", The Learning Organization, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 259-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-01-2020-0015Download as .RIS
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