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How chief learning officers build learning organizations

Veronica D. Haight (School of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA)
Michael J. Marquardt (George Washington University, Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 5 September 2018

Issue publication date: 30 October 2018




This study aims to identify how and why chief learning officers (CLOs) build the learning organization. The study was undertaken in the conceptual framework of leadership and change by using the lens of the Marquardt Systems Model.


This exploratory study used semi-structured interviews with 20 participants. The purpose of the interviews was to understand the themes and subthemes associated with how CLOs define and build the learning organization, as well as the activities and strategies they use to build a learning organization.


Four major conclusions were drawn from the study: CLOs collaborate and encourage others to collaborate both within and outside of the organization; they assess and measure learning and development programs consistently; they seek and secure funding and resources; and they have a vision for the learning organization and realize that vision through strategy development and implementation.


This study is the first to provide comprehensive research on how CLOs build learning organizations, as well as the first to analyze this role using the Marquardt Systems Model.



Haight, V.D. and Marquardt, M.J. (2018), "How chief learning officers build learning organizations", The Learning Organization, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 331-343.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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