Universities as inclusive learning organizations for women?

Patricia Gouthro (Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Canada)
Nancy Taber (Faculty of Education, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Canada)
Amanda Brazil (Faculty of Education, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 8 January 2018



The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of the learning organization, first discussed by Senge (1990), to determine if it can work as a model in the higher education sector.


Using a critical feminist framework, this paper assesses the possibilities and challenges of viewing universities as inclusive learning organizations, with a particular focus on women in academic faculty and leadership roles.


It argues that, ultimately, the impact of neoliberal values and underlying systemic structures that privilege male scholars need to be challenged through shifts in policies and practices to address ongoing issues of gender inequality in higher education.


The paper draws attention to the need to bring a critical feminist lens to an analysis of the concept of the learning organization if it is to be perceived as having merit in the higher education sector.



Gouthro, P., Taber, N. and Brazil, A. (2018), "Universities as inclusive learning organizations for women?", The Learning Organization, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 29-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-05-2017-0049

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