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Learning organization thought leaders interview series: Interim synthesis of commonalities and differences

Simon R. Reese (University of Maryland, Adelphi, Maryland, USA)
Yusuf Sidani (Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 2 March 2020

Issue publication date: 17 April 2020



The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the learnings from prior interviews with thought leaders in learning organization conceptual development. Prior interviews with Karen Watkins, Victoria Marsick, Michael Marquardt, Bob Garratt and Peter Senge are included in the summary, which is an interim step as The Learning Organization continues to explore the learning organization history and evolution.


The paper summarizes prior interviews to uncover commonalities and differences in the development and evolution of the learning organization concepts as described by thought leaders.


Both commonalities and differences exist in definition, development of theory and resilience since original publication. Common threads in concept develop appear across the authors mainly in influences by Revans, Argyris and Schön. Differences also exist in how each author developed learning organization constructs.


The synthesis reveals that although the learning organization may have differing definitions, there are commonalities that tie some concepts together. Additional interviews will be continued in the exploration of the learning organization evolution.



Reese, S.R. and Sidani, Y. (2020), "Learning organization thought leaders interview series: Interim synthesis of commonalities and differences", The Learning Organization, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 163-171.



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