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Learning organisation review – a “good” theory perspective

Mijalce Santa (Faculty of Economics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 13 July 2015




The purpose of this paper is to perform integrative literature review of the learning organisation (LO) concept, on the basis of the results of the literature review to assess the concept on the principles of “good” theory, and provide future avenues for LO concept clarification and development.


The “good” theory properties approach is used to present, synthesise and discuss studies that focus on the LO. The paper reviews in more detail the definitions (Who? and What?), the domain (When? and Where?), the relationships (How? and Why?) and the predictions by the LO theory (Would? Should? and Could?).


The review revealed that the LO violates the properties of the “good” theory, especially the definitions’ and relationships’ properties. As a result, it is suggested for the research in the future to be focused on creation of formal conceptual definitions, development of ontology as a base for clarification of the relationship property and improve the instruments for measurement of the LO.


Previously published literature reviews have advanced the clarification of the LO concept. However, there remains a need for evaluation of the concept in light of approach to concept formation. By using the “good” theory approach, this paper identified the shortcomings and laid down the ground for future research that will improve the LO concept.



Santa, M. (2015), "Learning organisation review – a “good” theory perspective", The Learning Organization, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 242-270.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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