Lisbon, our new editorial objectives and the papers in this issue

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 20 September 2011



Eijkman, H. (2011), "Lisbon, our new editorial objectives and the papers in this issue", The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Lisbon, our new editorial objectives and the papers in this issue

Article Type: Editorial From: The Learning Organization, Volume 18, Issue 6

The fact that I am writing this editorial from Lisbon is apparently not without significance. My Lonely Planet book (Walker, 2009, p. 149) tells me that “there’s no denying Lisbon had an image problem until recently: seen as the shabbier, shyer and altogether less sexy girl-next-door of flamboyant, extrovert Spain”. When it comes to the competitive world of international journals, one might argue that TLO, as a quality middle-level journal has, like Lisbon, and other middle-level journals, also an image problem. I had the pleasure last week of finally meeting Peter Smith, our esteemed Consulting Editor, in person. We discussed the current state of play of TLO in the context of top ranking journals. Out of this discussion I emerged convinced that my earlier rewriting of the editorial objectives was well motivated, but at this time perhaps somewhat over ambitious. The point is that, for the time being at least, we have to be realistic about our status as a good midfield player, and recognize that we will not be able to compete with the top journals in this field. Therefore I have decided that we can build a reputation as an international journal that warmly welcomes fresh and insightful papers from early career researchers and practitioners, and perhaps well known “old-timers”, keen to embark on a fresh – and refreshing – itinerary. So I am thinking here of a two track program of improving TLO, first, by creating a welcoming and supportive community of researchers and practitioners from around the globe.

I would like TLO to acquire a reputation for excellence, not just for the papers it presents, but for the quality of support we offer to our authors, especially those who draw critically on their own socio-cultural contexts in presenting valuable insights about what it means to be a learning organization (LO) or engage in organizational learning (OL). So yes, TLO may not yet be the glamorous girl-next-door compared to our competition, but we offer a welcoming abode for prospective and current authors who have valuable and useful insights to share. This is especially important for those relatively new to publishing in international journals, and whose first language is not English.

It is increasingly clear that if OL and LO are to remain valuable and useful concepts for practice in the real world, we must now begin to chart new waters. And TLO is well positioned to do so. We have to date a rich collection of studies that have explored current concepts albeit in a range of national settings (and of which this issue is another good example) and we have always welcomed conceptual and empirical papers and qualitative as well as quantitative researchers. This is not always the case especially as the animosity between the two research traditions is alive and well in many intellectual circles. Our next step is to encourage our past, current, and future authors to increasingly take on not just a more bold and creative stance but, above all, to tackle the urgent demands faced by organizations and their personnel in the participatory age of social media, enterprise 2.0. We need to go beyond traditional conceptualizations of organizational productivity and historic “management-as-usual” practices to organizational architectures sensitive to ecological and social, as well as economic sustainability and viability in emerging and highly complex environments.

May I encourage you to begin to soundly explore these issues, and to find others willing to do so and to publish their ideas, insights and research in an increasingly vibrant TLO.

Below is a copy of the proposed new editorial objectives. Your comments are, as always, most welcome (send to

Proposed new editorial objectives

The Learning Organization focuses on new ideas, fresh approaches, and innovative methods. We promote critical dialogue around current issues and offer practical case studies to practitioners, consultants, researchers and students, worldwide.

This international journal of critical studies in organizational learning attracts authors and readers from around the globe who are interested in a progressive, if not critical, dialogue about what it means to be a learning organization, and how to promote organizational learning, in diverse socio-cultural settings. We very much welcome authors who provide our broad range of readers with ideas, insights, research projects, and case studies of practices from around the globe that are, above all, topical, fresh, theoretically informed, critically inclined, and of practical significance to practitioners or researchers. We are also putting issues around organizational learning and networking in the participatory age of social media firmly on the agenda. This includes, for instance, the use of mobile technologies and a focus on enterprise 2.0 for leveraging innovation and organizational results. We also embrace critical analyses, such as of organizational cultures, power arrangements, politics, and managerial ideologies.

In contributing to this journal you will find yourself in the company of an international community of practitioners and researchers who engage in progressive inquiries and critical dialogue about organizational learning. It means belonging to a community whose interests go beyond traditional conceptualizations of organizational productivity and historic “management-as-usual” practices to organizational architectures sensitive to ecological and social, as well as economic sustainability and viability in emerging and highly complex environments. We warmly invite you to join us.

This issue: LO, OL and KM in a range of national settings

The papers in this issue have a consistent theme: the application of LO, OL, or KM in different national contexts. I will briefly introduce them here.

The opening paper by Clair Doloriert and Kieran Whitworth analyzes one aspect of football that, although perhaps less glamorous, is increasingly pertinent: KM practices in two English football clubs. Dee Gray and Sian Williams explore learning from adverse incidents by National Health Service (NHS) staff in the UK. Yoram Mitki and Ram Herstein look at OL through three case studies of the rebranding of major organizations in Israel. Ji Hoon Song, Chang-Wook Jeung and Sei Hyoung Cho examine LO and OL from within a Korean context. Cathrine Filstad and Petter Gottschalk take us back to Norway in their study of what two groups of police managers think about being a LO. Last but not least we have Deepak Chawla and Himanshu Joshi who, in their preliminary study, analyze the impact of KM on LO in an Indian context.

I trust you find these papers insightful and useful.

Henk Eijkman


Walker, K. (2009), Libon: Encounter, Lonely Planet, Footscray

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