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Article

Nhien Nguyen and Jens Ørding Hansen

Responding to a call from the conference “Becoming a leader: A matter of education?”, this paper aims to raise awareness of the challenge for individuals of performing…

Abstract

Purpose

Responding to a call from the conference “Becoming a leader: A matter of education?”, this paper aims to raise awareness of the challenge for individuals of performing both leadership and management activities and draws attention to the need for a new approach to educating and training leader-managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the existing literature and discussions from the abovementioned conference, the paper questions the current approaches which either merge the leadership and management functions or treat them as mutually exclusive roles and offers instead a dual approach that emphasizes the capacity of individuals to switch mindsets.

Findings

Managing and leading are distinct activities with different goals and means that need to co-exist. Individuals should be prepared to either manage or lead depending on the situation and to change their mindset accordingly. Education and training programs should be designed for this purpose.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a dual “leading-managing mix” and discusses the challenges of its implementation by individuals. The discussion of the implications for training and education will be of value to practitioners as well as educators and training specialists.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Content available
Article

Jens Ørding Hansen, Are Jensen and Nhien Nguyen

This study aims to investigate whether the learning organization, as envisioned by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline (1990), facilitates responsible innovation.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate whether the learning organization, as envisioned by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline (1990), facilitates responsible innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyze the component characteristics of the learning organization as defined by Senge (1990) to identify any conceptual or causal connections to responsible research and innovation (RRI). To define RRI, the authors make use of a commonly cited framework from the academic literature that is consistent with the vision of RRI promoted in European Union policy.

Findings

The authors find significant complementarities between being a learning organization and practicing responsible innovation. Some of the practices and characteristics of a learning organization in the sense of Senge (1990) do not merely facilitate RRI, they are RRI by definition. One important caveat is that to qualify as a responsible innovator according to the proposed framework, an organization must involve external stakeholders in the innovation process, a requirement that has no parallel in The Fifth Discipline. The authors conclude that there is at most a small step from being a learning organization to becoming a responsibly innovating learning organization.

Originality/value

The authors propose a reconsideration of the scope of applicability of Senge’s theory, opening new possibilities for drawing inspiration from The Fifth Discipline 30 years after the book was first published. The authors conclude that there may be significant non-economic advantages to being a learning organization, and that The Fifth Discipline may be more valuable for its ethical perspectives on the organization than as a prescription for how to achieve business success.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Article

Nhien Nguyen and Jens Ørding Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to revive interest in the question, never definitively answered, which Stephen Watson raised in the title of his 2000 paper, “Why is it that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to revive interest in the question, never definitively answered, which Stephen Watson raised in the title of his 2000 paper, “Why is it that management academics rarely advise on their own institutions?” It is argued that finding the answer to the question would not only be interesting in and of itself but could also lead to valuable contributions to the theory of the learning organization.

Design/methodology/approach

Inspired by Watson’s original paper and a new interview the authors made with him in 2017, this paper discusses the possible explanations for why management academics rarely advise on their own institutions and sets out an agenda for future research.

Findings

The authors suggest a simple three-way categorization of the nine hypotheses identified by Watson (2000), grouping them by the themes of management knowledge, motivation of higher education institution (HEI) managers and incentives for academics to engage. This study proposes an integrated framework to illustrate how these three categories of hypotheses are connected and can jointly explain the observed phenomenon. The study provides theoretical underpinnings for the most promising hypotheses and suggests an agenda for future research, emphasizing the potential of such research to contribute to the learning organization field.

Research limitations/implications

This paper should not be interpreted primarily as an attempt to provide support for any particular hypothesis. Rather, the principal aim of the authors is to sketch out a future research agenda and inspire others to contribute empirical evidence that can help shed light on the paradox of why management academics rarely advise on their own institutions.

Originality/value

The theoretical contribution of this paper is to revive the important research topic of “why management academics do not seem to be widely engaged in advising university managers” (Watson, 2000, p. 99) and to introduce a research agenda that can help realize the potential contribution of this topic to the learning organization literature. The practical contribution is to re-address the difficulties of HEIs in becoming full-fledged “learning organizations” and to suggest that HEI managers re-examine the possibilities for using hitherto untapped internal expertise.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Abstract

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Abstract

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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