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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2020

Simon Reese

This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of learning organization concepts from the perspective of Dr Peter Senge and presents an interesting evolution of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of learning organization concepts from the perspective of Dr Peter Senge and presents an interesting evolution of his systems oriented view of the learning organization field over three decades.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a conversation with a thought leading scholar, Dr Peter Senge, this paper discusses several topics pertaining to the evolution of the learning organization through a systems approach and provides his perspectives on the development of his theories.

Findings

Dr Senge explains his origination of the learning organization from three distinctly different theoretical tracks. However, more important than the theory, he illuminates how the theories embedded within The Fifth Discipline actually originated from action research and have continued to evolve. Of particular interest, his sites personal mastery as the most often cited of the five disciplines and offers readers explanations as to why the personal change dimensions are so important, and so often neglected. He clearly describes what it takes to make genuine progress in becoming a learning organization.

Originality/value

The discussion with Dr Senge reveals his perspective on the evolution of the learning organization debate from his personal perspective. He provides insights that lead the reader to understand “what is a learning organization” and “what does it mean”.

Details

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

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Abstract

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2020

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Peter M Senge

Learning is now widely accepted as the currency of survival in an era of constant change. Many businesses, however, are struggling to learn how to learn. The cultural and…

Abstract

Learning is now widely accepted as the currency of survival in an era of constant change. Many businesses, however, are struggling to learn how to learn. The cultural and structural issues they need to confront in order to acquire the flexibility and responsiveness to learn were articulated in 1990 in The Fifth Discipline by Peter M Senge of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Measuring Business Excellence revisits this now landmark work to review its continuing relevance to the aspirant learning organization.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Raili Moilanen

Aims first, to develop an instrument for a holistic analysis of learning organizations; and second, to test the validity and reliability of this instrument. The framework…

Abstract

Aims first, to develop an instrument for a holistic analysis of learning organizations; and second, to test the validity and reliability of this instrument. The framework developed was mainly influenced by the work of Mike Pedler, Tom Boydell and John Burgoyne, Peter M. Senge as well as Chris Argyris and Donald A. Schön. Analyses eight existing diagnosis tools. The Learning Organization Diamond Tool was based on a concept of a learning organization regarded as a structure of related elements. Data consisting of 691 answers were gathered from 25 Finnish organizations in 1998. After analysis the reliability of the instrument was measured with Cronbach’s alpha. Cronbach’s alphas for the elements of the tool varied between 0.5141 and 0.8617. Validity of the tool was established by presenting the process as a chain of phases from theory to statements. Comparison between the tool developed and other tools presented in this article yields somewhat contradictory findings, because the purposes of the instruments differ. The tool developed here aims to create a holistic picture for further analysis and discussions and to serve as an internal tool for development. More tailored instruments should be developed for more specific purposes. The article is aimed at an audience involved in learning organizations and their development.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1993

Peter M. Senge and Robert M. Fulmer

Discusses “organizational learning”, and thecontribution of simulations and system dynamics to the improvement ofmanagers′ “mental worlds” in accelerating anticipatorylearning.

Abstract

Discusses “organizational learning”, and the contribution of simulations and system dynamics to the improvement of managers′ “mental worlds” in accelerating anticipatory learning.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1997

Steven H. Appelbaum and Lars Goransson

States that organizational learning is currently a fashionable concept, and this is due to an attempt by many large organizations to develop structures and systems that…

Abstract

States that organizational learning is currently a fashionable concept, and this is due to an attempt by many large organizations to develop structures and systems that are more adaptable and responsive to change. Reviews a framework for organizational learning and discusses the two main perspectives on the learning organization, that is, the focus on generative or transformational learning and the focus on incremental or adaptive learning. First, reviews a framework for organizational learning and examines the learning organization with regard to the twofold nature of organizational learning. Second, examines the generative or transformational perspective of the learning organization and how this has been developed in the literature. Third, looks at the incremental or adaptive perspective of the learning organization that has been presented in some recent literature. Examines a formula for a learning organization for application. Shows that this model integrates leadership vision, measurement of goals, internal/external data collection, inventiveness and proactive implementation to create a successful design. Concludes by integrating the two perspectives on the learning organization into the reviewed framework for congruence.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Hilary Bradbury-Huang, Benyamin Lichtenstein, John S. Carroll and Peter M. Senge

Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders…

Abstract

Corporations are now collaborating to meet complex global sustainability challenges, which, until recently, were considered beyond the mandate of business leaders. Multi-organizational consortia have formed, not as philanthropic efforts, but to find competitive advantage. To examine the dynamics of an early collaboration of this sort, with a view to suggesting how future inter-organizational projects might be fostered, we pursued an in-depth multi-method case study of “The Sustainability Consortium.” The Consortium has convened Fortune 50 senior managers since 1998. Our analysis uncovers the primacy of “Relational Space” – a rich context for aspirational trust and reflective learning across organizational boundaries, which is enabled by, and in turn gives rise to, collaborative projects. Within this space, an ecology of organizational leaders committed to sustainability can accomplish together what would be impossible in their individual organizations. We explain the viability of this collaboration.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-191-7

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Book part
Publication date: 14 May 2003

Jonathan L Gifford

Abstract

Details

Flexible Urban Transportation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-08-050656-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

George L. Roth and Peter M. Senge

By definition, all organizations that survive as their environment evolves are learning, at least to some degree, but proposes that the learning capabilities of most…

Abstract

By definition, all organizations that survive as their environment evolves are learning, at least to some degree, but proposes that the learning capabilities of most organizations are extremely limited, especially when learning requires that diverse constituencies build shared understanding of dynamically complex business environments. As such, learning capabilities become increasingly needed, and those organizations which possess them will have unique advantages. Discovering how organizations might develop such learning capabilities represents a unique opportunity for partnership between researchers and practitioners. Suggests that to do this will require consensus about the research territory, research methods and goals, and how meaningful field projects can be designed and conducted.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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