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The Learning Organization, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2020

Yusuf Sidani and Simon Reese

This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of learning organization concepts from the perspective of Nancy Dixon, who has been at the forefront of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an overview of the development of learning organization concepts from the perspective of Nancy Dixon, who has been at the forefront of the learning organization discussion since the 1980s.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a conversation with Dixon, and a scan of some of her works, this paper discusses several topics pertaining to the evolution of the learning organization debate, from Dixon’s perspective.

Findings

Dixon’s understanding of learning organizations was influenced by concepts related to action learning where people in organizations learn through meeting and talking about their problems. What distinguishes her understanding from others in that it is built more on the perspective of psychological safety, as inspired by Amy Edmonson's work.

Originality/value

Dixon acknowledges that her work has had more impact on the practitioner side. Dixon maintains that learning organizations are more egalitarian and move away from hierarchy. There are ethical underpinnings to this understanding as, with psychological safety, people are willing to speak up in those situations when their voices are needed to be heard.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

Jennifer Rowley

The need for organisations to survive in a changing environment has led to the development of the concept of the learning organisation. A learning organisation is an…

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3895

Abstract

The need for organisations to survive in a changing environment has led to the development of the concept of the learning organisation. A learning organisation is an organisation that facilitates learning for all of its members, and thereby continuously transforms itself. The organisation needs to create a climate in which experiential learning is managed effectively throughout the workplace, and in which individual learning is harnessed to achieve organisational learning. In higher education institutions, although they may have a learning culture, the creation of a learning organisation is dependent on embedding learning in the management processes of the organisation by extending the focus on learning from the classroom and the research laboratory to the wider organisation, so that the organisation creates and disseminates knowledge that informs the development of the organisation. The article considers the nature of a learning organisation, and how such an organisation might be created, in the context of higher education.

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Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Kevin Ions and Ann Minton

The idea of the learning organisation as an aspiration for a continuous process of learning has become widely accepted by many organisations. The purpose of this paper is…

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1148

Abstract

Purpose

The idea of the learning organisation as an aspiration for a continuous process of learning has become widely accepted by many organisations. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether demand‐led higher education work‐based learning programmes can help nurture a supportive culture of learning and continuous improvement that helps companies to become learning organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of students’ work‐based negotiated projects was undertaken to determine the extent to which their projects facilitated organisational learning. The analysis was carried out using an organisational learning checklist, developed through reference to the literature and research on organisational learning and learning organisations.

Findings

The study highlights the fact that although work‐based learning programmes can facilitate some aspects of organisational learning, the principles of organisational learning are not necessarily embedded in work‐based programme design.

Research limitations/implications

Although the results cannot be considered generalisable because they are based on a single case, further analysis of a greater range of work‐based learning programmes could establish external validity of the findings. Further research could include the development of an organisational learning taxonomy or action research to develop a work‐based programme that embeds organisational learning principles.

Practical implications

The principles of organisational learning should be considered when designing work‐based learning programmes.

Originality/value

The study highlights the importance of considering organisational learning when designing demand‐led, higher education work‐based learning programmes and outlines a method for analysing the extent to which existing programmes embed organisational learning principles.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Bryan T. Phillips

Reveals that research using a new learning organisation benchmarking implementation model has found that Australian organisations are increasingly committed to adopting…

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8675

Abstract

Reveals that research using a new learning organisation benchmarking implementation model has found that Australian organisations are increasingly committed to adopting, and implementing, learning organisation principles. Discusses the debate over individual and organisational learning. Outlines a ten‐principle learning organisation benchmarking and implementation model and describes the methodology used to establish its validity. Shows how organisations can determine the extent of the shortfall between the importance accorded learning organisation principles and the extent of their implementation. It has the ability to identify sectoral trends and reveal individual organisation weaknesses. Concludes that the model is an effective means of establishing an organisation’s status, providing a vehicle for evolution into a learning organisation.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Rosemary Hill

Suggests that there are many dilemmas facing the aspiring learning organization and true commitment to its principles is a way of integrating the false dichotomy of…

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4305

Abstract

Suggests that there are many dilemmas facing the aspiring learning organization and true commitment to its principles is a way of integrating the false dichotomy of “concern for the task” versus “concern for the people”. Each organization’s journey in learning endeavour will be different. How to understand, release and apply the powerful pragmatism of the learning organization is the key to success. Begins by exploring some key concepts based on action research and studies into the learning organization. Describes a model of learning culture, an associated learning culture survey and how this translates into a flexible programme of organizational development. Concludes by considering how this methodology may be posited as a useful investigation, analysis and measurement tool within an overall framework of organizational development.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2008

Priti Jain and Stephen Mutula

The purpose of thi s paper is to describe how libraries are under increasing pressure to become learning organisations for better knowledge management and to cultivate a…

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2624

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of thi s paper is to describe how libraries are under increasing pressure to become learning organisations for better knowledge management and to cultivate a culture of continuing learning to cope with both current and future changes in the organisations in which they exist.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and authors” experiences in academic libraries in east and southern Africa.

Findings

Learning organisations” role includes knowledge creation, sharing and dissemination and the ability to effectively operate in an increasingly digital environment.

Practical implications

Academic libraries are undergoing tremendous transformations due in part to new technologies, customer expectations, competitive pressures, evolving knowledge‐intensive organisations, and the changing roles of librarians. Academic libraries can be considered as learning organisations involved in intensive generation of knowledge and must operate competitively in order to satisfy customer needs and be able to deal with the challenges and opportunities of the digital environment.

Originality/value

Academic libraries have long been acknowledged as the heart of the institution in which they reside. As a result, they are confronted with challenges and opportunities in the digital environment which they must fully understand as learning organisations in order to redefine and effectively perform their roles.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 25 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Anders Örtenblad

The paper aims to offer an overview of the definition of the concept of learning organization to be used, related to and taken as a starting point for further conceptual…

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11398

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to offer an overview of the definition of the concept of learning organization to be used, related to and taken as a starting point for further conceptual developments by others writing about and using the learning organization concept. An additional purpose is to suggest how the concept of learning organization could be demarcated to define what would be demanded from any particular organization to be counted as a learning organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper. To define the learning organization, a label-focused approach and a content-focused approach are used. A contextual approach is suggested as the most appropriate tool for demarcating the concept of learning organization.

Findings

It is suggested that there are four versions of learning organization, which can all be related to three different forms of organizational aspects. Furthermore, a contextual approach is suggested to demarcate how to define learning organization to develop a much-needed contingency model, which places reasonable demands on organizations in various contexts to qualify them as learning organizations.

Originality/value

An overview definition, which anybody writing about the learning organization could relate to, is presented. It is also discussed what a learning organization is not, something which only few others have done, and a contextual approach to demarcating the learning organization concept is suggested.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1996

Peter Anderson Strachan

The area of organizational learning and the learning organization is of burgeoning interest among progressive business organizations, educationalists and consultants…

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7990

Abstract

The area of organizational learning and the learning organization is of burgeoning interest among progressive business organizations, educationalists and consultants concerned with transformational change in turbulent business environments. A key feature of this approach to learning and managing change is a focus on teamworking. Reviews the organizational literature and identifies the role of teamworking in building a learning organization. A challenge facing contemporary business organizations is to redefine and change their organizations in such as way as to be consistent with the learning organization notion, but many difficulties remain to be articulated in the design of such organizations.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2021

Anders Örtenblad

To convince readers that the time is ripe to start certifying the learning organization and to outline what would be needed to accomplish such a certification.

Abstract

Purpose

To convince readers that the time is ripe to start certifying the learning organization and to outline what would be needed to accomplish such a certification.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an argumentative piece based on the author’s almost 30 years of experience from researching and authoring the learning organization.

Findings

It is argued that the idea of the learning organization is still “fluffy” and that it is not universally applicable as is. It is suggested that a broad, inclusive definition of the learning organization is taken as the starting point for the process of contextualizing the idea to reach a set of “contextualized standards”, which could be used when certifying the learning organization.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are encouraged – in cooperation with practitioners – to sculpture one “contextualized standard” of the learning organization for each single industry. Such contextualized standards outline what, exactly, that could be demanded from organizations within the particular industry that want to become learning organizations.

Practical implications

There is a need for one – or some – non-profit association/s that could start to certify the learning organization on the basis of a set of contextualized standards. There may also be a need for consultants assisting organizations to transform themselves into learning organizations in accordance with these contextualized standards.

Originality/value

This is the first time (at least in writing) that it is suggested that the learning organization is certified.

Details

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

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