Print page

Handbook of Research on the Learning Organization

Adaptation and Context Edited by Anders Örtenblad, Professor of Work Life Science, University of Agder, Norway
This timely Handbook establishes the ‘contextualization’ of the learning organization idea as a research field. In contrast to much of the previous literature, which has approached the learning organization as a panacea that every organization could and should adopt, this major new Handbook puts the learning organization into context. It examines the relevance of the learning organization idea to organizations in various specific contexts, employing examples from a wide variety of cultures including China and Islamic nations, and from industries as diverse as the police force, care services for the elderly and family firms.
Extent: 432 pp
Hardback Price: $239.00 Web: $215.10
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78100 489 0
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $65.00 Web: $52.00
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 978 1 78536 509 6
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Business and Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Organisation Studies
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Knowledge Management
This timely Handbook establishes the ‘contextualization’ of the learning organization idea as a research field.

In contrast to much of the previous literature, which has approached the learning organization as a panacea that every organization could and should adopt, this major new Handbook puts the learning organization into context. It examines the relevance of the learning organization idea to organizations in various specific contexts, employing examples from a wide variety of cultures including China and Islamic nations, and from industries as diverse as the police force, care services for the elderly and family firms.

Scholars and students with an interest in organizational learning will find this important Handbook enriching. Human resource practitioners will also find plenty of invaluable information in this resource.
‘The uniqueness of this book compared to other books on the topic of learning organizations is threefold: it offers a pragmatic perspective; it supplies evidence from different contexts; and it has the vision of creating a contingency model of the relevance of the learning organization idea.. . .I would recommend this book not only to scholars engaged in organizational research but also to practitioners at every organizational level. Managers or MBA students can use this book to enhance their understanding of the learning organization and gain valuable ideas about how to design their own organization for optimal long-term performance and adaptability.’
– Nhien Nguyen, Management Learning

‘Örtenblad offers a contingency framework differentiating the idea of the learning organization as portrayed in research and practice to shed light on context as key to the idea’s relevance. The contingency framework anchors chapter authors’ interrogation into adaptation of enduring, underlying principles by divergent context–in industry, sector, national culture, religious orientation, and philosophical underpinnings. Readers will value analysis and synthesis of what is known from research as well as informed probing of what could be learned through the lens of provocative viewpoints. Scholars will appreciate Örtenblad’s assessment of extant research and arguments made for “researcher-assisted adaptation” to balance rigid prescriptions with informed guidance in navigating contextual differences when deciding to enact the learning organization.’
– Victoria J. Marsick, Columbia University, US

‘The Handbook is a very well researched and excellent tool for anyone interested in the concept of learning, and particularly in the global organizational context. I highly recommend this book to managers of companies both large and small wanting to compete in the global landscape by highlighting the important learning that occurs in their organizations.’
– Vanessa Ratten, Thunderbird International Business Review

'This handbook has moved the field of learning organization research forward considerably. It has paved the way for future research by providing a more nuanced conceptual framework than hitherto existed. This framework will make it easier for future studies to compare findings and contribute to a contingency framework of the learning organization concept. Moreover, the book also offers new, alternative perspectives on the learning organization which, if implemented in practice, may stimulate more innovation and change. I would recommend this book not only to scholars engaged in organizational research but also to practitioners at every organizational level. Managers or MBA students can use this book to enhance their understanding of the learning organization and gain valuable ideas about how to design their own organization for optimal long-term performance and adaptability. Employees who wish to figure out what is going on at the top level of management can use this book and the contingency approach as an inspiration to find meaning in management language and strategies.'
– Management Learning
Contributors: C. Abrahamson Löfström, A. Ahmad, M. Babur, Y. Baruch, N. Birdthistle, D.A. Blackman, C. Blantern, P. Bogolyubov, T. Boydell, H.T.M. Bui, J. Burgoyne, X. Cong, D.J. Delgado-Hernández, M. Drobnjak, M. Easterby-Smith, Z. Fan, C. Filstad, T.N. Garavan, P. Gottschalk, J.F.L. Hong, S.-w. Hsu, D. Jamali, B. Li, Z. Li, M. Lin, C. Lloyd, D. McDowall, A. Örtenblad, C. Peng, Y. Sidani, R.S. Snell, C. Stothard, S. Talbot, M. Torokoff-Engelbrecht, K.E. Watkins, D. Weir, J. Zhou
Contents:

Preface
Anders Örtenblad

PART I: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
1. Introduction: Putting the Learning Organization into Context: An Emerging Research Field
Anders Örtenblad

2. What do we Mean by ‘Learning Organization’?
Anders Örtenblad

3. Putting the Learning Organization into Context: Contributions from Previous Works
Anders Örtenblad, Ziyun Fan, Chenghao Peng, Boying Li, Ziyan Li, Xiaoying Cong and Jie Zhou

4. Contextualizing the Learning Organization: Approaches to Research Design
Anders Örtenblad

5. Obstacles to the Learning Organization
David Weir and Anders Örtenblad

PART II: THE LEARNING ORGANIZATION IN CONTEXT
Section A. Culture and Religion

6. National Culture and the Learning Organization: An Integrative Framework
Pavel Bogolyubov and Mark Easterby-Smith

7. Developing Learning Organizations in China
Jacky F.L. Hong, Robin Stanley Snell and Mian Lin

8. Learning Organization Practices in Mexico: An Empirical Study
David Joaquín Delgado-Hernández and Made Torokoff-Engelbrecht

9. Islamic Perspective of the Learning Organization
Aini Ahmad

Section B. Industries and Sectors
10. Learning, Trust and Change within the Australian Army: The Development of the Army Learning Organization Questionnaire (ALOQ)
Maya Drobnjak, Christina Stothard, Steven Talbot, Karen E. Watkins and Denise McDowall

11. The Police Force: To be or not to be a Learning Organization?
Cathrine Filstad and Petter Gottschalk

12. The Learning Organization in Elderly Care – Can it Fit?
Carina Abrahamson Löfström

13. Family Firms as Learning Organizations
Naomi Birdthistle and Thomas N. Garavan

14. Universities as Learning Organizations: Internationalization and Innovation
Hong T.M. Bui and Yehuda Baruch

Section C. Mixed Contexts
15. Public Sector Organizations as Learning Organizations: Insights from the Education System in Pakistan
Muhammad Babur

16. The Learning Organization: Opportunities and Challenges for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Developing Countries
Dima Jamali, Yusuf Sidani and Charissa Lloyd

PART III: REFLECTIONS ON THE LEARNING ORGANIZATION
17. The Universality of Learning Company Principles: A Critical Realist Approach
John Burgoyne

18. Who is the Learning Organization For? A Stakeholder Contingency Approach to Contextualizing Managerial Panaceas
Anders Örtenblad

19. ‘The Learning Organization’ – Drop the Dead Metaphor! Performing Organizing and Learning in Networks (So to Speak)
Chris Blantern, Tom Boydell and John Burgoyne

20. Alternative Learning Organization
Shih-wei Hsu

21. Contextualising the Learning Organization: How will it Help us Learn in the Future?
Deborah Ann Blackman

22. Towards a Contingency Model: Recommendations for Further Research
Anders Örtenblad

Index