ERIC Number: ED401395
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Limits of the Learning Organization: A Critical Look.
Fenwick, Tara J.
The development of the "learning organization" may be traced to three converging trends: the tradition of organizational development; economic shifts to globalization, deregulation, and information-based industry; and total quality management. Learning organizations are generally characterized as follows: organizations that create continuous learning opportunities, promote inquiry and dialogue, encourage collaboration and team learning, establish systems to capture and share learning, empower people toward collective vision, and connect with the organizational environment. Empirical research documenting the implementation of learning organization concepts in Canada remains sparse. Despite the rhetoric regarding the potential benefits of learning organizations, several problems and paradoxes of learning organizations have been identified: the potential collision of continuous learning through exploratory experimentation and innovation with organizational norms of productivity, accountability, and results-based measurement. The following are among the actions that adult educators might take to become part of the learning organization vision: ask critical questions about the basic assumptions of the learning organization concept; teach learning theory to business and other sectors; help clarify the links between organizational and individual learning; produce/analyze empirical documentation of learning organizations; and rethink the adult educator's ethical role in workplace learning. (Contains 56 references.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Educators, Education Work Relationship, Educational Practices, Employment Practices, Foreign Countries, Lifelong Learning, Organizational Change, Organizational Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Objectives, School Business Relationship, State of the Art Reviews, Teacher Role, Total Quality Management, Trend Analysis
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada