ERIC Number: ED448293
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
The Learning Organization: Theory and Practice. Myths and Realities No. 12.
Wonacott, Michael E.
The learning organization (LO) can be described as an organizational culture in which individual development is a priority, outmoded and erroneous ways of thinking are actively identified and corrected, and all members clearly understand and support the purpose and vision of the organization. The LO has proved difficult to define. These five different types of definitions have been found: philosophical, mechanistic, educational, adaptive, and organic. At the conceptual level there is disagreement about the premises on which the LO is based. At the most fundamental level are two very different conceptions of organizational learning--learning in organizations and learning by organizations. Another reservation about the concept of the LO concerns whether it can be measured. A common misconception in implementation is that the LO is an attainable finished product, an idea doomed to failure because the LO is a developing ability to conduct a continual process--learning--over the long term. The shadow side to the LO is its use as a way to get more out of the work force or downsize. Other concerns in implementation are the conflict between learning and earning; who is learning; how to provide a menu of learning approaches; how to allow for mistakes; and the possibility that the conclusion of the learning is that the organization should be dismantled. (22 references) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Educational Environment, Industrial Psychology, Informal Education, Organizational Change, Organizational Climate, Organizational Development, Program Implementation, Quality of Working Life, Staff Development, Work Environment
For full text: http://www.ericacve.org/fulltext.asp.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.