ERIC Number: EJ1129880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Organizational Learning and Unlearning
Starbuck, William H.
Learning Organization, v24 n1 p30-38 2017
Purpose: This paper aims to summarize four decades of research into organizational adaptation, learning and unlearning. Design/methodology/approach: The most important contributions to this stream of research have been case studies of organizations struggling to survive serious crises. Findings: Very diverse kinds of organizations run into serious crises, and many organizations fail because they respond poorly or slowly to these crises. Slow and inadequate initial responses result in organizations going into a stage of "unlearning" that is demoralizing, harmful and very difficult to manage. Research limitations/implications: The research involved a small number of longitudinal case studies. Practical implications: Organizations may survive longer if they deal with serious crises more effectively. Top management teams especially may benefit from discussing how to spot and mitigate crises. The paper proposes a few actions that organizations might usefully take before and after trouble becomes visible. Social implications: Almost all organizations have short lives, and many organizations fail when they encounter unexpected, serious crises. The consequences include unemployment, dislocation, emotional turmoil, wasted resources and cynicism. Originality/value: This paper reviews published research. Its value depends on the plausibility of its interpretations and the practical usefulness of the advice offered.
Descriptors: Learning, Organizational Change, Research, Case Studies, Crisis Management, Longitudinal Studies, Barriers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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