The learning organization : learning and empowerment for whom ?

Robin SNELL, Almaz Man-Kuen CHAK

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article we develop a framework to assess organizational learning and the depth, breadth and spread of members' involvement. The framework incorporates the Morgan (1986) metaphors and the `learning company' characteristics of Pedler et al. (1991), along with the notions of single-, double-, and triple-loop learning. We draw up competing hypotheses setting Coopey's (1995a, 1995b) constitutionalist argument that a `learning organization' will enhance only the power of the `ruling court' unless democratic arrangements are explicitly laid down, against ideas of developmental leadership. Using case studies of two blue-chip companies-both cited as learning organizations, one claiming to have a democratically-oriented constitution-we illustrate how the framework may be used to assemble data for use in testing hypotheses in more empirically-grounded studies of empowerment in learning organizations. Our study compared the perspectives of top management, reflected in popular and professional publications, with grass-roots accounts from Hong Kong subsidiaries. While the data is inconclusive because it was collected opportunistically and from very few sources, it lends support to the constitutionalist position.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-364
Number of pages28
JournalManagement Learning
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

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Industry
Testing
Organization learning
Learning organizations
Empowerment
Power (Psychology)
Subsidiaries
Organizational learning
Top management
Constitution
Hong Kong
Hypothesis testing

Cite this

SNELL, Robin ; CHAK, Almaz Man-Kuen. / The learning organization : learning and empowerment for whom ?. In: Management Learning. 1998 ; Vol. 29, No. 3. pp. 337-364.
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The learning organization : learning and empowerment for whom ? / SNELL, Robin; CHAK, Almaz Man-Kuen.

In: Management Learning, Vol. 29, No. 3, 01.09.1998, p. 337-364.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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