Adaptation and Context
Elgar original reference
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the relevance of the learning organization idea to the context of family firms and identify how different types of learning organizations fit the family firm context. We approach this task by first of all providing a brief overview of the scope and importance of family firms. We then focus on the particular contingencies of family firms and explore how different types of learning organizations fit these contextual contingencies. We proceed on the assumption that the learning organization idea has value in the context of family firms. We also take the position that relatively few family firms can currently be described as learning organizations. Our discussion of learning organizations is family firms and is framed within a conceptual model proposed by Örtenblad (2004). He suggests four types of the learning organization: organizational learning, learning at work, learning structure and climate for learning. This is accepted as an important conceptualization of the learning organization. We argue that the learning organization idea has value in enhancing the performance of family firms. Where family firms possess a greater capacity to learn they will achieve greater innovation and stronger financial performance (Slater & Narver 1995).
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