Handbook of Research on the Learning Organization
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Handbook of Research on the Learning Organization

Adaptation and Context

Edited by Anders Örtenblad

This timely Handbook establishes the ‘contextualization’ of the learning organization idea as a research field. In contrast to much of the previous literature, which has approached the learning organization as a panacea that every organization could and should adopt, this major new Handbook puts the learning organization into context. It examines the relevance of the learning organization idea to organizations in various specific contexts, employing examples from a wide variety of cultures including China and Islamic nations, and from industries as diverse as the police force, care services for the elderly and family firms.
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Chapter 3: Putting the learning organization into context: contributions from previous works

Anders Örtenblad, Ziyun Fan, Chenghao Peng, Boying Li, Ziyan Li and Xiaoying Cong


This chapter offers an overview of the contributions provided by prior literature that has put the learning organization idea into context. The chapter focuses on the literature’s advice on the relevance of the learning organization idea to organizations within various contexts and recommendations for these organizations. The chapter is based on a review of an extensive part of the literature on the learning organization idea put into context, available in English. We searched for literature in two databases, both of which contain academic literature related to the subjects of business management and educational management: ABI/Inform (Pro Quest) and EBSCO host Business Source Premier. Thus, we could expect a good coverage of academic literature related to the learning organization idea applied to various contexts. We searched for peer-reviewed literature with the following keywords within the article title: ‘learning organisation’, ‘learning organization’, ‘learning organisations’, ‘learning organizations’, or ‘LO’. A total of 2116works were identified (the search results were retrieved on 16–17 May 2012).

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