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 12: The learning organization in elderly care – can it fit?

Carina Abrahamson Löfström


In the literature it is often stated that all types of organizations can and should become learning organizations (Örtenblad 2011). But what if it is important that the organization is not continuously changing or being innovative? And what if it is crucial that every user of the organization can have equal outcomes? In this chapter it will be argued that this is largely the case in the area of elderly care and that is why not all of the aspects/types of the learning organization discussed in this book – learning at work, organizational learning, climate for learning and learning structure– can be appropriate (the four aspects/types of the learning organization are presented in Örtenblad 2002, 2004, 2011, and Chapter 2 in this volume). By discussing the specific context of elderly care in Sweden and based on the insights of an empirical case study of a competence and learning program, the question of whether, and if so in what way, the learning organization idea can fit in elderly care will be scrutinized. In the first section the context of elderly care in Sweden is introduced and discussed.

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