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 15: Public sector organizations as learning organizations: insights from the education system in Pakistan

Muhammad Babur


The interest in studying organization in relation to knowledge and learning has not diminished as was predicted by Vince et al. in 2002 (the current Handbook provides a strong testimony to the sustained interest). The field is still growing and seeks ‘a more nuanced picture of the learning organization than previous literature has suggested’ (Örtenblad 2011, p. 1). To gain such an insight and understanding, it becomes pertinent that the learning organization idea is understood in a variety of different organizational settings and cultural contexts, using a variety of lenses, perspectives, approaches and research methodologies. Hence, the focus and emphasis of the current Handbook on paying attention to and acknowledging the study of the learning organization idea in relation to different contexts is commendable. The current discourse on the learning organization evidently indicates an emphasis towards studying public sector organizations, with the rationale that there is ‘relatively little research done on organizational learning in the public sector’ (Moynihan & Landuyt 2009, p. 1097) and that many studies in past have mostly examined the learning organization from the standpoint of private organizations or enterprises, paying very little attention to the dynamics of the learning organization in public sector organizations (Maden 2011).

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