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 21: Contextualizing the learning organization: how will it help us learn in the future?

Deborah Ann Blackman


The objective of this book is to explore research about the learning organization in terms of adaptation and context. What can be seen in previous chapters are some excellent descriptions of current research, all of which reflect a relationship with context of a particular type. Some discuss the challenges of developing learning organizations within specific sectors: see for example Drobnjak, Stothard, Talbot, Watkins and McDowall considering issues in the Australian Army (Chapter 10); Abrahamson Löfström outlining issues in elderly care (Chapter 12); Bui and Baruch discussing universities (Chapter 14); Bird thistle and Garavan reflecting on family firms (Chapter 13); and Babur studying public sector organizations (Chapter 15). Others are interested in the impact of emerging national and global contexts upon learning organization development: see for example Ahmad discussing the Islamic perspective (Chapter 9) and Hong, Snell and Lin considering China (Chapter 7).

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