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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses impediments to progress in the learning organization field, highlighting several “non-best” ways of studying the learning organization and juxtaposing these with corresponding “best” ways of doing so. Attention is focused on how to approach four general research questions of fundamental importance to the learning organization debate: (1) Do we need the concept of the learning organization? (2) How should we define and operationalize the concept of the learning organization? (3) Should organizations aspire to become learning organizations? (4) How can a learning organization be created? The chapter is intended to direct attention to important issues in the field and stimulate thought. One of the major themes running through the study is the importance of making carefully calibrated, context-dependent trade-offs when deciding how to study the learning organization—of accepting that there are advantages and disadvantages to every definition, operationalization, and empirical technique one might adopt.

Keywords: Learning organization, organizational learning, methodology, conceptualization, operationalization, best practice, DLOQ

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