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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Learning is usually assumed to be an essentially cognitive activity. Consequently, the learning organization literature takes the process of learning to be about acquiring facts, processing information, formulating knowledge configurations, and internalizing rules, routines, and procedures. This way of understanding learning assumes that it is driven by prior intentions and pre-defined purposes. But not all organizational learning happens this way. This chapter adopts a process-philosophical approach to show the primacy and importance of non-cognitive and non-deliberate aspects of organizational learning. It argues that prior to conscious cognition, organizational members unconsciously acquire a substrate of generic capabilities through social immersion that crucially defines and circumscribes their capacity to learn. This non-cognitive form of learning comprises a collectively refined perceptual sensitivity to environmental affordances, and it is this tacit ability to perceive and respond to the unfolding contours of a dynamically evolving external environment that makes for a truly effective learning organization.

Keywords: habitus, becoming, optic invariants, affordance, discriminative attunement, exaptation

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