Market-Based Organisational Learning - Theoretical Reflections and Conceptual Insights

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Abstract:

As an area of academic inquiry, organisational learning has matured to such an extent that it can now be described as an institutionalisation of a body of knowledge. Nonetheless, underlying the apparent maturity of this literature lies the proliferation of disciplines that claim aspects of this theoretical territory, each with their own ontological premises and schools of thought resulting in frequently conflicting theories which often reflect a diverse pattern of phenomenological domains, interpretative issues, methodological predilections and conflicting operationalisations. The marketing literature is characteristic in detecting elements in cognate disciplines and introducing them within the guise of mainstream marketing thought. Consequently, it was a matter of time before marketing academicians became interested in exploiting seams of organisational learning research that are relevant to areas of marketing. Consequently, a recent announcement by the Marketing Science Institute finds that market-based organisational learning is now a 'second tier' research priority for 2002-2004, reflecting its developing attraction in organisational, conceptual, theoretical and empirical respects. In this paper, an attempt will be made to address the following: to delineate the organisational learning concept by reviewing multi-disciplinary contributions; to evaluate the intellectual roots to market-based organisational learning by considering its theoretical heritage; to propose a model of the theoretical properties of market-based organisational learning; to consider the extent to which market-based organisational theory satisfies criteria for theory construction in marketing and organisation science; to identify critical gaps in our knowledge of market-based organisational learning; and, to indicate the contextual issues surrounding the development of market-based organisational learning programs in firms.
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