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Revisiting the roots of learning organization: A synthesis of the learning organization literature

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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to provide a literature synthesis of the learning organization and discuss several pertinent theoretical concepts on the subject. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A range of works mainly from 1990-2004, which aim at providing a variety of perspectives on the learning organization, have been analyzed and discussed based on its theoretical roots and ontological perspectives. Findings ‐ The synthesis of the literature reveals several common themes from the various learning organization definitions and discovers the greater significance of systems thinking in Senge's five disciplines. Research limitations/implications ‐ It is not an exhaustive coverage of the learning organization literature. However it offers great research implications where several key concepts can be further explored. For example, is systems thinking really crucial to organizational learning? Practical implications ‐ Practitioners may find the analysis of the various models in relation to Senge's five disciplines useful, as there are concepts that can be implemented in practice. Originality/value ‐ It is the amalgamation of several key concepts in the learning organization and the analysis of these concepts in relation to The Fifth Discipline which readers will be familiar and able to identify with. People who are interested in pursuing research in the learning organization will find this paper handy as it provides a useful overview of the subject.
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Keywords: Learning organizations; Literature

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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