The concept of the 'learning organization' is one of the most popular management ideas of the last few decades. Since it was conceived as an idea in its own right, it has been given various definitions and meanings, such that we are still faced with the question as to whether any unified understanding of what the learning organization really is can be established. This Handbook offers extensive reviews of both new and traditional perspectives on the concept and provides suggestions for how the learning organization can best be defined, practiced, studied, and developed in future research. With contributions from long-standing scholars in the field as well as those new to the area, this book aims to bridge the gap between traditional and more critical perspectives, and in doing so find alternative features and angles to take the idea forward.
In addition to elaborating on and developing older definitions of the learning organization and suggesting updated and even new definitions, the chapters also provide focused explorations on pertinent aspects of the learning organization such as ambidexterity, gender inclusivity, and systems thinking. They also survey organizations that have made efforts towards becoming learning organizations, how the learning organization can best be measured and studied, and the universality of the idea itself.
Some of the questions raised in this book are answered, or at least given tentative answers, while other questions are left open. In this way, the book has the ambition to take the learning organization an important step further, whilst having no intentions to take any final step; instead, the intention is that others will endeavour to continue where this book stops.