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Organisational learning: the new management paradigm?

Burnes B, Cooper CL & West P (2003) Organisational learning: the new management paradigm?. Management Decision, 41 (5), pp. 452-464.

As a subject of academic interest, organisational learning has been around for a long time. However, in the 1990s, there was an upsurge of interest in the topic from both academia and industry. Indeed, there are many writers who are now claiming that organisational learning is the new paradigm for managing organisations. This interest in and promotion of organisational learning, especially in the business world, stemmed from two major concerns: the rapidly‐changing nature of the world we live in; and the increasingly competitive environment in which firms operate. This article explores and evaluates the rationale for organisational learning and the key propositions that underpin it. In particular, by setting organisational learning in the wider context of theories of organisational structure, culture and change, it questions its generalisability. The article concludes by arguing that though organisational learning may make an important contribution to managing organisations, it is doubtful whether it is applicable to all organisations and all situations.

Organizational learning; Organizational structure; Organizational culture; Organizational change

Management Decision: Volume 41, Issue 5

Author(s)Burnes, Bernard; Cooper, Cary L; West, Penny
Publication date31/12/2003
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