[Journal] Call for Papers: Are organizations able to learn?

[Deutscher Titel: [Journal] Aufruf für Artikel-Beiträge: Können Organisationen lernen? (Text übersetzen: Deutsch)]

Are organizations able to learn? A special issue of the journal Learning Inquiry
Special Issue Editor: Anders Örtenblad,Halmstad University, Sweden, Email: anders.ortenblad@hh.se

  • Please submit papers by September 1st, 2008

Many of those who write about organizational learning emphasize that it is still a question of individual learning–learning is a pure individual phenomenon. Others claim that organizational learning only makes sense as a metaphor, and should therefore not be understood literally. Yet others still ask for proofs for in which ways individuals and organizations are similar. These perspectives deny the collective or organic nature of the organization and organizational learning.
The more traditional perspective of organizational learning has elements that can be interpreted as organizational learning, such as the storing of what the individuals have learnt into the organizational memory/mind. The newer and more social perspectives on organizational learning leave space for regarding the organization, not the individuals, as the learning unit.
The goal of this special issue is to explore the often taken for granted assumption, that the only learning entity is the individual. We want papers to challenge this mainstream perspective and to explore the wide possibility of the literatures and research that addresses organizational learning qua organizations. We invite argumentative papers arguing in favour of that organizations as such are capable of learning. Papers on related topics, such as those that interrogate the questions surrounding levels of analysis (individual or organizational) are also welcomed.

The papers may be based on empirical evidence or may be viewpoints or conceptual papers, as long as they are based on strong arguments. The following topics shall be seen as some suggestions that the papers could be focused on (but they should not be seen as restrictions):

  • convincing descriptions of how organizations as such learn, from any specific perspectives (or a few perspectives);
  • examinations of previous work on organizational learning and how this could be interpreted in terms of the organization per se learns;
  • case studies that shows that organizations can learn;
  • discussions regarding when the organizational level of learning is appropriate and when the individual level is appropriate;
  • should “organizational learning” be taken as a literal utterance, or “merely” as a metaphor.

Papers that refute the notion that organizations as such are capable of learning, and that the individual is the only possible entity that is capable of learning, are welcome. In order to publish such a paper, though, it must contain a convincing argumentation in support of the individual as the only learning unit as well as against those who argue that organizations as such can learn.

If you have any questions about content or direction of your paper, please contact the Special Issue Editor: Anders Örtenblad, Halmstad University, Sweden anders.ortenblad@hh.se

For further information go to the website of the call.

© Springer Netherlands

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