Towards a framework for organizational learning

Adrian Small*, Paul Irvine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Many tools exist to chart the progress of an organisation in its quest to become a learning organization or achieve organizational learning. Aims to expand a tool already developed to include learning organization conditions as they occur through dialogue between individuals within an organisation with an emphasis on social learning theory. Design/methodology/approach - Literature relating to creating learning organizations as well as undertaking organizational learning is reviewed and critiqued. An argument for a tool in identifying learning activity functions as they take place through dialogue is presented along with the argument for expanding the tool to incorporate learning organization conditions that have been identified within the literature. The tool this work expands is the DISCOUNT scheme as developed by Pilkington. The paper closes with a discussion on justifying the use of the scheme and the future work that is to be undertaken. Findings - Demonstrates that a tool can be expanded to take into account learning organization and organizational learning conditions and how they could be identified. Research Limitations/implications - Individuals who use the tool need a number of hours practice to become familiar with the scheme and its structure. Practical implications - A tool has been expanded to look at learning activities as they take place within an organisation. By identifying these activities, more successful approaches to learning may be encouraged by looking at an individual's behaviour, personal and cognitive factors and the environment as is stated to apply when viewed through social learning theory. Originality/value - This paper offers a practical tool that can be used on dialogue and other speech acts to look at learning activities within organizations with a specific focus on organizations wanting to improve organizational learning or try to create learning organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-299
Number of pages24
JournalLearning Organization
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2006


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