The Essence of the Phenomenon of the Learning Organisation

Dr. Patrick Bradbery
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The learning organisation is a resilient concept in the literature. However, the more that is written about it, the more confused does the idea become. So many conflicting claims have been made regarding its meaning that encourage one to recall the Humpty Dumpty refrain, “What do you mean what does it means, it means just what I want it to mean!” The transcendental phenomenological investigation reported in this paper sought to provide some clarification of the essential meaning of the phenomenon. The application of the Moustakas framework to the interview responses obtained by the researcher led to some surprising outcomes. It appears that the phenomenon of the learning organisation may be better served by a change of name. The essence of the experience of the learning organisation distilled from the study is then used as a foundation for reviewing the conventional wisdom regarding organisations, especially those claimed to be learning organisations, and also regarding the institutions that deliver learning and development programmes.

Keywords: Learning Organisation, Phenomenology, Learning, Development, Moustakas
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English

Dr. Patrick Bradbery

Manager, Professional Development Unit
Faculty of Commerce, Charles Sturt University

Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Patrick is currently manager of the Pofessional Development Unit in the Faculty of Business at Charles Sturt University. The PDU develops and administers specialist industry based courses, both accredited and non-accredited. He has had an extensive career in business management, as well as management education. Patrick has had a long term interest in education and learning, particularly in the context of work organisations, and their leadership and management. His doctoral thesis is on learning, development and the learning organisation.

Ref: I07P0391