The Essence of the Phenomenon of the Learning Organisation
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
Dr. Patrick Bradbery
Manager, Professional Development Unit