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The hunting of the learning organization - A paradoxical journey

Tosey, P (2005) The hunting of the learning organization - A paradoxical journey MANAGEMENT LEARNING, 36 (3). 335 - 352. ISSN 1350-5076

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This article addresses the epistemology of learning, as reflected in some discourses of the learning organization. The article is inspired by, and draws substantially from, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Hunting of the Snark’. It employs a broadly systemic theoretical perspective. The article highlights relevant characteristics of Carroll’s fiction and argues for the importance of differentiation between orders of learning, following Bateson’s model of levels of learning. Building on this differentiation of orders of learning, and on the notion of the inevitable paradoxical nature of organizations, the article explores a possible conceptual integration of ‘learning’ and ‘politics’, which Easterby-Smith et al. consider desirable. A question raised is of whether experiences cited as paradigmatic of ‘the learning organization’ are most likely to be transient and emergent. The analysis questions the extent to which such states can be produced through intention and design, and therefore to what extent the wish for these to become permanent states may parallel the hunt for the Snark.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2005. This is the author's peer-reviewed accepted manuscript.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Sciences, Management, Business & Economics, learning, learning organization, learning to learn, organizational learning, paradox, systems theory, POWER
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Divisions: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2012 13:35
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 19:03

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