Call for abstracts: Organizational learning


«Learning organizations» and «organizational learning» have circulated as buzz words among professionals and researchers for several decades. Has this lead to improvements?

Among social educators and education researchers learning has traditionally been perceived as a result of teaching, while the more fundamental learning processes have been studied by psychologists. Psychologists have administered different general perceptions of learning: behaviouristic, cognitive, sociocultural, humanistic psychology and several others. Still, for both social educators and psychologists learning has been perceived as individual learning untill the late 1980’s; it is individuals who learn. However, for several decades «learning organizations», «organizational learning», «learning regions» and «learning society» have circulated as important buzz words among management and organizational researchers as well as consultants, managers and organizational practicians. These buzz words and fields of interest all focus on collective learning processes, which is reflected in a kind of post-modern psychology in which attention is given to community, (organizational) systems, relationships, contexts and communication to a larger degree.

A lot has been expected of these collective ways of learning on both an organizational and a societal level. At the same time, they raise several questions: can collectives (or entities other than individuals) even learn? No matter what the answer is, what is the relationship between individual and collective ways of learning, how does collective learning take place; «behind the actors’ backs» or can it become intentional and be systematized and methodized? Are there different types of logical frameworks within organizations, for example a «logical framework of operation and production» on the one hand and a «logical framework of learning and development» on the other? Are the different kinds of logical frameworks compatible or not? The placement of learning in collectives on different levels also challenges institutional divisions of labour between schools, education and working life as seperate sectors of society and thereby also the «eternal» discussion of the relationship between theory ans pratice within social studies, pedagogy and professions.

In this issue of Research and Change, we encourage articles which discuss different principles and empirical aspects of these collective ways of learning, for example based on the following questions:

  1. What is organizational learning and learning organizations?
  2. Can organizations even learn? Or is it just the sum of the learning of several individuals?
  3. The relationship between individual and collective learning.
  4. Are there organizations who succeed? Examples, case studies.
  5. Is there a fundamental contrast between the logical framework of production and the logical framework of learning within working life and organizations.
  6. How does organizational learning challenge collective ways of learning in relation to the historical and instutional division of labour between education and working life?

Empirical case descriptions, theoretical discussions, comparative studies, litterature reviews, knowledge status in the different areas, the relationship between «learning organizations» and other movements such as New Public Management, or analyses of causes of or potentials in the «wave of organizational learning» are all welcome.

Practical information

Deadline for abstracts: 1 October 2019

Language: Abstracts may be submitted in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English.

Length: A maximum of 500 words

Content: The author must describe the expected structure and content of the article as well as the following elements (in the order that is relevant to your article):

  1. Purpose
  2. Conceptual/theoretical framework
  3. Research design/methods
  4. Results
  5. Limitations
  6. Implications for research and/or practice
  7. Contribution to knowledge sharing

Abstracts should be uploaded to the journal's digital platform: Make a submission

To upload an abstract you must register as a user. Please note that usernames must not contain uppercase letters or spaces.

Download call About Research and Change

Research and Change is a double blind peer reviewed journal, published twice a year and covering specific themes in an open access online format. The first issue was published in May 2018. It is published by Cappelen Damm Publishing and is a cooperative project involving Scandinavian universities and university colleges. The journal publishes articles in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and English. Read more about the journal