Becoming a learning organisation: A process-philosophical perspective

Chia, R. (2019) Becoming a learning organisation: A process-philosophical perspective. In: Ortenblad, A. (ed.) The Learning Organization: A Handbook. Oxford University Press. (Accepted for Publication)

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Learning is usually assumed to be an essentially cognitive activity. Consequently, the learning organization literature takes the process of learning to be essentially about acquiring facts, processing information, formulating knowledge configurations, and internalizing rules, routines and procedures, etc. This way of understanding learning assumes that it is driven by prior intentions and pre-defined purposes. But not all organizational learning happens this way. This chapter adopts a process-philosophical approach to show the primacy and importance of non-cognitive and non-deliberate aspects of organizational learning. It argues that prior to conscious cognition, organizational members unconsciously acquire a substrate of generic capabilities through social immersion that crucially defines and circumscribe their capacity to learn. This non-cognitive form of learning comprises a collectively refined perceptual sensitivity to environmental affordances and a set of practical coping capabilities for dealing with the exigencies of an uncertain environment. It is this tacit ability to be perceptually attuned to the unfolding contours of a dynamically evolving external environment and then to respond effectively to it in situ and sponte sua, that make for a truly effective learning organization.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Accepted for Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chia, Professor Robert
Authors: Chia, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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