Queen's University IRC

Organizational Learning: A Literature Review


Brenda Barker Scott
Queen’s IRC Facilitator

January 1, 2011

While a comprehensive model for organizational learning (OL) remains elusory, the wide web of scholarly conversation and debate has spurred rich insight into the central questions of how and what people learn in organizational settings. This paper is aimed at exploring some of those debates, with a view to identifying a complementary set of factors that, if present, might tip the balance towards more fruitful learning in organizations. I begin by exploring the debates shaping the literature through two central questions: 1) What is learning? and 2) Can organizations learn? Based on the insights gained, I turn to the question of how organizations can increase their capacity to learn.

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