3 October 2007

Call for papers: Flexible Learning Organisations

Call for papers: Flexible Learning Organisations

A special issue of International Journal of Learning and Change

Many scholars agree that the concept of the learning organisation is not precise due to the fact that each organisation is unique and that organisations should be given the adequate flexibility to de-velop their own and relevant conditions leading to an effective learning organisation. Some of these issues have been discussed in recent literature on organisational and individual learning. During the process of becoming an effective learning organisation, in fact, organisations must be given enough space and time for creativity action and synthesis of their own, customised versions of the learning organisations. This may also generate different tensions and will probably provide even more uncertainty and ambiguity in organisations, thus prevent them from implementing a learning organisation. For the idea of learning organisation to be meaningful, it needs to have practical relevance and value, and the question is how relevant the concept of an effective learning organisation is for business growth and development.

This special issue aims to draw on theory and practice of learning organisations and the process of adaptation of learning in a varied organisational context. The issue addresses how the idea of the learning organisation should be adapted to various internal and external circumstances, contexts, situations, etc. All papers, both theoretical and empirical using qualitative and quantitative methods, on flexible learning organisations are welcome.

Following papers fall in the area of interest of this special issue:
  • Experiences from and suggestions for how the learning organisation could be adapted to, for instance, one or some of the following parameters:
  • Flexibility as a concept and its relevance to organisational learning
  • Governance and bureaucratic processes in learning organisations
  • Organic and evolutionary structures and processes in corporate entrepreneurship
  • Learning in SMEs and MNCs
  • Professional or/and/vs. non-professional (less trained) learning organisations
  • International business structures in learning organisations
  • Learning organisations related to service innovation
  • Learning processes in services or/and/vs. product producing organisations
  • Learning through resource leveraging and venture capital formation (rich vs. poor organisations)
  • Learning at different growth cycles and industry lifecycles (prosperity and recession issues)
Since the idea of the learning organisation has been defined in many different ways, by different authors, and since this special issue is about trying to find some sort of order in this chaos, it might actually – in this specific case – be a good idea to have a common frame of reference for all submitters. Therefore, it is advisable that everybody is familiar with two of my own pieces, namely:

"A typology of the idea of learning organisation", (Ă–rtenblad, A., 2002, Management Learning 33(2): 213-230) and "The learning organisation: Towards an integrated model", and (Ă–rtenblad, A., 2004, The Learning Organization 11(2): 129-144)

and in some way relate their own work to one or both of these papers.

Important Dates
100 word abstract to anders.ortenblad@set.hh.se by: 1 February 2008.
Please indicate subject: 'Call for papers – Abstract'. All abstracts must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents, Times New Roman 12, single space. They must contain on the first page a title, authors’ names, postal addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and keywords.
Notification of acceptance: 1 March 2008
Full paper due: 1 June 2008
Notification of acceptance: 1 September 2008
Final version of paper due: 1 October 2008

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