This conference is for any scholar who has an interest in the “learning organization”, and especially in efforts to modernize the idea to better answer to the kind of challenges that organizations of various kinds face today and will face in the future. Such challenges include (but are not limited to):
What is the main theme of the conference?
The main theme of the conference is the concept and/or practice of the learning organization. Nevertheless, the conference will, in addition to learning organization also deal with organizational learning, organizational unlearning and group/team learning. Papers submitted to the conference need to explicitly relate to any of these concepts, and also to the term modernizing in the conference title.
Who is welcome to attend the conference?
The conference is mainly intended for academics within the area of the learning organization (in a broad sense – please see above), who presents academic papers, but any so-called “practitioner” who wants to attend the conference is of course also welcome. Also academics who don’t have any papers to present are welcome to attend the conference.
What will happen at the conference?
The conference schedule will include paper presentations, plenary sessions (such as keynotes), and at least one, arranged (but relatively informal) “learning café”.
When are abstracts and full papers due?
Abstracts or/full papers (or paper ideas) should be sent to Anders Örtenblad (at email@example.com), who is the main conference organizer. Papers/abstracts/paper ideas can be sent at any time. In case your abstract/paper is intended for any of the sub-streams of the conference, then please note this in your email subject/text.
Which papers are welcome?
Conceptual papers are as welcome as papers based on empirical studies (no matter whether the main method used is quantitative- or qualitative-based) – as long as the arguments included are convincing. Papers approaching the learning organization as a tool (in its positive sense) are as welcome as papers that approach it as a concept to criticize. Of course, papers focusing on critique of the learning organization, as concept or practice, are as welcome as papers focusing on praise of the learning organization. All we ask for is that everybody relates somehow to the title of the conference, in terms of modernizing the practice or/and concept of the learning organization (or organizational learning, organizational unlearning, group/team learning).
Thus, papers could, for example, deal with:
But, again – papers that refer to any aspect of “modernizing” the learning organization concept and/or practice are warmly welcome.
So far, there are a few sub-streams that will have their own paper presentation sessions at the conference (more such sub-streams may be added later):
Session chairs: Nhien Nguyen, Jens Ørding Hansen and Are Jensen
The concept of responsible innovation has been attracting increasing attention among academics and practitioners in recent years (Stilgoe et al., 2013).
There are significant complementarities between the vision of a learning organization and currently influential notions of responsible innovation (Hansen et al., 2020). In fact some of the core qualities that characterize the learning organization according to Senge (1990) – such as openness, reflection, a shared vision, and an emphasis on collective inquiry – are qualities that directly define responsible innovation according to some interpretations of that concept, except that to qualify as a responsible innovator an organization must extend the scope of those qualities beyond its own boundaries to include other stakeholders in society in the innovation process.
Is it only a small step from being an innovating learning organization to becoming a responsibly innovating learning organization?
To contribute to this discussion, we invite empirical and theoretical papers that explore the linkages between the learning organization and responsible innovation. We welcome submissions that address, but not limited to, topic such as:
Please send your one-page abstract to the session chair Nhien Nguyen (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) before 15 May 2020, and please copy Anders Örtenblad (at email@example.com), who is the main conference organizer. Your abstract will be included in the program if you register for the conference. Full paper is due on 19 June 2020. As mentioned in the conference announcement, best papers will be considered for a special issue of The Learning Organization (TLO) (https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/tlo.htm), published by Emerald (please note that this special issue will be realized only if there are an enough number of relevant papers – if not, best papers will be considered for a regular issue of TLO).
Stilgoe, J., Owen, R. and Macnaghten, P., 2013. Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy, 42(9), pp.1568-1580.
Senge, P., 1990. The fifth discipline: The art and practice of organizational learning. New York.
Hansen, J.Ø., Jensen, A. and Nguyen, N., 2020. ”The responsible learning organization: Can Senge (1990) teach organizations how to become responsible innovators?” The Learning Organization, Vol. 27 No.1. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-11-2019-0164
Session chair: Michael J. Marquardt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This track will include presentations that show how action learning can be utilized to build the Learning Organization. Potential topics might include:
1. Team learning via action learning
2. Developing organizational learning competencies via action learning
3. Developing leadership competencies for the learning organization via action learning
4. Organizational knowledge management with action learning
5. Creating an organizational learning culture via action learning
6. How the action learning group models a learning organization
Session chairs: Peter Wyer (email@example.com) and Shaun Bowman
In the main, the notion of the learning organisation has evolved and developed with large organisations in mind. Whilst some attention has been afforded to application of the concept in a small business context, this has tended to be fleeting and lacking in rigour. And yet one can argue that many growth-achieving micro enterprises and small businesses, when faced with today’s highly uncertain and unpredictable external environment, demonstrate a significant ‘learning the organisation along’ propensity – and that individual and organisational learning capability are key sources of competitive advantage. Learning capabilities that set them aside from rival enterprises who succumb to the pressures of external change or at best manage to tread water in survival mode.
Moreover, one could further contend that the less formal and often idiosyncratic management processes and characteristics of the smaller enterprise can be convivial to the unfolding and seizing of both operational and strategic learning opportunities by the more progressive owner and his or more able workforce. And that more entrepreneurial owner managers do exploit these characteristics to underpin sustained business development and growth.
This in turn raises the issue as to whether more entrepreneurial growth-achieving small businesses can be considered to be some form of learning organisation and within this Track we invite contribution to such consideration.
We invite empirical and theoretical papers that examine the utility or non-utility of the notion of the learning organisation in a small business development context, welcoming submissions that address but are not limited to:
Session chair: Nancy M. Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)