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    Leadership and learning: a critical reexamination of Senge’s learning organization

    Caldwell, Raymond (2012) Leadership and learning: a critical reexamination of Senge’s learning organization. Systemic Practice and Action Research 25 (1), pp. 39-55. ISSN 1094-429X.

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    From its inception the concept of the learning organization has been identified with a particular type of organization or new forms of organizational learning. But it is often forgotten that Senge’s ‘system thinking’ formulation of the learning organization was inseparable from an attempt to reformulate a new way of thinking about change agency and leadership in organizations. Here it is argued that Senge’s learning organization can be re-conceptualised as a partial fusion of ‘systems thinking’ and learning theories that leads to a concept of organizational learning as a form of ‘distributed leadership’. However, the concept is critically flawed because it cannot theorise the organizing practices by which learning to lead and leading to learn are shared or distributed in organizations. It is concluded that Senge’s under-theorized focus on distributed leadership consistently neglects issues of practice and issues of power. As such his work does not provide an exploration of the possibilities for increasing the dispersal of human agency, power, knowledge and autonomy within the workplace.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): systems thinking, organizational change, distributed leadership, action research, agency
    School: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Organizational Psychology
    Depositing User: Raymond Caldwell
    Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2013 13:30
    Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 11:58


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