Purpose – The purpose of this article is to analyse the evolution of the concepts of organizational learning and the learning organization and propose guidelines for the future.. Design/methodology/approach – The evolution of organizational learning and the learning organization is analysed in the light of the three‐stage model of the evolution of concepts developed by Reichers and Schneider in 1990. Findings – Based on the aforesaid model, the authors positioned these topics at the beginning of the second stage of evolution, a period characterised by evaluation and the attempt to add to the comprehension of concepts through empirical research and conceptual clarification. Faced with this finding, the authors argue that the development and consolidation of concepts is mainly a question of researchers' responsibility and suggest some key areas to guarantee their progress and their general acceptance in the future. Originality/value – The use of a concept's life cycle stage model as a framework to analyse evolution of the concepts of organizational learning and the learning organization that allows comprehension of their pattern of development and, in consequence, provides a consistent basis to propose guidelines for their future development.
The Learning Organization – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 23, 2008
Keywords: Learning organizations; Research