From Fragmentation to Integration: Building Learning Communities

January 2013
Reflections;2013, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p3
Academic Journal
At the time that this article appeared in The Systems Thinker in 1997, a small group of researchers, consultants, and corporate executives was working to create the Society for Organizational Learning as an independent entity. We have included this piece because it addresses one of the key issues that prompted that original group to initiate the undertaking: the fragmentation that was preventing MIT's Center for Organizational Learning from achieving its core purpose of advancing organizational learning. The OLC's struggle to overcome that fragmentation represents a microcosm of the widespread institutional failure that Senge and Kim address in this article. For them, organizational learning requires a commitment to integrating research, capacity building, and practice. It also relies on a community dedicated to diffusion rather than isolation of knowledge. Absent these elements, they argue, the most an organization can achieve is incremental improvement in which learning cannot be maximized or sustained.


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