When Logics Collide: Learning under Organizational Hypocrisy
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: British Journal of Management
Volym: 13 (special issue)
Most conceptualisations of organizational learning are generally underpinned by some notion of unitarism. Theories typically assume shared visions, values, conceptions or identities. The paper, however, considers the dilemmas faced in organizations where identities and visions are not shared, and where conceptions and ideologies are diverse and possibly in conflict. Such organizations, called here hypocrisies, are characterized by divergent norms and stakeholder identities. Seeing learning as changes in shared conceptions between actors at different levels, a case is presented of change in a multi-norm white-collar trade union. This shows the difficulty of promoting unitaristically conceived notions of organizational learning from the centre and that learning is problematic where power is dispersed within the organization. This challenges the view that learning organizations can be associated with empowerment. The paper concludes by arguing for the setting aside of unitaristic assumptions of organizational learning and, instead, conceiving interventions in terms of local learning arenas for democratic dialogue in a context of organisational diversity.
- Business Administration