Learning and the Sustainability of Small Organisations: An Examination of Senge’s Theory of a Learning Organisation in a South African Context

By Genevieve Hundermark.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Senge (1990:3) describes the learning organisation as an organisation “where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together”. With the rate of change in the environment constantly increasing, organizations should be learning ones in order to be sustainable, so the theory goes. A learning organisation has a specific environment that encourages learning to take place, as described by Senge. This paper is part of a larger project, which explores if this environment exists in the context of small companies in South Africa, and whether this environment encourages the sustainability of small companies.

Keywords: Learning Organisation, Learning and Work, Adult Learning Theories, Sustainability of Small Organisations, South Africa, Organisational Learning, Organisational Change, Learning Culture

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp.195-214. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 896.480KB).

Genevieve Hundermark

Student, School of Education, Foundation Programme Monash University South Africa, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

I started my working career as a high school educator and then moved into the field of adult learning and training, where I have been for the past 13 years. My interests lie in the field of learning, particularly in the context of work and the organisation, and the role the environment plays in learning.


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