Using fieldwork to deepen understanding of organizational learning and/or the learning organization

Laurie Field*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: In an effort to encourage more probing studies of organizational learning and the learning organization (OL/LO), this paper aims to highlight the value of extended periods of fieldwork and suggest priorities for future fieldwork-based research into OL/LO.

    Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on the author’s research and consultancies in the OL/LO field and on systematic reviews of OL/LO literature.

    Findings: Evidence is presented to justify the following four priorities for future fieldwork-based studies of OL/LO: to obtain trustworthy data, to bring the role of time and place into sharp focus, to explore the relationship between organizational learning and interests and to identify strategies for improving organizational learning in particular contexts.

    Originality/value: The paper suggests priorities for a research approach that is not often used to study organizational learning and the learning organization, namely, to undertake extended periods of fieldwork in individual organizations or parts of organizations, gathering trustworthy data and interpreting it with the help of extant OL/LO theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-222
    Number of pages12
    JournalLearning Organization
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2020


    • Fieldwork
    • Interests
    • Methodology
    • Organizational learning
    • Trustworthiness


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