Organizational & Regional Learning, Innovative Systems and Evolutionary Theory


Supporting & Related Sites:

Learning I
(Bateson, 1973)

"...obtaining knowledge in order to solve specific problems based upon existing premises" (Nonaka, 1995)

"Single-Loop Learning" (Argyris and Schoen, 1978)

Learning II
(Bateson, 1973)
"...establishing new premises (i.e. paradigms, schemata, mental models, or perspectives) to override the existing ones." (Nonaka, 1995)

"Double-Loop Learning" (Argyris and Schoen, 1978)

"Learning Outside The Box"

after Nonaka & Takeuchi, p.44


Reviews of the Fifth Discipline (Peter Senge)

  1. systems thinking,
  2. personal mastery,
  3. mental models,
  4. shared vision and
  5. team learning

Knowledge Management & Organizational learning

Links to Knowledge and Information Revolution Topics

Knowledge & Distributed Intelligence [NSF Proposal Solicitation]

The recent explosive growth in computer power and connectivity is reshaping relationships among people and organizations, and transforming the processes of discovery, learning, and communication.

Learning and Intelligent Systems [NSF Proposal Solicitation]

Efforts to understand the nature of learning and intelligence, and the realization of these capacities in the human mind, are among the most fundamental activities of science.

Why a Learning Oganization? [responses]

Hatton, Michael J., "A Pure Theory of Lifelong Learning,"

Lifelong learning presupposes the development of a learning society, one where active, ongoing learning of a higher order will be broadly embraced. As this learning ethic develops, the demand for increased educational opportunities of all types will be unprecedented. Tiebout's "Pure Theory of Local Expenditures", a seminal paper in finance, has direct application for understanding consumer interests and pressures, the role of the central versus local governments, and the effects of consumer mobility and knowledge..."

Learning Theories [Google Directory]

Literature & Sources:

Organization Theory

Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 23, No. 2, March 1999

Afuah, Allan. Innovation Management: Strategies, Implementation, and Profits. Oxford UP, 1997. [416pp.]

Allee. Verna. The Knowledge Evolution : Expanding Organizational Intelligence Paperback - 240 pages (May 1997) Butterworth-Heinemann (Trd); ISBN: 075069842X ; [List Price: $17.95 Amaz.: $14.36]

Argyris, Chris and Donald A. Schoen, Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1978. [HD58.8 A75 1978 v.1]

Axley, Stephen R. Communication at Work: Management and the Communication-Intensive Organization. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, 1996. [HD30.3 A95/1996- BA-Library]

Bateson, G., Steps to the Ecology of Mind. London: Paladin. 1973.

Sarita Chawla (Editor), John Renesch (Editor) Learning Organizations : Developing Cultures for Tomorrow's Workplace Hardcover, 571 pages, Published by Productivity Pr, 1995 ISBN: 1563271109

Benkard, C. Lanier, "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production." American Economic Review, 90(4), Sept. 2000, 1034-54.

Boisot, Max H., Knowledge Assets: Securing Competitive Advantage in the Information Economy. Oxford UP, 1998 [300pp]

Bower, Gordon H. Hilgard, Ernest J. Theories of Learning, 5th ed. Prentice Hall 1980, 640p. ISBN: 0-13-914432-3

Bretschger, Lucas Knowledge diffusion and the development of regions, Annals of Regional Science Volume 33 Issue 3 (1999) pp 251-268 [ PDF available for UW] Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Z|rich, [The economic prosperity of a region is largely dependent on the accumulation and diffusion of knowledge. In this paper, the scale effects as well as the resource reallocation effects of intra- and interregional knowledge transmission are analysed.]

Buchel, Bettina. Using Communication Technology: Creating Knowledge Organizations. Hardcover - 208 pages (8 March, 2001) Palgrave, formerly Macmillan Press; ISBN: 0333929500

"Communication technology not only changes the face of organizations, but can support organizations in their strive to become learning organizations."

Caniels, M.C.J., Knowledge Spillovers and Economic Growth: Regional Growth Differentials Across Europe. Cheltenham: Elgar, 2000. [HC240 C325.2000]

Ch.2: "Knowledge and Location", pp.8-29

Carley, Kathleen M. and Venessa Hill, "Structural Change and Learning Within Organizations", in: Lomi, Alessandro and Erik R. Larsen, eds., Dynamics of Organizations: Computational Modeling and Organizational Theories. American Association for Artificial Intelligence, AAAI Press/ M.I.T. Press, 2001, pp.63ff. [HD58.7 D96 2001/Suzz]

Choo, Chun Wei. The Knowing Organization: How Organizations Use Information to Construct Meaning, Create Knowledge, and Make Decisions. Oxford UP, 1997 (320pp.) [author: Uof Toronto]

Cohendet-P.; Kern-F.; Mehmanpazir-B.; Munier-F., Knowledge coordination, competence creation and integrated networks in globalised firms. Cambridge-Journal-of-Economics. 1999; 23(2): 225-241 [Call number: HB1 .C28 Suzz]

It is argued in this article that the main problem for the modern, globalised firm is not one primarily of the unequal distribution of information, but rather of the difficulty of mobilising and integrating fragmented forms of localised knowledge. In such a context, the role of new means of telecommunication and cooperative working is investigated. (GeoBase)

Dodgson, M., Organizational Learning: A Review of Some Literatures. Organizational Studies vol.14 (1993), pp.375-94.

Dosi, Giovanni, "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journ. of Econ.Literature 26(3), Sept.1988, 1120--1171.

Duncan, Robert and Andrew Weiss, Organizational Learning: Implications for Organizational Design, in: Barry M. Staw, ed., Research in Organizational Behavior. Vol.1, Greenwich, Ct.: JAI Press, 1979, pp.75-123.

Golembiewski, Robert T., ed.,

in: Golembiewski, Robert T., ed.,"> Handbook of Organizational Consultation, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. Series Volume: 81 (2000) [HD69 C6 H363 2000/Suzz] [Part of the Public Administration and Public Policy series]

Gross, Ronald. Peak Learning: A Master Course in How to Learn. Paperback, 280 pp., J P Tarcher, May 1991. [Four departed friends deelpy influenced the ideas in this book: Michael Gross, Alvin Eurich, John Holt, and Buckminster Fuller.]

Harrington, J.W., Learning and Locational Change in the US Semiconductor Industry. Chapter 6 in J. Rees, ed., Technology, Regions, and Policy. New Jersey: Rowman and Littlefield, 1986.

______. Strategy Formulation, Organisational Learning, and Location. Chapter 4 in B. van der Knapp and E. Wever, eds., Technology and Regional Development. London: Croom Helm, 1987.

Hassink, Robert: Die Bedeutung der Lernenden Region f|r die regionale Innovationsfoerderung. In: Geographische Zeitschrift, 85(2+3), (1997), pp. 159-173.

Hill, Charles and S. Matusik, "The Utilization of Contingent Work, Knowledge Creation and Competitive Advantage," Academy of Management Review (Vol. 23, No. 4, 1998, pp. 680-697).

Hilpert, Ulrich, "The Role of the Social Partners in Designing Learning Organizations," in: OECD. Employment Growth in the Knowledge-based Economy. Paris 1996. [HC79.E47.E54.1996/Suz]

Hippel, Eric von: "Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation In: Management Science, 40(4), 1994, pp. 429-439.

Jon-Arild Johannessen Johan Olaisen Bjxrn Olsen, Mismanagement of tacit knowledge: Knowledge management, the danger of information technology, and what to do about it. (2000?)

Business are increasingly finding themselves in a world characterized by globalization, turbulence and complexity, paralleled with an exponential advancement in information technology (IT). Although empirical evidence indicate a lack of support for the positive economic impact of IT, we have seen that companies increasingly invest in the new technology.

David Keeble, Clive Lawson, Barry Moore, Frank Wilkinson, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, Regional collective learning processes, innovation and growth of high technology SMEs: The case of the Cambridge region [Europ.Reg.Sc.Congress, Vienna 1998]

"Recent theoretical research on the technological development of dynamic European regions has drawn attention to the supposedly key role of "untraded interdependencies" between local firms and other organisations (Storper, 1995), involving informal inter-firm networking (Yeung, 1994) and processes of "collective learning" (Camagni, 1991, Lorenz, 1992)...."

Kirat-T.; Lung-Y., Innovation and proximity. Territories as loci of collective learning processes. European-Urban-and-Regional-Studies. 1999; 6(1): 27-38 [Local holdings could not be determined - Consult UW catalogs at]

The article focuses on the relationship between technological and organizational innovation, and territories. This relationship is connected to interactions between learning processes, institutions and spatial patterns of innovative activities. [GeoBase]

Kock, N.F., Jr., McQueen, R.J. and Corner, J.L. (1997), The Nature of Data, Information and Knowledge Exchanges in Business Processes: Implications for Process Improvement and Organizational Learning, The Learning Organization, V.4, No.2, pp. 70-80. [Publisher: MCB Press, Bradford, England]

Lawson, C. Towards a competence theory of the region. Cambridge-Journal-of-Economics. 1999; 23(2): 151-166 [Location: Suzzallo Periodicals Stacks -- Call number: HB1 .C28 -- LIB HAS: v.11- (1987-)]

This paper argues the case for extending the competence theory of the firm, or more generally the competence perspective, to analysis of the region. The relevance of the perspective follows from the characterisation of productive systems such as firms and regions as ensembles of competences that emerge from, but are not reducible to, social interaction (GeoBase).

Lazaric, Nathalie and Edward Lorenz, Trust and Economic Learning. Edward Elgar 1998. [HB72.T78] [incl. paper "Cooperation and Trust in Spatially Clustered Firms," pp.141ff.]

Lefebvre, Louis A., Elisabeth Lefebvre and Pierre Mohnen, eds., Doing Business in the Knowledge-Based Economy: Facts and Policy Challenges. Published in Association with Industry Canada. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001. [ Conference Papers]

Foreword. Part 1: Trends and Forces Shaping the New Reality. 1. The Emerging Global Knowledge-Based Economy: Trends and Forces; S. Gera, et al. 2. The Economic Underpinnings of a Knowledge-Based Economy; R. Morck, B. Yeung. 3. The Global Information Infrastructure: From the Virtual Enterprise to the Virtual Economy; L.A. Lefebvre, et al.

Part 2: Restructuring and Reorganizing in a Knowledge-Based Economy.
4. Organizational Learning and Intellectual Capital; K. Newton, S. Magun. 5. U.S. Manufacturing: Technology and Public Policy in the `Knowledge Age'; J.E. Ettlie. 6. Industry University Government Research Partnerships for Economic Development in the U.S.; F. Betz. 7. A Firm-Based Approach to Industry Classification: Identifying the Knowledge-Based Economy; J.R. Baldwin, G. Gellatly. 8. The Cost of Capital for Knowledge-Based Enterprises in Canada; C. Carpentier, et al. 9. Innovation, M&As and International Competition with an Application to Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology; M.-A. Oliva, L. Rivera-Batiz.

Part 3: Key Governance Issues in the Knowledge-based Economy. 10. Electronic Commerce and the Information Highway; L. Soete. 11. Public Management of Positive Research Externalities; P. Cohendet, et al. 12. Intellectual Property Rights and the Transition to the Knowledge Based Economy; I.M. Cockburn, P. Chwelos. 13. Industrial Restructuring in the Knowledge-Based Economy; M. Boyer, et al. 14. Canadian Public Policy in a Knowledge-Based Economy; R. Morck, B. Yeung.

Part 4: Summing-Up: What Have We learned? 15. Bringing it Together: Some Policy Challenges; E. Lefebvre, et al., INDEX

Lundvall, Bengt-Ake & Peter Maskell, "Nation States and Economic Development: From National Systems of Production to National Systems of Knowledge Creation and Learning," ch.18 in: The Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography, Edited by GORDON L. CLARK, MARYANN P. FELDMAN, and MERIC S. GERTLER, Oxford (U.K.): Oxford University Press, 2000, pp.353ff.. [HF1025.O94.2000 (Suzzallo)]

Lundvall, B.A., ed., National Systems of Innovation: Towards a Theory of Innovation and Interactive Learning. London: Pinter, 1992.

Lundvall, B.A. and B. Johnson, The Learning Economy. Journal of Industry Studies 1, 1994, pp. 23-42.

Malecki, E.J., Technology and Economic Development, 2nd ed., 1997, pp. 261f. (Creating a "Learning Region")

Malecki, E. J.; Oinas, P., eds., : Making connections: technological learning and regional economic change. 1999.

Malmberg, Anders: Industrial geography: agglomeration and local milieu. In: Progress in Human Geography, 20(3), 1996, pp. 392-403.

Malmberg, Anders: Industrial geography: location and learning. In: Progress in Human Geography, 21(4) (1997), pp. 573-582.

Malmberg, Anders; Maskell, Peter: The Competitiveness of firms and regions. In: European Urban and Regional Studies, 1(6) (1999), pp. 9-25.

Malmberg, Anders; Maskell, Peter: Localised learning and industrial competitiveness. In: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 23, 1999, pp. 167-185.

Malmberg, Anders; Svlvell, Vrjan; Zander, Ivo: Spatial clustering, local accumulation of knowledge and firm competitiveness. In: Geografiska Annaler, 78 B(2).(1996), pp. 85-97.

Malone, John C. Theories of Learning: A Historical Approach Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1991, 342p. ISBN/Price: 0-534-05760-8 Cloth Text $59.95

Mathews, John. "Organisational Foundations of the Knowledge-Based Economy," in: OECD. Employment Growth in the Knowledge-based Economy. Paris 1996, pp.157ff. (+ Bibliography!) [HC79.E47.E54.1996/Suz]

Morgan, Kevin, Learning-by-Interacting: Inter-Firm Networks and Enterprise Support, in: OECD: Networks of Enterprises and Local Development. Paris 1996. [HD69.S8.N47.1996/Suz]

Morgan, Kevin. The Learning Region: Institutions, Innovation and Regional Renewal. Regional Studies, July 1997, 31(5), p. 491.

... the paper examines some of the theoretical and policy implications of the convergence of the fields of innovation studies and economic geography. Drawing on the work of evolutionary political economy, it highlights the significance for regional development of the interactive model of innovation. .. examines the policy implication of this model by focusing, first, on a new generation of EU regional policy measures and, second, on a case study of regional innovation strategy in Wales. ... Is regional innovation policy enough to address the socio-economic problems of old industrial regions?

Myers, Paul S. (Editor). Knowledge Management and Organizational Design (Resources for the Knowledge-Based Economy) Butterworth-Heinemann (Trd); ISBN: 0750697490 ; List Price: $21.95 Paperback (October 1996)

Newton Keith and Sunder Magun, "Organizational Learning and Intellectual Capital, in: Louis A. Lefebvre. Elisabeth Lefebvre and Pierre Mohnen, eds., Doing Business in the Knowledge-Based Economy: Facts and Policy Challenges. Published in Association with Industry Canada. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001, Ch.4, pp.117ff.

Nonaka, I. and H. Takeucki. The Knowledge-Creating Company. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. (particularly pp.44ff.)

Norris-Tirrell, Dorothy and Joy A. Clay, "The Production of Usable Knowledge," (pp.829ff.) in: Golembiewski, Robert T., ed.,"> Handbook of Organizational Consultation, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. Series Volume: 81 (2000) [HD69 C6 H363 2000/Suzz] [Part of the Public Administration and Public Policy series]

North, Douglass C., Organizations, Learning, and Institutional Change, Ch. 9 in: Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance. Cambridge University Press 1990, pp. 73ff.

"The modern literature on the firm by Williamson and others explores the most efficient governance structure and organization within the existing institutional constraints. Such maximizing activity by the firm results from learning by doing and investing in the kinds of skills and knowledge that will pay off. But an alternative is to devote resources to changing the institutional constraints"
  • political rules that directly affect profitability
  • "encourage society to invest in the kinds of skills and knowledge that indirectly contribute to their profitability." (p.79)

"The incentive embedded in the institutional framework direct the process of learning by doing and the development of tacit knowledge that will lead individuals in decision-making processes to evolve systems gradually that are different from the ones that they had to begin with. We need only to read Alchian" (p.81)

Orlikowski, Wanda J, and JoAnne Yates. 1994. Genre repertoire: the structuring of Communicative Practices in Organizations. "Administrative Science Quarterly." No. 39 541-574.

Paquet, Gilles. Technonationalism and Meso Innovation Systems [PRIME: Program of Research in International Management and Economy Faculty of Administration University of Ottawa]

"Two very significant transformations in our modern political economies in the last decades have been ascribable to a large extent to the challenges posed by the new socio-economy: a fragmentation/balkanization of existing national economies and a concurrent massive devolution in the governance system of both private and public organizations....

The innovation process depends much on the central features of a selection environment or milieu.
First, innovation is all about continuous learning and learning does not occur in a socio-cultural vacuum. The innovation network is more likely to blossom in a restricted localized milieu where all the socio-cultural characteristics of a dynamic milieu are likely to be found...
Second, some geo-technical forces would appear to generate meso-level units where learning proceeds faster and better...
Third, the deconstruction of national economies, the dispersive revolution in governance, the rise of region-states and the growth of the new tribalism would tend to provide a greater potential for dynamism at the meso level...."

Patchell, J.R., From Production Systens to Learning Systems: Lessons from Japan, Environment & Planning A25, 1993, 797-815.

Prusak, Laurence (Editor), Knowledge in Organizations (Resources for the Knowledge-Based Economy) Butterworth-Heinemann (Trd); ISBN: 0750697180 List Price: $21.95 Paperback - 240 pages (April 1997)

Ravin, John. "Learning Societies, Learning Organizations, and Learning: Their Implications for Competence, Its Development, and its Assessment," in John Raven and John Stephenson, eds., Competence in the Learning Society. New York: Peter Lang, 2001. [HD 58.82 C65 2001/Suzz]

Reimus, Byron, Knowledge Sharing in Management Consulting Firms.

Schein, Edgar H., Kurt Lewin's Change Theory in the Field and in the Classroom: Notes Toward a Model of Managed Learning [Professor of Management Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management] [Invited paper for a special issue of Systems Practice edited by Susan Wheelan, March, 1995. Copyright © 1999 The Society for Organizational Learning]

"Few people have had as profound an impact on the theory and practice of social and organizational psychology as Kurt Lewin...."

Senge, Peter M., The Dance of Change Doubleday, 1999.

Senge, P.M., The Fifth Discipline: The Age and Practice of the Learning Organization. London: Century Business 1990.

Senge, P.M. Rethinking Leadership in the Learning Organization [THE SYSTEMS THINKER Volume 7, Number 1, February 1996]

Peter M. Senge (Editor), Charlotte Roberts, Richard B. Ross, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook : Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. Paperback, 593 pages Published by Currency/Doubleday Publication date: July 1, 1994 ISBN: 0385472560

ShaniA.B. and Y. Mitki, "Creating the Learning organization: Beyond Mechanisms," (pp.911ff) in: Golembiewski, Robert T., ed.,"> Handbook of Organizational Consultation, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. Series Volume: 81 (2000) [HD69 C6 H363 2000/Suzz] [Part of the Public Administration and Public Policy series]

Siebert, Horst

Storper, Michael. The Resurgence of Regional Economies, Ten Years Later: The Region as a Nexus of Untraded Interdependencies. Revue d'Economie Regionale et Urbaine, 1995, 4, p. 605.

Why is the region essential to the dynamics of capitalism? The author... examines first three main "schools": (1) institutions / "flexible specialisation" (Piore & Sabel); (2) industrial organization and transactions / external economies (Scott, Storper, Christopherson); (3) technological change and learning--the evolutionary School--(Dosi, Patel, Pavitt). For Storper, the region contributes to the dynamics of capitalism as a "nexus of untraded interdependencies." He draws out the theoretical implications & consequences for European regional policy.

Storper, Michael. The Regional World. Guildford, 1997.

p.31: "The learning economy is therefore an essemble of competitive possibilities, reflexive in nature, engendered by capitalism's new metacapacities, as well the risks or constraints manufactured by the reflexive learning of others."

Ch.10 (pp.263ff.) "Institutions of the Learning Economy"

Swenson, Theories of Learning. Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1980

Weick, K.E., The Nontraditional Quality of Organizational Learning. Organization Science vol.2(1), 1991, pp.116-24.

Wolfe, David A., THE EMERGENCE OF THE REGION STATE [Original November, 1996; Revised January, 1997 Department of Political Science University of Toronto Paper prepared for the Bell Canada Papers 5 The Nation State in a Global Information Era: Policy Challenges John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario]

"The new information and communication technologies are exerting a profound influence on the locus of sovereign authority between supra­, sub­, and national levels of governance. The new technologies radically alter the calculus of transportation and communications economics by facilitating more effective coordination of activities across dispersed geographic locations and by substituting the transmission of information for the transportation of goods, capital and labour. The resulting trend towards globalization is marked by an intensification of the pattern of interaction between individual and corporate actors across societies, as well as between nation states...."

"....The knowledge of how to do certain things technologically frequently derives from the knowledge of how to do other things and it, in turn, contributes to the knowledge of how to do related things. Sometimes these spillovers follow the lines of traded input­output relationships..., but often they occur along lines that are not traded. Frequently, they are tied to knowledge and practices that are not always codified or explicit. They are rooted in what Dosi refers to as one dimension of the 'public' aspect of technologies. ... additions to technological knowledge or learning arise from informal information flows or 'untraded interdependencies' between firms in particular sectors or regions of an economy. ...learning and skills embodied in the collective capabilities and memories of people and organizations flow from one economic activity to another in ... the specific sector or region in which they are located."

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