Innovation is widely recognised as an important engine of growth. The underlying approach to innovation has been changing, shifting away from models largely focused on Research and Development (R&D) in knowledgebased globalised economies and giving more emphasis to other major sources of the innovation process. Understanding how organisations build up resources for innovation has thus become a crucial challenge to find new ways of supporting innovation in all areas of activity.
This report supports and contributes to this widened approach to innovation analysis and policy by showing the importance of work organisation, interactions within organisations, as well as individual and organisational learning and training for innovation. The analytical tools and empirical results it provides are designed to open the black box of what a learning organisation is, that is, a work organisation supporting innovation through the use of employee autonomy and discretion, supported by learning and
This report begins with a survey of the literature on learning organisations in order to provide greater definitional clarity. Although the literature is highly disparate and there is nothing like a unified definition or concept of the learning organisation that has been developed and empirically tested in a cumulative manner, some common definitional ground has been identified. A key feature of the literature is that much of it is normative and concerned with the promotion of management tools that are designed to improve the learning capabilities of an organisation and its members.
Executive Summary (download pdf)
Chapter 1. Defining learning organisations and learning cultures
Chapter 2. Mapping learning organisations and their characteristics for the European Union
Chapter 3. Measuring trends - the work complexity paradox
Chapter 4. Behind innovation - employer and employee trade-offs
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Centre for Educational Research and Innovation - CERI