Action learning and organizational learning: power, politics and emotion in organizations.

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    • Abstract:
      The theme of this paper is a discussion of the relationship between action learning and organizational learning. The main argument is that action learning has been understood in terms of the impact that it can have within the organization, and that, in addition, it is important to ask—what is the impact of organization on action learning? The benefit of this shift of focus is that action learning can be seen as an organizing process as well as a learning process. Action learning is likely to be concerned with individuals' responsibilities to solve key organizational problems, but it is also possible to set this task firmly alongside an engagement with existing organizational dynamics and power relations mobilized by attempts at learning, and the influence they inevitably have on the outcomes of learning. To understand this shift it is necessary to examine the emotions and politics that create and are created through organizational dynamics. Short examples from both private and public sector organizations are used to illustrate the arguments. These arguments are related to developments in the theory of action learning through an additional component to the original action learning formula. 'Organizing insight' provides a link between action learning and organizational learning. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]