River Publishers Series in
Author: Henrik Vardinghus-Nielsen, Aalborg Universitet, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet
ISBN: 9788793237339 (Paperback) e-ISBN: 9788793237322
Available: December 2014
The aim of the thesis is on the basis of theoretical and empirical analyzes to discuss, develop and present a sociological and pedagogical perspective on organizational learning. The dissertation's intention can be described as to develop a sociologically inspired perspective on organizational didactics. Fundamental questions for the sociology of knowledge are on the one hand how thinking, ideas and beliefs are always influenced by the society in which they are formed, and on the other hand, what role knowledge plays in society and organizational functioning and development.
One of the conclusions is that theories on organizational learning have different ideas, but generally suffer from a lack of a concept of the modern society, and that Niklas Luhmann´s grand theory gives concepts not only to an understanding about modern society, but also about organizations and how they orient themselves in modern society. The conclusion is that through the concepts of function, performance and reflection, organizations learn, and that organizational didactics is related to these concepts.
Another conclusion is that seen from a sociological and systems theoretical perspective organizations are perceived as action systems of modern society. They are situated in a complex and contingent world of other systems, each with more or less accurate expectations of the system, resulting in a problem of management. Problems in managing society can be addressed to and thus explained by a society which in its shape equips systems with a common basic management problem: a problem of observation. Organizational learning as a didactic organization is a response to this particular problem concerning the management and observation of society. Therefore on the basis of this social analysis organizational learning has the function of - not to manage - but to equip organizations with more complex abilities to learn, and to initiate different complex forms of learning. Through an organizational teaching perspective, it is assumed that organizations can learn to learn new ways of observing themselves and their surroundings, and can learn to incorporate and integrate these new observations in their own observation and decision programs (conditioning).
The organizational didactical analysis of the dissertation shows that organizational learning systems are both dependent on their environment (and the relationship to it) and the autonomy of the system itself. The more autonomy a system has, the more opportunities it has to realize processes of learning and the way it wants to learn in relationship to be something to the world! Overall, it shows that the form of learning and opportunities for learning are unfolded in the reflection over not only the system itself or the outside world but over the system / environment difference.