Learning by Design: Building Sustainable Organizations

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9780631232773: Learning by Design: Building Sustainable Organizations

This book advances a design-based approach for the investigation and creation of sustainable organizations. The learning-by-design framework is utilized to examine learning in six successful companies in different industries and national settings and provides a roadmap for improving systematic learning in organizations.


  • Investigates learning-by-design in successful companies.
  • Focuses on the choices organizations make about the design of learning mechanisms.
  • Built around six detailed case studies taken from different industries and national settings.
  • Provides a framework for improving the conditions for systematic and sustainable learning in organizations.
  • Offers a clear process model for action and change.

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Book Description:

Learning is an essential process for attaining and maintaining sustainability at both the individual and business level. Establishing a learning organization requires a whole-hearted and sustained endeavour. This book facilitates such an endeavour by providing both a coherent framework for analysis and practical models for action. It focuses on the choices organizations make about the design and implementation of specific learning mechanisms. The authors illustrate this "learning-by-design" approach through six detailed case studies, taken from different industries and national settings and focusing on different aspects of organizational learning. They then present an overall analysis of the cases, capturing the nature of the learning requirements, design dimensions and mechanisms, and looking at how these link to each other and to company strategy, resources, and performance. Various learning paradoxes are discussed, as well as issues that merit further study.Students of management and organizational studies, academics in these fields, and executives will find this a valuable resource for learning, reflection, and practice.

About the Author:

A. B. (Rami) Shani is Professor of Organizational Behavior and Change at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is a visiting Research Professor on the FENIX Programme at the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.

Peter Docherty is Professor of Services Operations Management at the Institute of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK) at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. He is also a Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Working Life in Stockholm.A. B. (Rami) Shani and Peter Docherty have collaborated previously on the book Creating Sustainable Work Systems: Emerging Perspectives and Practice (2002).

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