European Journal of Economic and Social Systems 14 N
2 (2000) pp. 173-190
Organisational learning and the organisational link: The problem of conflict, political equilibrium
Pierre André Mangolte
CREI -- Université Paris-Nord, Avenue Jean-Baptiste Clément, 93430 Villetaneuse, France.
This article addresses the issue of organisational learning. The starting point for the analysis is the
definition of organisational learning proposed by Levitt and March (1988) in terms of the transformation
of an organisation's routines. This definition leads to a focus on the `organisational link' or the way
in which individual routines and various learning processes are coordinated, thus assuring a degree of
organisational coherence. In comparing the different organisational theories of Simon (1947), March and
Simon (1958), Cyert and March (1963) and Nelson and Winter (1982), it is demonstrated that those authors
that place primary emphasis on the organisation as an processor of information tend to downplay the
importance of the social, relational and political dimensions of organisation behaviour. Recognition of
the dual nature of the organisational link and of the importance of political determinants leads to the
conclusion that individual processes of learning and inference should to be analytically distinguished
from `learning' in the sense of a transformation in the organisationís routines.
Organisational learning, organisational theory, firm, coordination.
Correspondence and reprints: Pierre André Mangolte
Copyright EDP Sciences 2000