Free Access
Volume 14, Number 2, 2000
Page(s) 173 - 190
DOI: 10.1051/ejess:2000116

European Journal of Economic and Social Systems 14 N$^\circ$ 2 (2000) pp. 173-190

Organisational learning and the organisational link: The problem of conflict, political equilibrium and truce

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.

Keywords: Organisational learning, organisational theory, firm, coordination.

Correspondence and reprints: Pierre André Mangolte

Copyright EDP Sciences 2000