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The learning organization, sensegiving and psychological contracts : a Hong Kong case
Organization Studies
  • Robin Stanley SNELL, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
  • BPR,
  • Ideology,
  • Leadership,
  • Organizational learning,
  • TQM

I discuss a qualitative case study of the development of a Hong Kong-based utility company towards the ideals of 'Learning Organization' (LO). The case illuminates the irony of promoting greater openness and creativity through top-down sensegiving, as many managers and professionals participated in the collective development towards LO ideals, but nearly fell into a propaganda trap. The case also highlights the importance of honouring psychological contracts, as a covenant with the workforce, leveraged the company's dominant industry position, and restored an atmosphere of mutuality with a marginalized rump. Noting that the focal company may have been blessed with relatively munificent circumstances, I identify four viability tasks that aspiring LOs may need to perform continually in order to forestall disillusionment.

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Copyright © 2002 EGOS

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Citation Information
Snell, R. S. (2002). The learning organization, sensegiving and psychological contracts: A Hong Kong case. Organization Studies, 23(4), 549-569, 684. doi: 10.1177/0170840602234003