Full-text VersionPublisher’s Version
Moral foundations of the learning organizationHuman Relations
Document TypeJournal article
- Learning organization,
- Moral climate,
AbstractCharacteristics of learning organizations (LOs) include free exchange across communities of practice, networked knowledge and experience, continual improvement, learning leadership, open dialogue, continual transformation and protean psychological contracts. I identify 10 moral foundations of LOs. They would house communal business cultures, accountable to Aristotelian and Kantian ethics. Power blocs would allow space for quieter, less obtrusive contributions to be valued, rather than imposing exploitative or mercenary discourses of appropriation. LOs would strive to improve their records of meeting stakeholders' moral claims. They would respond humbly to stakeholder criticism. Leadership would be humble and virtue seeking. There would be civil liberties. LOs would build, debug and update their own moral traditions. They would treat employees with compassion. They would also give special help and support to those challenged by obsolescence. There would be transparent operations and decision-making, engendering critical trust. I suggest how aspiring LOs may try to overcome problems of human defensiveness, limited moral reasoning capacity and fragmented moral terrain, and build these 10 moral foundations.
Copyright © 2001 The Tavistock Institute
Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.
Citation InformationSnell, R. S. (2001). Moral foundations of the learning organization. Human Relations, 54(3), 319-342. doi: 10.1177/0018726701543003