Keeping Things Mindfully on Track: Organizational Learning under Continuity

Tor Hernes, Eirik J. Irgens

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We take a critical look at the widespread assumption that organizational learning is associated with a mismatch between expectations and outcomes. While mismatch is central to studying organizational learning, we argue that continuity is equally important. Learning under continuity requires an investment of effort, mindfulness and preparedness for change, even if no perceptible change occurs. Although the organizational literature has to some extent dealt with learning under continuity, putting it more firmly on the organizational learning agenda is necessary. A central element of a more explicit focus on learning under continuity, we argue, is to take a temporal view of organizational learning that includes agency at organizational level. We discuss how, from a temporal view, learning under continuity entails the (1) assessment of present courses of action; (2) exploration of future courses of action; and (3) re-interpretation of past courses of action.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)253-266
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Cite this