The learning organisation against a ceiling: can it move beyond the barrier?
Du Plessis, D. F.
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In this critical literature review of the learning organisation and specifically the spirituality dimension of the concept, the aim is to identify possible aspects that will assist in operationalising the idea. The learning organisation concept is wellestablished and has been applied globally since being made popular in 1990 by Peter Senge. The concept promised huge potential and in many cases made a significant difference in the organisations where it was implemented. The emphasis is on learning in the organisation which makes it possible to adapt more rapidly to changes in the environment. However, its implementation was met with mixed success. For many reasons it is difficult or even impossible to establish the ideal learning organisation. This article proposes that one of the variables that inhibited proper implementation of the learning organisation concept can be the lack of accounting for spirituality in the organisation. Spirituality in organisations (such as a sense of purpose, and meaningful engagement) is a fundamental assumption of the learning organisation. More research needs to be done to investigate the role of spirituality in an organisational context with the aim of unlocking the potential of operationalising the learning organisation concept.