This paper reviews the literature on organizational learning. Organizational learning is viewed as routine-based, history-dependent, and target-oriented. Organizations are seen as learning by encoding inferences from history into routines that guide behavior. Within this perspective on organizational learning, topics covered include how organizations learn from direct experience, how organizations learn from the experience of others, and how organizations develop conceptual frameworks or paradigms for interpreting that experience. The section on organizational memory discusses how organizations encode, store, and retrieve the lessons of history despite the turnover of personnel and the passage of time. Organizational learning is further complicated by the ecological structure of the simultaneously adapting behavior of other organizations, and by an endogenously changing environment. The final section discusses the limitations as well as the possibilities of organizational learning as a form of intelligence.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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