Against Learning

I have been struggling with ideas (and time) for a blog post for a while. I’m beginning to feel like I did as a child and I decided to keep a journal but would go months without writing in it followed by short bursts of the variety “Today I did…”. I have found something to write about now however that I hope will be a little more interesting but in the same vein. Two things actually.

The first is that I have achieved the new Australian Dream and left my employer with a redundancy due to restructure. This is something that I am actually happy about so that I can look to new horizons and, most importantly, spend more time on my doctoral work which has been suffering for the second half of the year. I’m looking forward to working as a consultant with the opportunity to work across many different projects and industries – watch this space!

While I’m on the topic of uni, I have had an article recommended to me that I found very interesting. Not least because it really challenged my opinions on organisational learning, which I love. The article is called ‘Against Learning‘ (already a provocative name) by Alessia Contu, Christopher Grey and Anders Ortenblad.  The article, published in the journal Human Relations in August 2003, offers a different perspective of organisational learning. It is a great critique of the field and, as a practitioner and a researcher, I found it quite challenging to read but nonetheless a fantastic article. The authors pose the questions “Why organisational learning? What are we really trying to achieve?”. They argue that organisational learning needs to be treated as more than just a management fad and must be considered as part of the broader work in learning and education. I agree with this as I have found that in the business world learning and development practitioners sometimes seem to want to distance themselves from the more “academic” writing and research and try to blend in more within the business community. ‘Against Learning’ challenges that view and argues that we need to see organisational learning as part of the broader learning/knowledge worker discourse.

Lots to think about.