This study presents a theoretical perspective on organizing learning networks in relation to work processes within organizations. Despite the potential wealth in combining various learning and work arrangements, the field seems to be characterized by a single-minded pursuit of highly uniform ways to organize learning and work. The learning-network perspective rejects both a functionalist tool of management approach and a context-independent organizational learning view. Instead, it demonstrates how learning networks are (re-)produced by interactions among employees, managers, training consultants, and other actors, who each have their own theories and strategies in organizing work-related learning. Learning networks can take various shapes depending both on actor dynamics and on work characteristics. The learning-network theory is a descriptive theory that allows employees, managers, training consultants, and other learning actors to understand and develop alternative ways of organizing employee learning in relation to work. An indicative rationale for the key differences between the learning-network perspective and some rival approaches is provided.
Poell, R., Chivers, G. E., van der Krogt, F. J., & Wildemeersch, D. A. (2000). Learning-network theory: Organizing the dynamic relationships between learning and work. Management Learning, 31(1), 25-49. https://doi.org/10.1177/1350507600311004