Circular organizing and triple-loop learningCircular organizing and triple-loop learning
van Witteloostuijn, Arjen
Faculty of Applied Economics
Journal of organizational change management. -
12(1999):5, p. 439-453
University of Antwerp
The organizational learning literature distinguishes different levels of learning (zero learning and single, double and triple loop learning) in order to understand the complexity and dynamics of changes in policies, objectives, mental maps, and structures and strategies for learning. This article explores the case of an emerging new organizational design, the circular organization, in order to understand the role of triple loop learning. The circular model was developed on the basis of ideas about the relationship between organizational structure and behavior taken from theories of dynamic systems. Circular design precepts appear to provide a structural facilitation of single and double loop learning. In this respect, the circular design tends to act as a facilitating infrastructure for triple loop learning, that is, exploring the structural opportunities and key competences people need to participate in making well-informed choices about policies, objectives and other issues.