Communities, Lifeworlds, Social Arenas, Networks, Systems – Research on Organizations and their Learning
Relating to ECER 2020 theme, EERA-network 32 ”Organizational Education” will gather contributions which focus on organizations as communities, social arenas/worlds, lifeworlds, networks, or systems to get more understanding of learning in, by, and between organizations, of organizational development and change as educational processes.
Interested colleagues are cordially invited to submit papers for sessions of NW 32 Organizational Education.
Organizational Education focuses on organizations of any kind from an educational perspective. Its particular interest lies in organizational learning, change, and development. Relating to the ECER 2020 theme, EERA-network 32 ”Organizational Education” calls for contributions focusing on organizations as communities, social arenas/worlds, lifeworlds, networks, or systems to get a deeper understanding of learning in, by, and between organizations, of organizational development as educational processes. Strengthening the notion of learning between organizations, contributions on the relation between organizations and their enviornment (particularly local, regional communities and networks), their contextual embeddings or interrelations are particularly welcome.
- Organizations as Communities
Even a century ago, Mary Parker Follett saw organizations as communities. Long time neglected, in the meantime educationalists like Lave & Wenger, management scientists as Mintzberg and organizational scholars like Gherardi and Nicolini reactivated and developed this understanding of organizations. Organizational communities emerge or are reproduced by integration, by differentiation and separation, by creating spaces intentionally or mimetically. Foci of research are shared vision, collective identity, or sense of belonging. For educational research on the development of organizations as and within communities, communities of practice and learning communities play an important role.
- Organizations as Social arenas/worlds
To understand organizations as constituted by the mutual interplay of tasks, practices, experiences, human beings, and learning, the interactionists tell us to focus on actions and interactions. This understanding helps us to see how the processes of actions and interactions organise work in social arenas/worlds in which participants’ commitment is the central tenet. In the understanding of the interactionists, social worlds organised into social arenas form the locus of analysis. These social worlds are defined by demonstrating commitment to organisational actions and interactions, which is evident through discourse and action, where organizational tensions and paradoxes are relevant for learning.
- Organizations as Lifeworlds
Based on phenomenology, organizations can be seen as lifeworlds. Weick’s emphasis on sense making is based upon such perspective. Organizing is thus understood as being thrown into a stream of experience in search of answers to what is the story. Elements of an organization as lifeworld are shared language, norms, and practice patterns. Organizational education research focuses on two questions: a) how specific practice patterns of an organization constitute, reproduce and change within the organization’s everyday life; b) how organizations socialize new members.
- Organizations as Networks
Analyzing organizations as networks refers to networks of communication, or conversations. Against theoretical perspectives that see organizations as social entities, actor-network theory focuses on ongoing processes of organizing. Here, actors translate and enroll other human or sociomaterial actants into programs of action. Besides focusing networks within organizations, focusing networks between organizations is a strong strand in empiric organizational behavior and learning research.
- Organizations as Systems
In organization studies, the notion of organizations as systems is prominent since the 1980s. Research on organizations and their learning, development, and change from this perspective, focuses on self-referential processing. It refers to rules, emerging structures and their functions, relations and boundaries between system and environment. Especially systemic perspectives discuss boundaries as well as boundary transgression and intersystemic cooperation.
Network 32 “Organizational Education” encourages researchers from all areas of educational research and organization studies to submit proposals for presentations, symposia, workshops or posters that deal with the above-mentioned topics.
Kind regards, Michael Göhlich (link convenor), Pia Bramming, Bente Elkjaer, Petr Novotny, Line Revsbaek, Maria Grazia Riva, Andreas Schröer, Susanne M. Weber, Byung Jun Yi.
Prof. Dr. Michael Göhlich (link convenor) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ass.Prof. Dr. Pia Bramming (email@example.com)
Prof. Dr. Bente Elkjaer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ass.Prof. Dr. Petr Novotny (email@example.com)
Ass.Prof. Dr. Line Revsbaek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prof. Dr. Maria Grazia Riva (email@example.com)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Schröer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prof. Dr. Susanne M. Weber (email@example.com)
Prof. Dr. Byung Jun Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)