In this learning object we will explore the concepts of learning, learning organization and related concepts.

Learning has been a central topic in psychological research virtually since the inception of psychology as an independent science. During the largest part of the previous century, it was even the most intensely studied topic in psychology. Also, today, questions about learning are addressed in virtually all areas of psychology. It is therefore surprising to see that researchers are rarely explicit about what they mean by the term learning. Even influential textbooks on learning do not always contain a definition of its subject matter (De Houwer, Barnes-Holmes, Moors, 2013, p.631).

Perhaps this state of affairs results from the fact that there is no general agreement about the definition of learning. To some extent, the lack of consensus about the definition of learning should not come as a surprise. It is notoriously difficult to define concepts in a satisfactory manner, especially concepts that are as broad and abstract as the concept of learning. However, it may be unwise to conclude that definitional issues should thus be ignored. It is likely that all learning researchers carry with them some idea of what learning is. Without at least an implicit sense of what learning is, there would be no reason to devote one’s time and energy to studying it. Addressing definitional issues in an explicit manner can thus help avoid misunderstandings and facilitate communication among learning researchers (De Houwer, Barnes-Holmes, Moors, 2013, p.631).

Learning can be analysed from many different points of view and there are a large number of separate approaches to it (Kari and Savolainen, 2011, p.231).

A learning organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. Learning organizations develop as a result of the pressures facing modern organizations and enables them to remain competitive in the business environment. The ‘learning organization’ concept was coined through the work and research of Peter Senge and his colleagues. It encourages organizations to shift to a more interconnected way of thinking (Wikipedia, 2014).