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{Excerpt} How can we gauge the successes and failures of collective learning? How can the rest of the organization benefit from the experience? Learning histories surface the thinking, experiments, and arguments of actors who engaged in organizational change.

In the corporate world, the precedence ascribed to individual learning can run counter to organizational learning, the process by which an organization and its people develop their capabilities to create a desired future. Without doubt, developing capabilities is a precondition of a desired future; however, if the essence of a learning organization is that it actively identifies, creates, stores, shares, and uses knowledge to anticipate, adapt to, and maybe even shape a changing environment, the driving concern must be reflection, communication, and collective sense makingfor action across its personnel. (Proponents of organizational learning grumble that people in organizations perform collectively yet still learn individually from incomplete, heterogeneous information to which they ascribe different meaning.) Intra-organizational interaction for learning cannot depend on serendipity: it must be encouraged, facilitated, recognized, and rewarded. Increasingly, narration is deemed a good vessel for bridging knowledge and action in the workplace.


Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). Learning histories. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (