Network learning: an empirically-derived conceptual model of learning by groups of organizations

Louise Knight, Annie Pye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building on a previous conceptual article, we present an empirically derived model of network learning - learning by a group of organizations as a group. Based on a qualitative, longitudinal, multiple-method empirical investigation, five episodes of network learning were identified. Treating each episode as a discrete analytic case, through cross-case comparison, a model of network learning is developed which reflects the common, critical features of the episodes. The model comprises three conceptual themes relating to learning outcomes, and three conceptual themes of learning process. Although closely related to conceptualizations that emphasize the social and political character of organizational learning, the model of network learning is derived from, and specifically for, more extensive networks in which relations among numerous actors may be arms-length or collaborative, and may be expected to change over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-392
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • interorganizational learning
  • network learning
  • learning outcome and process


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