European LO Conf LO10173 -CFP

Michael Kelleher (
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 10:33:34 -0400

European Consortium for the Learning Organisation

4th International Conference

21st century Learning Organisations - Leading the Way

May 21-13, Sofia Antipolis, Cote d'Azur, France

Call For Papers

As we approach the end of the 20th century the concept of the learning
organisation is beginning to grasp the imagination of the business world.
For the first time a conceptual framework has emerged which provides
managers with a positive vision of the future of their organisations. So
many ideas and techniques have been tried and tested in the last ten to
twenty years that managers have grown tired of the negative messages of
poor quality, delivery times, staff capabilities and slow structures and
processes. Business process engineering, TQM, JIT and so many other
techniques have entered the everyday lexicon of the manager who is
struggling with increasing turbulence in product, labour and financial
markets. Experience has shown that the leading organisations of the next
century will not only manage that turbulence but will thrive on it
producing high quality goods and services on time with highly motivated,
highly skilled and committed employees.

Concepts and practice

The last few years have shown that many large organisations have
established policies for coping with the pressures which have attempted to
address many of the structural and human resource issues necessary for the
ongoing challenges of the market place. Frequently, these policies are
consistent with the concept of the learning organisation and some firms
have established learning as central to their business strategies. These
leading organisations will set examples for others and in the next ten
years learning will become synonymous with competitiveness and success.
Examining the experiences of such organisations will continue to be
important to the learning of would be emulators. Practical case studies
and larger-scale research will help point to future developments. Equally,
future leading organisations must underpin their practice within well
researched and tested conceptual frameworks. What are the concepts by
which learning organisations are going to be measured in the 21st century?

Beyond the large organisation

As pressures for change increase on large organisations, their suppliers
will, in turn, experience similar demands. In smaller organisations, often
without central human resource departments, establishing learning
organisation principles will be more difficult. The role of large
organisations as mentors and coaches may become a prominent feature of
inter-firm relationships. Likewise, external agencies - economic
development agencies, vocational training providers and universities -
will have a major role to play in developing the leading organisation of
the future. But do they have the necessary understanding of what it takes
to facilitate the development of small and medium-sized learning
organisations? Are there any conceptual frameworks or experimental
projects which will help us learn how SMEs can become leading learning

The role of technology

Technology has, for some time, being used to develop new forms of
educational material and opportunities. For example, multi-media
programmes have revolutionised people's access to educational material,
particularly in decentralised organisations and rural communities.
Learning opportunities are becoming more available but does this
necessarily equate to organisational learning? With satellite technology
becoming increasingly more sophisticated and interactive PC-based
programmes emerging there is enormous potential for IT-based technology to
assist in the creation of the learning organisation. What are the
practical measures the leading organisations can take to establish
IT-based learning opportunities?

ECLO wishes to bring together practitioners, researchers and consultants
in a community of practice and seeks a balance of presentations from each
of these sections of the learning organisation community.

We are seeking papers on any of the above issues and welcome contributions
which stimulate debate and challenge existing practice.

As in 1996 we expect to receive many more abstracts than is possible to
select for the conference and to assist the selection process we will
operate a strict deadline for submission. Potential authors are requested
to submit an abstract of their paper to the General Secretary by 1700 hrs
UK time on Thursday 5th December.

Abstracts must include:

1. Title
2. Author(s) name, address, telephone, fax and e-mail numbers
3. A 500-750 word description of the central points of the paper:
rationale, focus and key learning points to be addressed.
4. The strand in which the paper makes the most significant contribution
5. A 100 word shortened abstract to be inserted in the published
programme and on ECLO's World Wide Web site.

Please send your abstract to:
ECLO, Vanelle de Lauriers 8, 1300 Wavre, Belgium

Tel/Fax No: + 32 10 227240

The conference programme will be published in January 1997.

If you would like to discuss your potential contribution please do not
hesitate to contact Dr. Mike Kelleher.

Tel: +44 1495 774884 Fax: +441495 772943 e-mail:


Michael Kelleher <>

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