Experience and Learning: Theoretical Perspectives and Effects on Strategic Decision-Making

  • Ilaria Galavotti


This chapter contextualizes the long-established tradition of organizational learning within the broader frame of psychological theories of learning. The chapter begins with the identification of three epistemological trajectories, that is, the behavioral, the cognitive, and the constructivist schools, that have provided different heritages to organizational learning. Secondly, critical issues underlying learning are uncovered: starting from the critical examination of some of the most influential definitions of learning, the reader will then gradually enter the long-running debate over the anthropomorphization of organizations, in which arguments on knowledge acquisition and storage and unlearning represent key pillars. The second part of the chapter contextualizes the diverse roles that experience plays in strategic decision-making: after describing the dynamics through which organizational learning is institutionalized, implications of experience in strategic decisions are discussed in terms of adaptation, path dependence and momentum, experiential learning, analogical reasoning, and attribution inferences, with a concluding focus on cognitive heuristics and learning disorders.


Learning Disorders Organizational Learning System Explicit knowledgeExplicit Knowledge routinesRoutines Cognitive Simplification Processes 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilaria Galavotti
    • 1
  1. 1.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly

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