Cultural learning organizations

A management and organizational model


Welcome to Cultural Learning Organizations Website

Eva Moraga



This website has a purpose: to show how cultural organizations can become innovative and creative organizations through their transformation in ‘learning organizations’.


In 2006 I submitted a long study titled “Cultural Learning Organizations: A model” to City University (London—UK) as part of the requirements for the award of MA in Museum and Gallery Management. This document was awarded Pass with Distinction.


This study analyzes the concept of ‘learning organization’ and its possible implementation in any kind of cultural organization, through the analysis of a particular cultural organization as a case study. I recommend to read, first, the ‘Learning Organizations’ Section and second, the ‘Cultural Learning Organizations’ Section, because this was the order in which the original text was written.


Due to a lack of a consistent framework in existing ‘learning organization’ literature to define and implement this notion, first, a new model of ‘learning organization’ is proposed, grounded on previous literature, which tries to be a practical reflection tool for practitioners that want to put this concept into action in their organizations.


This model purports to organize ‘learning organization’ values, principles, systems and processes in a coherent and pragmatic structure which integrates two main parts called: ‘the ethics of the ‘learning organization’’ and ‘the ‘learning organization’ infrastructure’.


Thus, a working definition for the ‘learning organization’ is suggested. It is an organization, where in order to reach the common objectives and vision of the organization, distributed leadership promotes reflection (self-reflection and organizational reflection) and inquiry, participation at all levels and continuous sharing of knowledge, all of them supported by structural communication, individual development and participative decision-making.


Second, the proposed model has been used to analyze barriers and strengths of cultural learning organizations to ‘learning organization’ completion. The analysis of a specific public non-profit cultural organization raised some specific questions related to these particular kind of organizations that have not been thoroughly studied by ‘learning organization’ theory up to now.


Their project-based character, their ‘mission-driven’ nature, their strong ‘expert’ leadership and political, legal and economical constraints, among other factors, can influence the implementation of the ‘learning organization’ idea in these organizations.


Consequently, the initial model was developed and a final model is proposed that can be used not only by cultural managers but also by other practitioners to reflect on learning and innovation in their organizations.