Can Social Space Provide a Deep Structure for the Theory and Practice of Organizational Learning?

  • Victor J. Friedman
  • Israel J. Sykes
Part of the Knowledge and Space book series (KNAS, volume 6)


This chapter is an exploration of the concept of social space and its potential as a deep structure for guiding theory and practice of organizational learning. Two pioneering social scientists, Kurt Lewin and Pierre Bourdieu, both conceived of the social world as social spaces, or “fields,” that link people in particular configurations and guide behavior according to their unique logic. Organizational learning can be understood as the pattern of change in a field involving boundaries, meaning-making structures, and the rules of the game. The authors identify five patterns of change in social space—knowing one’s place, migration, emigration, reformation, and transformation—and illustrate them through an analysis of organizational learning by schools that serve “socially excluded” student populations. They argue that social space offers constructs for overcoming the conceptual confusion created by multiple disciplinary approaches to organizational learning.


Social World Organizational Learning Deep Structure Social Space Meaning Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology/Department of Behavioral SciencesMax Stern Yezreel Valley CollegeJezreel ValleyIsrael
  2. 2.Independent ConsultantJerusalemIsrael

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