Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Collective Learning

  • Thomas N. GaravanEmail author
  • Ronan Carbery
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_136



Collective learning is a complex concept that is variously defined. It is generally conceptualized as a dynamic and cumulative process that results in the production of knowledge. Such knowledge is institutionalized in the form of structures, rules, routines, norms, discourse, and strategies that guide future action. Learning emerges because of interactive mechanisms where individual knowledge is shared, disseminated, diffused, and further developed through relational and belonging synergies. Collective learning can therefore be conceived as an evolutionary process of perfecting collective knowledge.

Theoretical Background

The concept of collective learning draws on a wide body of theory related to learning, organization theory, sociology, and psychology. It recognizes the role of social interactions in the construction of values and identity. Collective learning may result in a communal language, in which collective...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Personnel and Employment RelationsKemmy Business School, University of LimerickLimerickIreland