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The Learning Organization ; 30(3):290-308, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2321613


PurposeComplex crises affect tightly coupled systems making them highly unpredictable. This paper aims to determine how organizations learn from their crisis experience shaping their knowledge and transformation trajectory toward and beyond survival. A theoretical framework integrating organizational learning (OL) and knowledge management in organizational transformation (OT) in complex crises is presented.Design/methodology/approachThis conceptual paper presents a systematic literature review on OT in crisis from 2000 to 2021. To achieve integration, the authors searched for studies on OT, knowledge management and OL, each paired with a crisis.FindingsCrises highlight the emergent and decentered nature of knowing and organizing. This study suggests that OT is achieved through various changes in organizational knowledge. Different learning modes enable the transformation of knowledge in a crisis: contextual or situated learning, strategic and collective integration.Research limitations/implicationsThe authors' pandemic experience may have influenced the analysis. This paper does not account for new types of learning emerging due to the influence of digital technologies.Practical implicationsOrganizations may hasten renewal through distributed crisis management facilitated by contextual and strategic learning and collective integration.Originality/valueThis study categorizes learning, based on its function in crisis management, into three types: contextual learning for creative problem-solving, strategic learning for leadership and direction and collective integration to evaluate their crisis journey. Through this classification, this study sheds light on the types of knowledge needed to manage crises effectively, showing that organizations can leverage their crises by transforming and innovating themselves in this turbulent period.