Learning in cycles

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Organizations face a key challenge in dynamic environments: the contexts in which experience is gained will not always match the contexts in which experience will be applied. This challenge has been investigated largely in terms of progressive environmental change, which increasingly invalidates learning from prior experience. A great deal of environmental dynamism, however, involves cycling through a limited set of environmental conditions that appear and then give way to other conditions, only to later reappear. We argue that cycles create some of the same problems for organizations as progressive change but also provide organizations an opportunity to reapply lessons as the cycle moves from phase to phase. We develop hypotheses about how cycles affect what organizations learn and how cyclical conditions affect how organizations learn. We test the resulting hypotheses in the highly cyclical context of construction lending by community banks using a panel of nearly 40 years of local real estate cycles.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rockart, SF; Wilson, K

Published Date

  • January 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 70 - 87

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-5455

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1047-7039

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/orsc.2018.1239

Citation Source

  • Scopus