Management and Learning

Coming from a management background, it never ceases to amaze me how much overlap there is between management and teaching. In some cases, the theories are even the same. For an example, expectancy theory is popular in both fields. Even beyond topics of motivation there is much link between learning and management. Empowerment, engagement, transformative methods are all common between the two fields. While some of the models and formulations are different, there is much overlap between the two fields.

Why might this be?

In one way, you could say the overlap exists because both fields are centred on cultivating certain behaviours to achieve an end. However, this would be applicable to any field that has a social dimension. Personally, I am more interested in whether there is some innate quality between the two fields that results in similar theories and practices. I definitely have not yet found an answer to this.

The role of learning within businesses and organizations has been discussed for decades. Indeed, there are interesting links between business leaders that promote learning and success of the organizations they lead.

This short article discusses the development of organizational learning, starting with Henry Ford in developing the Model T. When researching organizational learning, it is hard to not run into quotes from Henry Ford, as learning was central to his business philosophy.

Similarly, Dale Carnegie, author of the business/sales bible “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, started his career as a teacher. After a stint in sales, he went on to write and delivery world famous workshops on effective communication and leadership techniques. See

The business world is full of these stories. Indeed, one of the aims of education is to develop essential skills for employment. As skill development is a lifelong learning process this is probably why the links between education and management are so intertwined.





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