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OLKC (Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities) Conference, 2016, St Andrews

Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities 2016 - small logo‌The Knowledge and Practice thematic group at the University of St Andrews School of Management was thrilled to play host to OLKC 2016 from 26-28 April. Since 2010, this annual international conference has been held in Milan, Oslo, Washington DC, Valencia, Hull and Boston, providing a meeting point for scholars and practitioners interested in the field of Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities. This growing and dynamic community every year welcomes leading scholars, young researchers, and scholar-practitioners to present and discuss their research and practice.

This year, we were fortunate to receive generous sponsorship from Fife Council, Visit Scotland, the Sage journal Management Learning, and the School of Management itself. Delegates received a warm civic welcome from local Provost, Councillor Jim Leishman, who kindly got academic proceedings underway. The theme of this year's conference was "Past, present and future - creativity and innovation for sustainability", reflecting the need for attention to be directed towards the ways in which organisations are (or are not) addressing the current range of global natural and social challenges. In these circumstances, it seems relevant to build on what we already know, and also to learn to embrace the unknown.

OLKC 2016 keynote speakers Paul Duguid and Helen VerranTwo thought-provoking keynotes (both speakers shown right) by Professor Helen Verran, from the Indigenous Knowledge and Governance Group at Charles Darwin University (Australia) and the Institute of Sociology at the University of Tromsø (Norway), and by Professor Paul Duguid, adjunct full professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, stimulated debate amongst the 124 international delegates from the UK, Europe, Scandanavia, North and South America, and Asia.

This set the scene for the 76 papers delegates presented at the conference, which produced engaging and productive discussions. Eleven doctoral students had the opportunity to discuss their work at the pre-conference doctoral programme run by six senior members of OLKC faculty, to help doctoral students develop within the field.

In addition to the stimulating academic programme, everyone enjoyed a lively social and cultural programme, including the opening reception at the Museum of the University of St Andrews. Prior to the conference dinner, delegates took part in a special reception to celebrate the contribution of Professor Mark Easterby-Smith, as he moves into a new Emeritus role. Delegates and a few partners then enjoyed an excellent dinner and a range of local entertainments, including celtic folk music and a performance by St Andrews' own accapella group, "The Other Guys", who entertained with their usual aplomb. All in all this was a lively and engaging event which people seem to have found intellectually stimulating and great fun in enjoyable surroundings.

members of the Knowledge and Practice thematic group celebrating the publication of our book, Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisations, which was launched at the OLKC 2016 conference in St Andrews

Our photo above shows members of the Knowledge and Practice thematic group celebrating the publication of our book Knowledge and Practice in Business and Organisations, which was launched at the conference. See more about the group at Research. Find out more about the conference at

OLKC 2016 sponsors: Sage journal 'Management Learning', Fife Council, Visit Scotland, and the School of Management

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