Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


David Kolb’s conception of experiential learning has informed wide-ranging studies and practices in education, business, organizational development, and leadership studies for over two decades now. His work has guided the work of trainers, teachers, and scholars, affording significant insights into both individual and organizational learning. Because deep and sustained change in human settings requires that people learn, Kolb’s penetrating analysis of the complexities involved in human learning has provided clues about the notorious difficulties surrounding change in both individuals and organizations. In an era where the newest ideas tend to have special cache, Kolb’s work has had remarkable staying power. Perhaps this is because his ideas have repeatedly served as a foundation for theorists and practitioners to understand and influence institutions and the people in them (Sandmire, Vroman & Sanders, 2000; Loo, 2002; Pauleen, Marshall & Ergort, 2004). In a rapidly changing world, contemporary institutions and organizations must foster human learning. Indeed, they must be led by effective learners if they are to be relevant and enduring.