Purpose - The purpose of this study is to explore a department in a UK higher education (HE) institute based on Senge's five characteristics of learning organizations. Design/methodology/approach - In this study, a case study method was utilized. The case study entailed two lines of enquiry: a questionnaire, which was distributed to a UK HE-institution department followed by semi-structured interviews.
Findings - The findings show that learning-organization characteristics were present to a limited extent. Within the department, the results showed a variation in the impact level of the five characteristics between administrative and academic groups, as well as between the new and old members of staff.
Originality/value - Recently, the learning-organization concept has been of interest to companies operating in both the private and public sectors; however, its implementation in a higher education setting remained limited to holistic studies assessing higher education institutes in general, rather than in studies analyzing its impact at the micro-level. Hence, this research agenda contributes at two levels of enquiry: the departmental level of learning-organization adaptation, and the level of the individuals' experiences in the workplace.