Partners for Learning and Leadership


Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire

Watkins & Marsick


Developed by Karen E. Watkins and Victoria J. Marsick1

A learning organization is one that learns continuously and transforms itself . . . . Learning is a continuous, strategically used process — integrated with and running parallel to work.

All organizations learn. In recent years, some organizations have become more intentional and strategic about the way in which they learn, and how they capture and transform knowledge into organizational improvements. Our original definition captured the concept—but what does it look like when learning becomes an intentional part of the business strategy?

We have identified seven action imperatives—activities people need to be involved in—that characterize companies that are becoming learning organizations. The model we created with these imperatives emphasizes three key components:

(1) systems-level, continuous learning;

(2) this learning then generates and manages knowledge outcomes, and

(3) these outcomes lead to improvement in the organization’s performance and


Our research has confirmed the links between these three components.

This questionnaire will enable you to think about how your organization supports and uses learning at an individual, team, and organizational level so you can start to determine if your business is using learning to improve performance. Keep in mind that your scores represent your own views. Typically, a larger group of people take the DLOQ. Their scores are averaged to create a profile of a division, department, work group or other units in the organization as a basis for improving the way the organization learns and uses its learning to positively impact its results.

Once you get your own initial reading, Partners for the Learning Organization can help you create a more comprehensive profile within your organization; make sense of the data from the profile; and decide on the strategic action needed to address the priorities that emerge from that information.

Please respond to each of the fifty-five items in the questionnaire. For each item, determine the degree to which this is something that is or is not true of your organization. If the item refers to a practice which rarely or never occurs, score it a one [1]. If it is almost always true of your department or work group, score the item a six [6]. Indicate your response by clicking in the circle for the appropriate number.

There are no right or wrong answers. We are interested in your perception of where things are at this time.

Example: In this example, if you believe that leaders often look for opportunities to learn, you might score this as a four [4] by clicking in the circle for the number four [4]. When you click in the circle, a dot will appear there to indicate your choice, as shown below.


Example Question


  Click in one circle  
  for each question  



In my organization, leaders continually look for opportunities to learn.







If you wish to change how you have scored any item, you may do so at any time before submitting your answers; simply click in a different circle than the one you originally chose.

Once you start completing the questionnaire, please do not leave the questionnaire page until you have finished and have clicked the Submit Questionnaire button. If you leave the page before submitting your answers, you may lose all of the answers you have entered and then you will have to start over again from the beginning of the questionnaire.

Additional instructions to help you complete the questionnaire are provided on the questionnaire page. When you have responded to all of the items in the questionnaire, click the Submit Questionnaire button to submit your answers. Your questionnaire will be processed immediately and you will receive feedback on your answers within just a few seconds.  (Answers/responses are stored in a confidential data base for normative purposes  No individuals, or individual scores, are identified in any reports or publications.)

Do not forget to click the Submit Questionnaire button when you have finished.

Click here to begin the questionnaire. Thank you for completing this survey.

¹   ©1999 Karen E. Watkins & Victoria J. Marsick.  All rights reserved.  The authors wish to thank Baiyin Yang, Tom Valentine, and Judy O'Neil for their assistance in validating this questionnaire

For further information about the DLOQ, our models and our work, please refer to the following books. Students should find Making Learning Count! from the Advances Series particularly useful.

Watkins, Karen E. & Marsick, Victoria J. (1993). Sculpting the Learning Organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Watkins, Karen E. & Marsick, Victoria J. (Eds.). (1996). In Action: Creating the Learning Organization. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Marsick, Victoria J. & Watkins, Karen E. (1999). Facilitating Learning Organizations: Making Learning Count. Brookfield, VT: Gower.

Watkins, Karen E. & Marsick, Victoria J. (Eds.), (May 2003). Making Learning Count!  Diagnosing the Learning Culture in Organizations, Advances in Developing Human Resources, Vol. 5, No.2. Thousand Oaks, Ca:Sage


To get more information about how Partners can help you with these solutions, please email Dr. Judy O'Neil at or call 401-737-9997.

Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire

Watkins & Marsick


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