Increasingly researchers attest to the reality of a globally interconnected world, where change has become endemic. Thomas and Brown (2011:17) present a worldview of learning in the 21st century, suggesting learning is “around us, everywhere” and term
the phenomenon to be the “new culture of learning”. The discourse in this paper is centred on drawing a comparative analysis of traditional and contemporary management perspectives, as they relate to engendering a culture of learning within institutions in order to deal with the challenges presented by a 21st century of
unprecedented contextual complexity. The methodology adopted in compiling this paper is analytically-descriptive in nature and is based on a multi-disciplinary literature study. The literature analysis revealed a fundamental difference between an “ordered” and “complex” system approached in engendering a culture of learning. An important
finding stemming from the literature study is that traditional ordered paradigms relating to engendering a culture of learning in contemporary institutions may no longer be effective and the adoption of a complex systems approach is suggested.