Organizational learning is seen as a source of competitive advantage in modern business, but in many organizations it is difficult to nurture and encourage. This paper discusses barriers to organizational learning, with a focus on professionals and professionalism. It derives from a research project which investigated organizational learning across the chartered surveying profession in the UK. Barriers identified include: an emphasis on individual learning; “learning‐equals‐training”; “learning‐equals‐lack‐of‐knowledge”; a not precisely defined but all‐pervading notion of “professionalism”; competition; the complex – or even contradictory – nature of the professional bodies; “unwritten rules” within the profession; the traditional hierarchical structure within the profession and in surveying firms; learning as a cost factor rather than an investment; and individuals’ prior experiences of learning. The paper argues that these barriers have their reasons for existing, however, and cannot simply be ignored or condemned: rather, they need to be made explicit and “worked through” by each organization to find its own way forward.
Matzdorf, F., Price, I. and Green, M. (2000), "Barriers to organizational learning in the chartered surveying profession", Property Management, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 92-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/02637470010328331
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