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How organizations promote and avoid learning: development of positive and negative learning cycles

Taina Savolainen (Taina Savolainen is Professor of Quality Management at the University of Oulu, Finland.)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



Enhancing competitiveness through quality has become an increasingly important challenge of learning in organizations. This paper discusses that challenge by presenting conceptual and empirical implications from a research project on quality implementation strategies and learning. Links managerial perceptions of quality, commitment to quality, and learning as a mechanism of quality implementation. Examines quality implementation from a managerial ideological perspective. Case study data gathered from four Finnish manufacturing companies show that the advantageous learning in quality implementation is based on developing solid conceptual skills for managers in the first place, managerial commitment to quality and the sharing of quality thinking in the entire organization. Discusses these factors and describes how positive and negative learning cycles develop and lead organizations to promote and avoid learning accordingly. Proposes that implementing quality through learning is basically an ideological phenomenon. Ideological thinking may develop into a managerial skill that is a source of organizational strength. Implications are made for managers on the role of conceptual skills and ideological thinking in effective quality implementation.



Savolainen, T. (2000), "How organizations promote and avoid learning: development of positive and negative learning cycles", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 195-204.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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