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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Alaa Garad and Jeff Gold

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for organizational learning (OL) that can help organizations to transform into a learning-driven organization (LDO); a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model for organizational learning (OL) that can help organizations to transform into a learning-driven organization (LDO); a model that considers the whole ecosystem, its subsystems and considers the importance of technology, digitalization and dataism. The authors seek to answer key questions, specifically, first, what makes an organization learning-driven? and, second, how the learning ecosystem works organization-wide?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on prior research conducted by the authors in the hospitality sector. Insights were gleaned from both theoretical perspectives and qualitative data drawn from a number of empirical studies. This paper focuses on critically reviewing the literature on OL, and selected organizational development frameworks such as the European Foundation for quality management and investors in people.

Findings

The authors propose an ecosystem model that entails three subsystems for OL. At this stage, the authors propose a conceptual framework that will be tested in the following part two. Leaders in organizations need to re-design their organizations to incorporate learning at all levels, i.e. individuals, teams and organization-wide. Learning should be an overarching approach within and beyond the boundaries of the organizations; for organizations to learn effectively, learning should be strategized and institutionalized.

Research limitations/implications

This paper sheds light on the emerging trends in OL in light of the Industry 4.0 revolution with its phenomenal impact on humans and workplace; there is a dire need for research on human-machine balance, role and impact of machine learning and AI technologies. The authors call for setting up an updated agenda for learning and reconstructing learning into the corporate world; not only this but the future research should focus on reviewing and evaluating what did the authors learn about learning and how can the authors further learn, unlearn and re-learn.

Practical implications

The authors argue that organizations should look into learning as an enabler toward creativity and innovation, which should ultimately lead to excellence and fulfilling the needs of all stakeholders. Organizations should be consciously aware of their emerging intangible assists and proactively encourage their people toward more creativity. Learning can be institutionalized, and the organization transforms into a LDO.

Social implications

The authors propose an ecosystem model that entails three subsystems for OL. At this stage, the authors propose a conceptual framework that will be tested in the following part two. Leaders in organizations need to re-design their organizations to incorporate learning at all levels, i.e. individuals, teams and organization-wide. Learning should be an overarching approach within and beyond the boundaries of the organizations; for organizations to learn effectively, learning should be strategized and institutionalized.

Originality/value

The LDO model will help organizations to strategize learning. Strategic learning about understanding a global strategy and how each business unit in an organization contributes its best, most innovative thinking followed by actions that execute the strategic intent of the organization.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 51 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2020

K. Sumitha P.N. Kannan and Alaa Garad

This study investigates the competencies required for quality management professionals to meet the needs of industry 4.0. The authors use a case study strategy at an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the competencies required for quality management professionals to meet the needs of industry 4.0. The authors use a case study strategy at an electronics manufacturer in southern Malaysia, to adapt their role to be relevant in the industry 4.0 environment. In doing so, this study answers the following four questions: (1) How are the changing technological trends expected to impact the future role of quality in industry 4.0? (2) What are the competencies gap between current and future roles of quality professionals? (3) What are the views and practices related to quality roles? (4) How can the gaps identified be closed to meet the quality challenges of industry 4.0?

Design/methodology/approach

The research methods consist of a comprehensive review of literature on the technological trends towards industry 4.0 and the impact on the role of quality and competence that may be required in the future, as well as internal document review on the current roles of quality professionals in an electronics manufacturer in southern Malaysia, to identify the competence gap. Empirical data was collected based on surveys conducted on 64 quality professionals with a response rate of 96.88%. Interviews were conducted on three decision-makers from critical areas in the electronics manufacturer for viewpoints from three different perspectives: finance, operations and talent development.

Findings

Quality professionals will require technical competencies to interpret large amounts of data from processes to make strategic decisions, the use of new AR tools and be aware of data security risks. Methodological competencies will be required to use data to identify the source of problems, to access reliable sources of learning and the ability to use new tools for solving complex problems efficiently. Social competencies will be required in communications across multi-sites, suppliers and customers in new collaborative virtual platforms, with the ability to retain tacit and explicit knowledge, in a decentralized environment that will require leadership ability to make decisions. Personal competencies required will be the ability to work in a flexible workplace and time and more frequent work-related changes.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of the study is based on what the authors currently know of the future, which may not be much for the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer, who have not been exposed much to the technology yet. The potential for the future landscape to change dramatically with rapid technology changes may also result in a different set of skills for future quality professionals. The quality professionals who were involved in this study were the quality executives, engineers and managers, irrespective of their gender, age, length of service and experience in the field of quality. Therefore, these variables were not taken into consideration for this research.

Practical implications

This research helped to identify the role of quality in industry 4.0 and key competencies that the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer will require to adapt to their role in industry 4.0. However, based on the questionnaire and the interview comments of key personnel, it can be concluded that quality professionals lack awareness of their new roles in industry 4.0. This could be due to the fact that the new technology is not implemented by quality professionals but by the innovation team based in Singapore headquarters, as was also advised by the operations head.

Social implications

The benefit of industry 4.0 technology is clearly shown by Philips's new Dutch factory with robotized technology that was able to produce the same output with one-tenth of the workers of its China factory (Rifkin, 2014, chapter 8). Rojko (2017, p. 80) also shared a similar view that industry 4.0 is expected to reduce production costs by 10–30%, logistics costs by 10–30% and quality management costs by 10–20%. The importance of this research can be seen from the findings of “The Future of Jobs” (2018, p. 22), which suggests that the window of opportunity for organizations to leverage the new technology to re-skill is within the period of 2018–2022, in order to enable employees to reach full potential in the high value-added tasks. The electronics manufacturer may need to keep to this timeline to maintain its competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The purpose of this paper was to determine the competence gap of current quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer with the competencies required in industry 4.0. This led to the third objective, to identify the views of stakeholders based on the propositions derived from the gaps identified, to triangulate the findings, to conclude the competency gaps of the current quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer. Finally, the objective of this paper was to make a recommendation on how to prepare the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer for their role in industry 4.0. The research identified the technical, methodological, social and personal competencies gap of the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer by looking at the changes expected in industry 4.0 from four aspects, factory (people and process), business, product and customers.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2020

The worldwide health epidemic that ensued from the first transmissions of Coronavirus in China in the latter part of 2019 provided an unprecedented shockwave through…

Abstract

Purpose

The worldwide health epidemic that ensued from the first transmissions of Coronavirus in China in the latter part of 2019 provided an unprecedented shockwave through global business. Similar to the Great Depression in the US in the 1920s and 1930s and the global financial crisis of 2008, the following events placed a spotlight on a number of fundamental issues in many industrial sectors and national economies. In the aftermath of the crisis, there would be no shortage of political, economic, social and environmental changes to be made to ensure such widespread devastation could not be repeated.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds his/her own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The worldwide health epidemic that ensued from the first transmissions of Coronavirus in China in the latter part of 2019 provided an unprecedented shockwave through global business. Similar to the Great Depression in the US in the 1920s and 1930s and the global financial crisis of 2008, the following events placed a spotlight on a number of fundamental issues in many industrial sectors and national economies. In the aftermath of the crisis, there would be no shortage of political, economic, social and environmental changes to be made to ensure such widespread devastation could not be repeated.

Practical implications

This paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

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