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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Kevin Ions and Ann Minton

The idea of the learning organisation as an aspiration for a continuous process of learning has become widely accepted by many organisations. The purpose of this paper is…

1232

Abstract

Purpose

The idea of the learning organisation as an aspiration for a continuous process of learning has become widely accepted by many organisations. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether demand‐led higher education work‐based learning programmes can help nurture a supportive culture of learning and continuous improvement that helps companies to become learning organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of students’ work‐based negotiated projects was undertaken to determine the extent to which their projects facilitated organisational learning. The analysis was carried out using an organisational learning checklist, developed through reference to the literature and research on organisational learning and learning organisations.

Findings

The study highlights the fact that although work‐based learning programmes can facilitate some aspects of organisational learning, the principles of organisational learning are not necessarily embedded in work‐based programme design.

Research limitations/implications

Although the results cannot be considered generalisable because they are based on a single case, further analysis of a greater range of work‐based learning programmes could establish external validity of the findings. Further research could include the development of an organisational learning taxonomy or action research to develop a work‐based programme that embeds organisational learning principles.

Practical implications

The principles of organisational learning should be considered when designing work‐based learning programmes.

Originality/value

The study highlights the importance of considering organisational learning when designing demand‐led, higher education work‐based learning programmes and outlines a method for analysing the extent to which existing programmes embed organisational learning principles.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Steven W. Pool

An organizational development model is developed to measure the constructs of a learning organization. A descriptive study was conducted investigating the relationships of…

10192

Abstract

An organizational development model is developed to measure the constructs of a learning organization. A descriptive study was conducted investigating the relationships of total quality management, organizational culture and their impact upon a learning organization. The study investigated the attributes of a learning organization and its influence upon employee motivation. A total of 307 executives participated in the survey. The survey revealed that many executives had pursued professional development programs in TQM principles and/or in Senge’s organizational learning principles over the last four years. The executives completed a questionnaire measuring their perceptions involving the principles of a learning organization, TQM attributes, and their organizational culture. The results indicate a corporation implementing TQM principles in a supportive organizational culture has a positive and significant relationship with organizational learning compared to those executives not exposed to these constructs. Also, the findings revealed a positive and significant relationship between a learning organization and the motivational level of its business executives.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 21 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2021

Bijaya Mishra and Jagan Mohan Reddy

This paper aims to provide an overview of the Organization Learning and Learning Organization concepts obtaining the perspectives of Professor Mary M. Crossan and presents…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an overview of the Organization Learning and Learning Organization concepts obtaining the perspectives of Professor Mary M. Crossan and presents an evolution of her immense contribution to the field over the past two decades.

Design/methodology/approach

A conversation with thought-leader, Professor Mary M. Crossan.

Findings

How different “character configurations” and “processes” enhance organization learning across levels in the organization.

Originality/value

The discussion with Professor Mary M. Crossan reveals her take on the evolution of the organizational learning framework and the significant role of the “Leader’s Character” in shaping organizational learning. Exploring this evolution provides the context and impetus to researchers and practice leaders to verify.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2018

Shubham Sharma and Usha Lenka

As contemporary organizations’ focus shifts from knowledge orientation to learning orientation, this paper aims to articulate the need for models that describe the learning

544

Abstract

Purpose

As contemporary organizations’ focus shifts from knowledge orientation to learning orientation, this paper aims to articulate the need for models that describe the learning process in organizations. Simply assuming that organizations learn without any support of tangible framework or models highlights this need. The paper presents limitations of two prevalent themes of organizational learning, i.e. learning by adapting to environmental disturbances and learning from organizational members.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature review on organizational learning, studies that depict the mechanism of organizational learning were selected. These were grouped into two categories: one that focuses on how organizations learn from its environment and other on how organization learn from its members.

Findings

This paper suggests the need for developing models and frameworks that eloquently describe the learning process in organizations. The literature focuses on organizational learning from individuals and adapting to the environment. Organizations tend to attribute the cause of failure to environmental shocks. Then, instead of the environment being a source of learning, it becomes a cause of failure. If individuals are agents of organization through which the latter learns, how this tacit knowledge becomes institutionalized in organizational memory is unknown.

Originality/value

This paper is a retrospective view on organizational learning. It attempts to question the black box of organizational learning, i.e. how the learning of individuals is transferred to organizational memory, or simply put, how the organizational learning mechanism works. There is a dearth of studies that address this question, and it has been simply assumed that somehow organizations do learn, but how?

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Carol Gorelick

Through a conversation with a practitioner, aims to understand the definitions given to the learning organization and how they relate to a model of organizational learning.

12288

Abstract

Purpose

Through a conversation with a practitioner, aims to understand the definitions given to the learning organization and how they relate to a model of organizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Provides a brief overview of a conversation concerning organizational learning vs the learning organization.

Findings

Organizational learning and the learning organization can and should co‐exist. To be effective as a learning organization there is a need for a deep learning cycle and recognition that it will take time.

Originality/value

Offers advice on how to be an effective learning organization.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Anders Örtenblad

The paper aims to offer an overview of the definition of the concept of learning organization to be used, related to and taken as a starting point for further conceptual…

13380

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to offer an overview of the definition of the concept of learning organization to be used, related to and taken as a starting point for further conceptual developments by others writing about and using the learning organization concept. An additional purpose is to suggest how the concept of learning organization could be demarcated to define what would be demanded from any particular organization to be counted as a learning organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper. To define the learning organization, a label-focused approach and a content-focused approach are used. A contextual approach is suggested as the most appropriate tool for demarcating the concept of learning organization.

Findings

It is suggested that there are four versions of learning organization, which can all be related to three different forms of organizational aspects. Furthermore, a contextual approach is suggested to demarcate how to define learning organization to develop a much-needed contingency model, which places reasonable demands on organizations in various contexts to qualify them as learning organizations.

Originality/value

An overview definition, which anybody writing about the learning organization could relate to, is presented. It is also discussed what a learning organization is not, something which only few others have done, and a contextual approach to demarcating the learning organization concept is suggested.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Atul Gupta and Glen Thomas

Organization learning has assumed a major role in modern management as a tool for coping with change and uncertainty. Organizations must adapt to shifting demands in an…

1660

Abstract

Organization learning has assumed a major role in modern management as a tool for coping with change and uncertainty. Organizations must adapt to shifting demands in an environment where chaos is common. The organizations which can make such changes and thrive are those which embrace the philosophy of organizational learning. This paper is an attempt to assess the application of organization learning concepts using a real organization.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 101 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 January 2012

Peter A.C. Smith

This Special Issue is intended to heighten awareness of the importance of organizational learning in addressing the demands of organizational sustainability, and in…

9995

Abstract

Purpose

This Special Issue is intended to heighten awareness of the importance of organizational learning in addressing the demands of organizational sustainability, and in particular triple bottom line (TBL) sustainability. A definition of TBL sustainability is provided, together with an exploration of the practical issues relevant to adopting organizational learning in addressing it. By exploring research and practitioner viewpoints bearing on sustainability‐related applications of organizational learning, this Special Issue aims to help organizations remove barriers to achieving sustainability goals and catalyze the progress for an organization on its sustainability journey.

Design/methodology/approach

General sustainability‐related concerns and challenges associated with organizational learning are reviewed, and individual authors voice their understanding of the application of organizational leaning to particular aspects of sustainability based on their research, their case studies, and the extant literature.

Findings

Findings include enhanced understanding of the incompatibility of single‐ and double loop learning in TBL sustainability contexts, and the required emphasis on double‐loop learning to progress sustainability aims successfully. The effectiveness of dialogic interaction is described in achieving a transition towards sustainability in people, organizations and society as a whole. How individual worldviews called “our ecological selves” allow creation of the conditions for confronting global environmental challenges is explained. Contributions are made to the understanding of hybrid organizations through the case of a Brazilian networked organization, and a paradox view of management based on the theories of organizational learning and managerial cybernetics is applied to enlighten the understanding of sustainability. The learning and adaptive system of the US commercial aviation industry is explored and the application of such a system in an organization operating according to triple bottom line sustainability principles is described.

Originality/value

The opinions and research presented provide new and unique understanding of how organizational learning may contribute to organizational sustainability. Further value is added via the assessment of means to progress the sustainability ideal, the identification of barriers, and the many practical examples of means to facilitate progress toward that ideal.

Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2003

Seleshi Sisaye

Accounting for quality and improved organizational performance has recently received attention in management control research. However, the extent to which process…

Abstract

Accounting for quality and improved organizational performance has recently received attention in management control research. However, the extent to which process innovation changes have been integrated into management control research is limited. This paper contributes to that integration by drawing from institutional adaptive theory of organizational change and process innovation strategies. The paper utilizes a 2 by 2 contingency table that uses two factors: environmental conditions and organizational change/learning strategies, to build a process innovation framework. A combination of these two factors yields four process innovation strategies: mechanistic, organic, organizational development (OD) and organizational transformation (OT).

The four process innovation typologies are applied to characterize innovations in accounting such as activity based costing (ABC). ABC has been discussed as a multi-phased innovation process that provides an environment where both the initiation and the implementation of accounting change can occur. Technical innovation can be successfully initiated as organic innovation that unfolds in a decentralized organization and requires radical change and double loop learning. Implementation occurs best as a mechanistic innovation in a hierarchical organization and involving incremental change and single loop learning. The paper concludes that if ABC is integrated into an OD or OT intervention strategy, the technical and administrative innovation aspects of ABC can be utilized to manage the organization’s operating activities.

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-207-8

Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Sangyoon Yi, Nils Stieglitz and Thorbjørn Knudsen

In this study, the authors unpack the micro-level processes of knowledge accumulation (experiential learning) and knowledge application (problem solving) to examine how…

Abstract

In this study, the authors unpack the micro-level processes of knowledge accumulation (experiential learning) and knowledge application (problem solving) to examine how task allocation structures influence organizational learning. The authors draw on untapped potential of the classical garbage can model (GCM), and extend it to analyze how restrictions on project participation influence differentiation and integration of organizational members’ knowledge and consequently organizational efficiency in solving the diverse, changing problems from an uncertain task environment. To isolate the effects of problem or knowledge diversity and experiential learning, the authors designed three simulation experiments to identify the most efficient task allocation structure in conditions of (1) knowledge homogeneity, (2) knowledge heterogeneity, and (3) experiential learning. The authors find that free project participation is superior when the members’ knowledge and the problems they solve are homogenous. When problems and knowledge are heterogeneous, the design requirement is on matching specialists to problem types. Finally, the authors found that experiential learning creates a dynamic problem where the double duty of adapting the members’ specialization and matching the specialists to problem types is best solved by a hierarchic structure (if problems are challenging). Underlying the efficiency of the hierarchical structure is an adaptive role of specialized members in organizational learning and problem solving: their narrow but deep knowledge helps the organization to adapt the knowledge of its members while efficiently dealing with the problems at hand. This happens because highly specialized members reduce the necessary scope of knowledge and learning for other members during a certain period of time. And this makes it easier for the generalists and for the organization as a whole, to adapt to unforeseen shifts in knowledge demand because they need to learn less. From this nuanced perspective, differentiation and integration may have a complementary, rather than contradictory, relation under environmental uncertainty and problem diversity.

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