Organisational Learning

Topics: Learning, Knowledge, Organizational learning Pages: 5 (1513 words) Published: April 22, 2010
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1. Introduction
In order to survive in the rapid changing business environment the organisations need to acquire knowledge and innovate fast enough. This dynamic, complex and globally competitive nature of the business requires learning organisations. CEO of British Petroleum Company John Browne (1995) says “Learning is at the heart of a company’s ability to adapt to rapidly changing environment.”(p.148)  Many approaches are being articulated to build learning organisations. In this work, three articles which portray suggestions to build a learning organisation are being reviewed, critically analysed, and compared and contract. 2. The Literature Search 

Key words: Organisational learning, organisational developments, management learning, continuous learning. Sources: Harvard Business School Review, Emerald journals
3. Review of the articles
Article 1: “Building A Learning Organisation” by David A Garvin In the article Garvin has mentioned about the three dilemmas which are essential for flourishing the execution of the transforming the organisations into learning organisation: Meaning, Management and Measuring. A new approach to learning organisation is being bought into the study. ”A learning organisation is an organisation skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights” (p.3) To build an organisation into a learning organisation Garvin recommends five building blocks: Solving problems systematically, Experimenting with new approaches to work, and Learning from past experience, Learning from other companies and from customers, Transferring knowledge throughout organisation. Implementing these activities assists the organisations guarantee continues improvements. In the later part of the article the steps for   measuring the learning are described. The article advice  Half life curves, questionnaires and surveys on behavioural changes comprehensive learning audit to measure the learning instead of using traditional methods like learning and experience curves which focus only on , cost or price. The article put forward a slight shift in focus, away from continuous improvement and toward a commitment to learning. Article 2: “The Fifth Discipline” By Peter M Senge

This article demonstrates how to create a background, where the employees are supported to learn collectively and individually. Senge says in order to withstand the competitors and to excel in the field or market, the organisations have to ensure two conditions: The capability to design the organisation to match with the desired result or outcome, ability to recognise any deviation from the desired outcome and to bring it back to the right track by undertaking the necessary initiatives and steps. He describes five disciplines which creates learning organisations The System thinking, Personal mastery, Mental models, Shared vision and Team learning. The System thinking is considered as the fifth discipline, Senge describes it as the ‘cornerstone’ which underlies other disciplines. The five disciplines have to be learned by the individuals in the organisation and put into the business activities. According to Senge organisations that are capable of learning from their experiences do better than those organisations that simply adopt to their environments. They take advantage of rapidly changing conditions. Their strategies are sufficiently open ended to allow for the unexpected so that their capabilities of organisational learning can deal with external rapidly changing situations Article3: “Building and sustaining a learning organisation” By Richard Teare and Richard Dealtry  This editorial document discuses how to build a learning background and the implication for Learning organisations. It depicts on the experience and observations of members the organisations which run learning...
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