The Learning Organisation (HRM) - Essay Example

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The increasing need for learning in organizations is one of the latest isms' of current management literature. Not only is the ability to learn expected to create the major source of competitive advantage age for organizations in the future (Senge, 2002; Stata, 2005), but learning itself is seen as a prerequisite for the survival of today's organizations…
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The Learning Organisation (HRM)
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Download file to see previous pages Filling this knowledge gap is, however, not an easy job. The reasons are twofold. First, it has been shown that due not only to change resistance, but also to feelings of stress and insecurity, people do not learn new behaviors when they are forced' to, which is the case in many change processes (e.g. Argyris, 2002; Lahteenmaki, Toivonen and Mattila, 2005; McHugh, 2005; Miner and Mezias, 2004). Second, even if they did learn, organization flux in times of change makes it of the utmost difficulty for researchers to distinguish the learning effect from all the other change effects.
There has been keen discussion on organizational learning (OL) and learning organizations in recent years. At the moment, as various typologies of extant OL theories or models demonstrate (e.g. Easterby-Smith, 2005; Fiol and Lyles, 1985; Miner and Mezias, 2004; Shrivastava, 1983), these models are not as yet synergistic, but instead OL research is scattered across different scientific fields.
There are many different, partially overlapping, approaches to both organizational learning and learning organizations. The processual approach is taken by some, whilst others concentrate on finding out who are the main actors of organizational learning. ...
adaptive learning, assumption sharing, the development of the knowledge base and also institutionalized experience effects (for more details see Shrivastava, 1983). By giving different weightings to either cognitive or to behavioural developments, even more definitions, such as the evolutionary development of learning systems, habit formation, the discovery of new cognitive modes and the diversification of outcomes have been introduced (for more details see Fiol and Lyles, 1985). So far, the most prominent modellings seem, however, to be the division between single-loop and double-loop learning as presented by Argyris and Schon (1978) as well as the division between adaptive and generative learning presented by Senge (2002). Because of the different ways of perceiving and defining OL, it appears to be extremely difficult to find synthesis, much less compare these models with one another.
One of the most crucial, but almost totally neglected questions is, whether all learning is valuable (Miner and Mezias, 2004). In OL literature there seems to be an underlying concept that learning always means attaining the desired developments. However, one has to keep in mind that organizations, just like people, learn bad habits as well and this may be even more probable than the opposite (e.g. Argyris and Schon, 1978). Therefore the question needs to be reformulated: do the cognitive and behavioural changes of the organization's members have to improve the firm's performance before they are considered to be reflections of organizational learning, or are all the changes in attitudes and behaviors, no matter how good or bad, gathered under the concept of organizational learning Despite the fact that in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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