Last Updated 01 Apr 2020

Organisational Learning

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If there are images in this attachment, they will not be displayed. Download the original attachment 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.

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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 programmes at their work places.

It debates on four themes: Modelling the learning process in organisations, organisational readiness, Team working and learning and networked learning . These themes are related to the plan for organisational learning and organisational learning renewal. It claims that effective learning is depends on the environment for learning and the efforts of organisational leaders and managers in creating, nourishing and encouraging the suitable circumstances for learning to occur. 4. Critical Appraisal Article 1: The flow of text is easy to read and it is free from technical terminology.

The examples quoted in this article come from both larger and smaller organisations. The examples are, interesting, and generously interspersed throughout the article. The article includes examples of both successful and failed attempts, gives an idea about how corrections can be made when an initial attempt does not work. Garvin has take on a structural approach. His hypothesis gives the guidelines for real time applications and it is loaded with operational advice rather than high objectives. However, structural improvements are only as good as the enthusiasm for learning, so there are limitations to this theory as well.

Article2: It is very important that an ensemble could be developed from the five disciplines proposed by Senge . However it is a challenge because it is much difficult to incorporate new tools than simply apply them separately. However the payoffs are gigantic. Senge fails to claim any theoretical or empirical evidence to support his claims. This article is better at perceptions than at the provision of realistic steps for managers. The organisations which consider profit as the bottom line, an essential concern with the culture and development of employees and associates is too unrealistic.

There is a question of about the applications of the systems theory. Though he establishes variety of broader appreciations and focus to his hypothesis, it is not fully set in a political or moral framework. Article3: It illustrates a systematic approach to learning organisations, starting from the organisational objectives, diagnosing the need and opportunities, learning organisations support and progress review. It takes the advantage views and experiences of the two real time organisations to portray the real time situations in building the organisation.

It gives a brief review on the different concept and the realities about building a learning environment. It is well known that the concept of building learning organisation is been articulated by different scholars and has a disagreement. This article seeks support from various sources and scholars which is likely to have some contradicting arguments in the article. 5. Comparison of articles Article1 is the theoretical approach to build learning organisations and in article2 Garvin renovate this into reality.

In article1 Garvin looks at managing behaviour and performance which is an external view while in article2 Senge looks at the mental models that determine behaviour which is an internal view. Article 1, 2 &3 disagree about what conditions promote the creation of learning organisations. Each list different factors that represent or promote learning. However, they approach the learning organisations with a normative or prescriptive orientation. Providing an enhanced understanding is a key issue in learning organisations. Article1 claims mental model and system thinking will facilitate this enhanced understanding.

In the case of article2, it is systematic problem solving, experimentation and learning from past experiences. Mental models, Team learning and system thinking disciplines are suggested by Senge(article2) in order to acquire knowledge . In view of Garvin(article1)  knowledge acquisition is  done through learning  from the others and learning from  the past experiences. In order to filter the acquired knowledge Garvin implements systematic problem solving and experiments, and Senge recommends inquiry and dialogue which are discussed in the discipline team learning.

Neither article1 nor article2 explicitly mentioned the need to unfreeze organisation before substantial improvements can be achieved. Whereas article3 discuss unfreezing organisational way of thinking and avoiding decision making that is skewed to either extreme. Under some circumstance the Organisational standards have become as a predicament for the organisations which prefer innovation. Article3 uses the same concept to overcome this problem. Article2 says the leaders of a learning organisation "are designers, stewards, and teachers.

They are responsible for building organisations where people continually expand their abilities to understand complexity, clarify vision, and improve shared mental models - that is, they are responsible for learning. " Article3 has the similar approach to leadership. It seen that article3 has followed some influences of Senge’s (article2) recommendations in the process of building a learning organisation. 6. Conclusion Learning organisations create a culture which sustain and encourage continuous learning by its employees. Vital thinking and acceptable risk taking new ideas.

The concept of the learning organization has gained increasing attention in the management literature. For a quite long time the organisational theorists have studied about the subject under the discussion and their diversity views imply there is a considerable disagreement. In this work, such of three articles which portray suggestions to build a learning organisation are being reviewed, critically analysed, and compared and contract. To conclude, even though there are disagreement regarding the subject basic foundations such as knowledge acquisition, deeper understanding and improved performance are widely accepted by most of the scholars. . REFERENCE (1) Dealtry,R and Teare,R(1998) Building and sustaining a learning organisation, The Learning organisation 5(1) p 47-60 (2) Garvin,D. (1993). Building a learning organisation. Harvard Business Review (3) Senge,P. (1990) The Fifth Discipline :The art and practice of learning organisation United states,Currency. (4) Steven P. (1995) Unleashing the power of learning: An interview with British Petroleum’s John Browne. Harvard Business Review, 75(5) p. 148

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