The Importance of Organizational Learning

Table of Contents

Introduction

Most people in an organization fail to understand the concept behind organizational learning and what it entails. This has seen many organizations become less competitive in the growing world market. Learning hence becomes an important factor for growth and should therefore be incorporated in all organizations. A good example of a company that has integrated learning into its system is the Coca-Cola Company. The company has remained the leading beverage company in the world for many years and this is attributed to the deep organizational learning tradition entrenched in the company (Easterby-Smith and Lyles 2003). This paper will therefore discuss the importance of organizational learning in detail.

Cross and Israelit (2000) argue that learning in any organization is assimilated at the systems level and therefore remains constant (p.348). This has been proved in leading companies such as Motorola and Fiat. These two companies have further been identified with similar core themes attributed to their organizational learning leading to their success. One such theme is conformity to culture through learning. This means that the nature of learning is affected by the culture of the organization itself. A good example is the entrepreneurial technique of Motorola Company to which new information is made available to managers in different departments. The manager however decides how to use this information at his discretion. This makes the running of the company less dictatorial and promotes interaction within the company.

The other theme worth noting is the varying styles between the learning systems in organizations. Most companies fail to establish the unique styles to be used to maximize their organizational learning. Klein (1998) argues that most varying learning styles are based on the culture of the organization hence different approaches to acquire the knowledge (p. 124). Fiat uses a formal style to acquire knowledge while Motorola relies on the informal style of learning.

Leadership

Not every leader in an organization is an effective leader. This is because most leaders concentrate on bringing out their bossy nature instead of leading the employees to achieve the target. The lack of good leadership qualities in most leaders is due to a lack of additional knowledge in addition to their experience. Dierkes et al (2003) argue that leaders are burdened with the responsibility of assisting the employees to understand and integrate the overall strategy of the organization (p. 416). This is one critical area that most companies ignore when facilitating effective organizational training. Triplett (2007) argues that the other critical area for leadership is the lack of proper communication flow from the managerial departments to the juniors (p. 65). In my experience working at BBC, there was always a communication breakdown that always resulted in massive losses by the company. The seniors had not been trained on how to communicate effectively to their juniors and there was no trust between the two departments. These are some of the key aspects that lead to the collapse of a company if not handled effectively through organizational training.

Conclusion

Through learning and knowledge, organizations can account for societal aspects. This is achieved through connection to both the internal employees and the outside world. Companies should avoid ending up like BBC which lacks a clear purpose and philosophy due to a lack of effective organizational knowledge.

References

Cross, R and Israelit, S (2000) Strategic Learning in a Knowledge Economy: Individual,Collective and Organizational. USA, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Dierkes, M et al (2003) Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge. New York, Oxford University Press.

Easterby-Smith, M and Lyles, M (2003) The Blackwell handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. USA, Blackwell.

Klein, D (1998) The Strategic Management of Intellectual Capital. USA, Butterworth Heinemann.

Triplett, J (2007) Organizational Design: A Holistic View. USA, Collective Erudition Publishing.

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