Organizational_learning - Organizational learning in a...

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Organizational learning in a high-tech environment: from theory to practice Atul Gupta School of Business and Economics, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA Glen Thomas Framatone Cogema Fuels, Lynchburg, Virginia, USA Introduction The subject of organizational learning is very broad in terms of the disciplines that have developed organizational learning theories and their viewpoints. However, within each discipline it is generally accepted that effective organizational learning is a necessary ingredient for any organization to remain competitive in the long run. This paper first defines organizational learning and then presents various organizational learning disciplines. Subsequent sections discuss some of the topics associated with organizational learning as developed in current business literature and apply them to a case study. Among the topics covered will be exploration versus exploitation, the disciplines contributing to organizational learning, myopic obstructions to organizational learning, learning through external relationships, the sociology of organizational learning, and the learning organization. Defining organizational learning Dogsdon ±1993) provides a comprehensive definition of organizational learning: organizational learning involves the ways firms build, supplement and organize knowledge and routines around their activities and within their cultures, and adapt and develop organizational efficiency by improving the use of the broad skills of their workforces. Organizational learning includes such direct learning activities as research and development and formal education of employees. It also involves the means that the organization uses to disseminate information throughout its ranks and the way that this information is processed and stored. Organizational learning can and should result in technological innovation, efficiency improvements in efficiency, increased reliability and increased corporate adaptability, all of which should contribute to higher levels of competitiveness. Conversely, low levels of organizational learning lead to stagnant organizations that cannot adjust to environmental changes or competitive challenges and limit the firm's ability to reduce costs or to change markets or product lines. In summary, organizational learning enables the firm to adapt to external change and to improve its current processes. As such, organizational learning is a required element for long-term success ±Kloot, 1996). Some key factors that contribute to organizational learning are corporate strategy, resource allocation, and recognition of the employees' motivation for learning. Corporate strategy comes into play when considering how to structure an organization. The degree to which the corporation is structured to learn from its mistakes and adapt to environmental changes will affect the degree of learning in the organization. This flexible structure includes establishing the organization's form ±product versus matrix) and how each group
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course COM 410 taught by Professor Jenniferwaldeck during the Spring '11 term at Chapman University .

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Organizational_learning - Organizational learning in a...

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