LearningAmong Individuals and Organizations
LearningAmong Individuals and Organizations
Accordingto Hamel (2012), a learning organization is one that is equipped withthe art of acquiring, creating, transferring knowledge and modifyingits patterns of behavior to reflect the ever-changing globalinsights. The CEO of the imperial bank of commerce of Canadaelucidates learning organization as the process in which all theemployees are dedicated to enhancing constant learning that promotesboth individual and organizational goals (Huang, 2016). The humanresource department is the climate force that should intensify theaspects of learning by instilling a viable environment in whichemployees can embrace the discords of a learning organization. Thehuman resource officials should be able to create a progressiveknowledge acquisition environment by connecting both training andeducation among the employees. Due to the ever increasing competitionin the corporate sector, learning organization is one of the mostviable tools that an organization can embrace to survive in thehighly competitive sector. In a bid to achieve this motive, theremust be a clear-cut difference between educational learning andlearning that is acquired from everyday life. The intent of thispaper is to examine the relevance of processes in how individuals andorganizations learn.
Accordingto Hess (2014), the best skills are acquired through natural learningor rather, the ability of a person to acquire expertise frompractical life aspects. It is worth noting that most institutions oflearning have turned learning into theoretical concepts. As a result,most individuals only possess theoretical knowledge as opposed topractical knowledge that is significantly required for the success ofan organization (Cooper, Flint-Taylor & Pearn, 2013). Learningorganization is, therefore, a concept that was introduced in a bid toaddress the issues of poor quality professionals that are beingproduced by most institutions. Notably, the responsibility ofdefining the mission and vision of the company is bestowed upon thesenior managers. The decisions that the high-ranking officials makein an organization go a long way in transforming the behavior of allthe other employees. The role of senior managers cannot, therefore,be underestimated since their roles are important in the dailyoperations of the organization. In a way, the senior executives arethe potential superiors that determine the overall performance of anorganization. It should be understood that the type of organizationalmanagement goes a long way in determining the superiority of seniormanagers. In hierarchical structure of corporate management, seniormanagers have the overall power to influence and dictate over thesubordinate staff (Shostak & Whyte, 2013). On the other hand, ina flat lattice structure, senior managers make decisions whileputting in place the opinions of the junior staff. It should be notedthat the decisions and opinions postulated by the subordinate staffdirectly affect the quality and level of performance of the firmsince the employees are usually close to the work conducting.Therefore, in as much as the senior managers have the responsibilityof steering a firm to greater heights, the same managers can lead anorganization to its total failure (Raspin, 2011). Senior officials inthe organization should, therefore, distinguish between leadershipand manager.
Thepersonnel in an organization employees and managers, have differentlearning methods. Employees within an organization learn throughseveral mechanisms. Some learn through listening, seeing, whileothers retain content and succeed. However, the top managers in thesame organization may learn through informal chats, trial and error,professional literature, and internet sources.
SignificantOpportunities forLearning in an Organization
Accordingto Terzieva (2014), both individuals and organizations have theability to learn from experience and with time gain more knowledgeabout the clients they deal with, as well as themselves. However, thequestion that lies with this learning method is whether the processof learning through experience is a natural occurrence or astructured process, carefully managed in a system. Today’smarketplace is dynamic and continues to conform to competitivepressure as organizations focus more on moving from one project toanother (Terzieva, 2014). However, these organizations focus more onthese projects more than concentrating on the learning experiencepresented by a project. Terzieva (2014) proposes a strategy ofknowledge management that will help in learning through experiencewhile maintaining the status of projects within an organization.According to Terzieva (2014), part of these knowledge assets includesknowledge related to technology, markets, products in the market,other organizations, among others. These pieces of information arenecessary for any organization with the intention of generating moreprofit and adding value.
Theprocess of knowledge management points out the significance ofdeveloping systems of organizing different types of knowledge,explicit, and tacit (Terzieva, 2014). Tacit information is theinformation that is not easily transferred from one person toanother. An organization that is keen on learning from experience hasproper mechanisms to capture this type of information. On the otherhand, organizations embrace explicit information to provide the basisfor future decisions. Explicit information defines information thatcan be transferred from one person to another, either verbally, or inwritten form. As a result, both individuals and organizations use theknowledge management technique to learn from experience.
Beinga Leader and Not Just a Manager
Learningorganization is a contemporary concept that almost every firm isslowly adopting. However, for employees to fully embrace the aspectof learning organization the senior officials need to ensure thatthey possess leadership skills and not necessarily management skills.As Lee (2013) postulates, leaders do the right things while managersdo things right leadership is the art of accommodating the interestsof every member of a group and formulate decisions that favor theinterests of all the relevant stakeholders. Based on Hofstede’s sixdimensions, leadership entails the building of teamwork and havingcommon goals towards the fulfillment of certain goals (Yoo, Donthu &Lenartowicz, 2011). As a result, a leader should have power, courageand the ability to motivate the members of the team. An effectiveleader should lead the team by demonstrating how things should bedone and not by giving directions and dictating over thesubordinates. Thus for learning organization to take placeeffectively, the senior officials should embrace the attributes ofleadership and not just management skills (Lee, 2013). Managersalways give directions to the people without necessarily taking aclose perspective on how exactly the tasks should be completed.Management is often dictatorial, and there is no close relationshipbetween the senior officials and the subordinate. Therefore, in mostinstances, employees in such dictatorial organizations quit theirjobs for better ones since they are not always motivated. Mostmanagers should understand people learn effectively in a freeenvironment.
Learningorganization is, therefore, an entity that is only viable within thecontext of leadership and not management. Effective leadership shouldencompass essential elements such as selflessness, intrapreneurship,power distance and uncertainty avoidance. These principles imply thatin learning organization, employees should be given an opportunity togrow their skills individually and also at the organizational level.Through long-term orientation learning, organizations will beenhanced since the employees will be able to distinguish between thepast and the present endeavors since learning organization is meantto improve and develop the organization.
Individualand Organizational Learning
Ina bid to unravel this dilemma, it is viable to look at learningregarding the entity as a product and learning as a process. However,learning as both a product and process is meant to change thebehavior and our mental state (O`Toole, 2013). Thus, the major aim oflearning is to change behavior and most importantly the change shouldbe towards the positive. In regards to the behaviorist, orientationlearning is viewed as an experimental procedure that studies thebehavior of the employees in relations to the workplace environment.Therefore, the employees play an integral role in ascertaining thatit is employees who impose a change in an organization afterlearning.
Additionally,the cognitive orientation views the behaviorism as a product of theenvironment. Thus, the conceptualization of behavior in regards toemployees is dependent on the mental ability of the employees toevaluate the discords and aspects of change. Cognitive orientation,therefore, views learning organization as a process of embracingchange through knowing.
Thehumanist orientation perceives learning organization as the basis forhuman growth. Notably, this implies that learning is a responsibilitybestowed upon the employees. The organization is made up of employeesand without the efforts of the employees the organization is doomedto lag below the global level. Furthermore, the social orientationviews individuals as having the ability to acquire structures andmodels that govern an institution. Learning is, therefore, an entitythat involves the participation of individuals.
Fromthe above orientations, it is evident that learning is a product ofpeople and therefore learning organization is a process thatencompasses the input of individual employees in an organization. Itis, therefore, arguable that organizations cannot learn, but instead,the employees acquire knowledge and use it to steer the organizationto great heights.
Accordingto Hamel (2012), learning organization entails valid interpretation,processing and responding to information both outside and inside theorganization. Organizational learning focuses on the manner in whichpeople unfold sense and make use of their experiences in theworkplace. Learning organization can be derived from socialinteractions, especially the natural settings. A classicalelucidation of the learning organization unravels the fact thatnatural settings provide the most viable opportunities for learningto take place. It implies that employees should be given a chance tointeract with other workers from different corporate firms.Benchmarking is also one of the best ways to enhance interaction ofemployees with other people.
Ina nutshell, learning organization is an entity that is stillevolving, and therefore most scholars still exhibit varyingideologies in regards to whether it is individuals that learn orwhether an organization can learn. As noted in the essay, learning isa continuous process and employees in an organization will only beable to learn if the environment in the organization is viable.Learning organization has tacit beliefs that seek to uphold theperformance of an organization. It is only through learning thatorganizations can attain their target budget during every fiscal yearand also enhances the fulfillment of goals of the organization. As acontinuous process, learning puts the employees up to date with thechanges that the world undergoes.
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