In the current world of business and organizations, the role of organization learning is enormous as it is the learning ability and knowledge base of an organization that creates the distinctive competitive advantage. This article reviews the literature on organization learning. Organization theory, industrial economics, business history, management, and innovation studies have addressed the question of how organizations learn. It assesses these various literatures and tries to understand the goals of organization learning, the learning process in organizations, and some important variables on the concept of organization learning. In this article, seven major variables or focus of the concept and practice of organization learning have been studied. It reviews the conceptual framework of individual and organizational learning and tries to understand how organizations learn from direct experience, learning from others, encouraging and creating a learning environment, and how organizations develop conceptual frameworks for interpreting that experience. The idea of organization memory is also emphasized in this article to show how organizations program information and retrieve it in spite of the turnover of personnel and the passage of time. The final section discusses the limitations as well as the possibilities of creating new paradigm on organizational learning in the current business environment.
- learning organization
- individual learning
- knowledge management
- organization memory
- organization culture
During the past few decades, the marketplaces for organizations have shifted from a market push–based strategy toward a market pull–based strategy. In comparison with an environment years back, where the demand was high with supply scarcity, today’s situation is characterized by an overflow of products and services whose amount is in abundant to satisfy the demand. The resulting customer expectations, as well as the intense global competition, depict an enormous challenge for the flexibility of an organization which is operating in this scenario. As a consequence of the evolved threats, organizations are forced to adjust quickly and adopt new ways to remain competitive. The recent advances in the field of organization studies have shifted focus toward studying the fit between organizations and its adoptability in an ever-changing environment. Hence, there is a need to study the concept of organizational learning to understand learning concepts and practices and essentially upgrade the concept to conform to the current requirements of organizations. The study of organization learning has been into existence for long and has gained importance due to its ever-evolving characteristics and focus toward developing of the organization ecosystem. The growing importance of learning in organizations and knowledge creation has been widely felt by organizations operating in diverse and multicultural societies. The biggest challenge which organizations face in today’s world is how learning can be used in knowledge assimilation resulting in fostering innovation faster than its competitors.
This article aims at investigating the main elements of the process of organizational learning and identifies its main characteristics resulting in creation of a learning environment as strategic competitive advantage for organizations. It focuses on how organizations learn and leverage from the benefit of organization learning and also highlights areas of learning interventions which will help organizations to maximize the benefits of learning.
Review of Literature
There is a need to review the existing literature of the concept of organizational learning to explicate the understanding of the organizational learning concepts and practices and essentially upgrade the concept to conform to the current requirements of organizations. The idea of organization learning and it’s in-depth process and development have been in existence for considerable time but their scientific background and principles can be traced back to many perspectives of management. Organizational learning is attributed to the creation of the “action learning” process (Revans, 1982), which uses small groups, rigorous collection of statistical data, and the tapping of the group’s positive emotional energies (B. Garratt, 1999). The technique is also mirrored in Deming and Juran’s quality control system using quality circles, statistical process control (SPC) and plan-do-study-action (PDSA). A few other important works also positively contributed to spearhead the debate of organizational learning and in later stage to the popularity of the concept. Seminal studies like Argyris and Schon’s (1978) double-loop learning notion, Senge’s (1990) the “Fifth Discipline,” and Pedler, Burgoyne, and Boydell’s (1991) learning company model and the idea of “learning curves” have been widely used by large management consulting firms.
The study of organizational learning and learning organizations have flourished and been matched by a range of academic bodies studying it. Organization learning has been widely studied by economic historians to examine the importance of learning in the development of new industries and technologies (Rosenberg, 1976) and the development of formal research and development (R&D) as institutionalized learning mechanisms (Mowery, 1981). Learning is debated by industrial economists to effect productivity (Arrow, 1962) and industrial structures (Dosi, 1982). Intrafirm learning has been an important characteristic of the theory of the firm since Cyert and March (1963), and learning plays a central role in Teece, Pisano, and Schuen’s (1990) “dynamic capabilities” theory of strategic management. The relationship between learning and innovation has been examined at a strategic management level (Dodgson, 1991; Loveridge & Pitt, 1990) and at a tactical management level concerned with new product development (Imai, Nonaka, & Takeuchi, 1985; Maidique & Zirger, 1985). There are a number of reasons why the study of organization learning has gained momentum among management researchers. First, large-sized corporations attempt to develop strategy, structure, and systems which are more adaptable and responsive to internal and external environmental stimulus. This concept has been described and influenced by the work of a number of researchers like Peters and Waterman (1982), Kanter (1989), and Senge (1990). It is also widely considered that learning is a key to competitive advantage (R. Garratt, 1987; Porter, 1985). Second, there is significant influence of technological change on organizations. The turbulence engendered by technological change in products, markets, and processes is directly propagated to the organization’s strategy. The complexity of new product development process (Rothwell, 1992) and shortened product life cycles, the transformation of production processes toward “lean manufacturing” (Womack, Jones, & Roos, 1990), and the growing use of computer-aided organizational innovation such as just-in-time delivery systems and materials procurement planning (MRP) intensifies the dire need for organizations to learn and do new things in radically different ways.
Third, the concept of “learning” has a broad analytical value and is shown in the breadth of academic disciplines using it. Contemporarily, normative approaches such as those found in management literature on the subject seek to a new language to deal with the changed circumstances facing firms. Apparently, academicians in economics has attempted to progress beyond the existing static views of organizations as “bundles of resources.” Learning is a dynamic concept and its use in theory emphasizes the evolving nature of organizations. In addition, it is an integrative concept that can unify various levels of analysis: individual, group, corporate, and community nature of organizations (Dodgson, 1993).
What Is Organization Learning?
The concept of learning is understood from various perspectives and mainly developed in the psychological field over a long evolutionary history (Wang & Ahmed, 2001); however, there is rarely agreement within disciplines as to what learning is and how it occurs (Fiol & Lyles, 1985). Economists tend to view learning either as simple quantitative improvement in activities or as some form of intangible and vaguely defined positive outcome. The management and business literatures often equates learning with sustainable comparative competitive efficiency (Dodgson, 1993), and the innovation literature usually sees learning as promoting comparative innovation efficiency (Hamel, 1991). Some works have considered the notion of learning organization culture as an attribute of entrepreneurship and risk taking (Kanter, 1989; Naman & Slevin, 1993; Sykes & Block, 1989), facilitate leadership (Meen & Keough, 1992; Slater & Narver, 1995), organic structures (Gupta & Govindrajan, 1991; Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993), decentralized strategic planning processes (Day, 1990; Hart, 1992; Mintzberg, 1994), and individual development (Garvin, 1993). These various literatures tend to investigate the outcomes of learning, rather than delve into what learning originally is and how these outcomes are achieved and ultimately enhance the organizational performance. In contrast, it is a major concern of psychology and organization theory to examine the process of learning. Learning, in this context, relates to the firms and includes both the processes and outcomes. It can be defined as the various means by which the firms build, complement, 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 employees. This postulates a broad range of characteristics of organization learning:
Learning has positive implications although the outcomes of learning’s are sometimes negative, that is, firms learn by committing errors.
Although learning is based on individuals in the workforce, firms can learn in totality. While emphasizing the role of human agency in learning, corporate and group culture is also influenced by individual learning and can assist the direction and use of that learning.
Learning occurs across different activities of the firm, and it occurs at different levels and pace. Encouraging and coordinating the various interactions in learning is a key organizational responsibility for managers.
Firms that intentionally build strategies and structures to enhance and maximize the organizational learning experience have been labeled as “learning organizations.” The characteristics of the learning company are described by Pedler, Boydell, and Burgoyne (1989) as “an organization which facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself,” and argue that it
cultivates a climate of encouragement where individuals learn and develop their full potential
extends the learning culture to involve customers, suppliers, and other important stakeholders
positions human resource strategy at the center of corporate strategy
constantly undergoes a process of organizational transformation.
Although there is not much documentation available on firms’ learning methodology, large Japanese corporations like Toyota, Sumitomo, Sony, Matsushita, and others have many characteristics resembling learning organizations (Dore, 1973; Dore & Sako, 1989; Sako, 1992) and there is significant parity with smaller, entrepreneurial high-tech firms in the United Kingdom (Dodgson, 1991). The Japanese philosophy of learning and knowledge management emphasizes “oneness of humanity and nature,” “oneness of body and mind,” and “oneness of self and other” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). To exploit the maximum benefit out of the learning activities and direct them for future benefits, such firms heavily bank on training and human resources development initiatives across all levels. A commonly expressed belief in the field of strategic management literature is that organizations do learn and adapt and that this enhances the organization’s ability to survive. According to Figgis et al. (2001), it is relevant to analyze a learning organization as learning environment as learning organization focuses on the process of learning at all the levels: individual, group, and organizational level. Learning in such an organization is a spontaneous process which is cultivated and supported by building learning cultures, ensuring conditions for everyone to learn and share information, experience, and knowledge. In such an environment, the employees are trained by using innovative teaching—learning techniques that correspond to their learning needs and those aligned to their career goals and corporate strategy. Organizations have also implemented systems of incentives for improvement within organizations to encourage and stimulate employees to undertake initiatives and risks and collective problem solving (Hale, 1996).
Comparative analysis of various literature sources revealed many different interpretations of the learning organization concept that are presented in Table 1 with distinguished characteristics.
Various authors based on findings of their studies have defined organization learning by highlighting yet interconnecting aspects, including the following:
learning is adaptation to changing environment
there are various levels of learning within organizations, that is, individual → group → organization
exploration of the experience gained
organizations encourage continuous learning and develop learning skills and processes of improvement
creation of knowledge
information and knowledge sharing within organizations.
speed of learning
value of organization culture in learning
Learning is one of the main processes in a learning organization, and it can influence organization behavior, culture, and efficiency (Levitt & March, 1988). It has been established that different authors distinguish the aspect of learning when describing learning organizations as it is emphasized in almost all the dimensions of a learning organization foundation. Literature analysis reveals the fact that while defining learning in the organization context, knowledge is being created, skills and specific capabilities are formed, and experience is gained by working toward corporate goals of the organization. According to Dixon and Flood (1993), the following three levels of learning can be distinguished: individual learning, group learning, and organization learning (Figure 1).
The Goals of Organization Learning
Organization learning practices involve diversified perspectives of organizational management and recognize a wide range of variables determining the learning outcomes, organizational learning retention capacity, problem-solving ability, employee participation, learning environment, rewards linked to learning, encouragement, and so on. To reinforce the understanding of organization learning, seven variables or focus of the concept have been highlighted through an exhaustive literature review: focus on collectivity of individual learning, focus on learning systems and processes, focus on culture and metaphor, focus on organizational memory to retrieve learning, focus on knowledge management, focus on continuous improvement, and focus on creativity and innovation (see Table 2).
Collectivity of Individual learning
Learning is a natural state. Organization learning is as natural as learning in individuals as they attempt to adjust and survive in a turbulent and competitive world. The organization learning system is viewed as one that is totally dependent on individual learning as against the practice of knowledge sharing for all the organizational members (Shrivastava, 1983). The mainstream within this focus of organizational learning considers individuals as “agents” for organizations to learn (Argyris & Schon, 1978).
Organization learning occurs when individuals within an organization experience a problematic situation and inquire into it on the organization’s behalf. They experience a surprising mismatch between expected and actual results of action and respond to that mismatch through a process of thought and further action that leads them to modify their images of organization or their understandings of organizational phenomena and to restructure their activities so as to bring outcomes and expectations into line, thereby changing organizational theory-in-use. (Argyris & Schon, 1996, p. 16)
A learning organization evolves as a result of the learning and behavior of its people (Burgoyne, Pedler, & Boydell, 1994; Honey & Mumford, 1992; Marquardt & Reynolds, 1994; Senge, 1990). The capability of a workforce in an organization to learn faster than those of the other organization constitutes the competitive advantage at the disposal of a learning organization (De Gues, 1998). Collective learning of individuals in organizations leads to development of the core competencies of the organization becoming the distinctive advantage in the long term (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990). Organization learning should be where the individuals interact with others through the process of education and as a result of experience (Honey & Mumford, 1992; Kolb, 1984). Hence, a learning organization must focus on valuing, managing, and enhancing the individual development of its employees (Scarbrough, Swan, & Preston, 1999).
Organization learning is the collection of individual learning within the organization. Collective learning occurs along with the learning process at the individual level and may also occur independently of each individual. However, it cannot exist if the entire workforce in an organization is restricted from learning (Kim, 1993; Romme & Dillen, 1997). Drawing a contrast out of these theories, it can be claimed that organization learning can be defined as the accumulation of individual and collective learning. Several theories also postulates the fact that individual learning is not necessarily positive or contributive to the organization because employees can also learn something which is negative to the organization or may learn to improve their own skills rather than benefit the organization (Field, 1997). Juxtapose, the individual learning activities, in turn, facilitated or inhibited by an ecological system of factors may be called “organizational learning systems” (Argyris & Schon, 1978). Thus, learning-based interaction between individual employees and the organization that employs them is emphasized (Hedberg, 1981; Morgon, 1986). According to Matlay (2000), the relationship between individual and collective learning is the most important aspect that distinguishes learning organizations from one another.
Focus on Process and System
One stream of research on organization learning refers to organizations as “learning systems” (Revans, 1982). Organizational learning is the process whereby organizations understand and manage their experiences (Glynn, Milliken, & Lant, 1992). Different views are emphasized within the learning process: leadership (Popper & Lipshitz, 2000; Revans, 1982); personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, team learning, and systems thinking (Senge, 1990); and various processes like intuiting and interpreting at the individual level, interpreting and integrating at the group level, and institutionalizing at the organization level (Crossan, Lane, White, & Rush, 1994).
The systems view of organization learning has been adopted from the information processing perspective (Cyert & March, 1963). Organizations are termed as information processing systems, acquiring, interpreting, distributing, and storing information within the organization, and therefore four components of the organizational learning process are proposed: knowledge acquisition, knowledge distribution, knowledge utilization, and organizational memory (Huber, 1991).
The three-stage model highlights the various aspects of organization processes:
Knowledge acquisition—the development or creation of skills, insights, and relationships.
Knowledge distribution—the dissemination of what has been learned.
Knowledge utilization—the integration of learning to make it available and generalized to new situations.
According to Nevis, DiBella, and Gould (1995), organizational learning is defined as the capacity or processes within an organization to maintain or improve performance based on experience. Learning is systems-level phenomenon because it remains within the organization, even if individuals change. A systems viewpoint comprises two substreams: organizations as closed system or an open system. Under the closed systems view, organizational learning is limited to an organization itself, which is a reflection of the classical approach to organizational management (Burnes, 2000). Open systems view of organizations considers situational factors and includes interorganizational learning as a vital part of the overall organizational learning system. However, knowledge is acquired within and outside the organization. In a learning organization, the highest stage incorporates three aspects of learning: environmental adaptability, learning from their people, and contributing to the learning of the wider community of which they are a part (Pedler et al., 1991).
However, the systems view has not emphasized on flexibility, interaction, innovativeness, and creativity although these are important aspects for an organization to survive and succeed in the current scenario.
Focus on Culture or Metaphor
Several researchers have highlighted the importance on the cultural perspective of learning organization. Culture serves as a sense-making mechanism that guides and shapes the values, behaviors, and attitudes of employees (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1996), and it is through values that behavior flows and guides (Simon, 1976). An organization’s culture imposes “coherent, order and meaning” and enables the institutionalization of an appropriate sense-making structure to facilitate interpretation of unfamiliar events (Weick, 1985). According to Schein, it is the internal integration of the individuals within the shared culture that aids learning. Drew and Smith (1995) observed that a learning organization should be seen as a metaphor rather than a distinct type of structure. In this scenario, the employees learn consciously on communal processes for continually generating, retaining, and leveraging individual and collective learning to improve the performance of the organizational systems.
The traditional hierarchical cultures are antilearning and antitraining, and weaken the potential of organizations to match and survive increasing competition in the global marketplace (Jones, 1996). In the current economic scenario, knowledge is not a sacred cow and is not just preserved for people in managerial or professional positions but every employee will need to be a knowledge worker. However, it is not sufficient to have more number of knowledge workers in the organization than that of competition because the culture has to be right to enable the full potential of the individual talents. Organizations need to change to a collaborative team culture to escape the no-training and waste-training traps (Jones, 1996) and focus on the process and involvement of people within the organization (Mintzberg, 1994). According to Jones (1996),
In addition to the utilization of the technical skills and knowledge workers, a team approach is essential for the effective acquisition of new knowledge and skills. Team skills are inextricably linked with effective learning and it is the learning and motivation which a team approach enables to form the mainstream quality, innovation, service, etc.
Torbert (1991) names it “the liberating culture,” which is the means of overcoming barriers that limit organization learning.
The link between culture and organizational performance has been defined by researchers (Denison, 1990; Gordon & DiTomaso, 1992). Culture has also become an important tool for design of organization structures and strategies and enables an organization to utilize the knowledge and experience optimally for achieving the set goals and objectives (Bierly, Kessler, & Christensen, 2000).
Organization learning depends on features of individual memories (Hastie, Park, & Weber, 1984; M. K. Johnson & Hasher, 1987). Routine-based ideas of learning presume that the lessons of experience are maintained and accumulated within routine activities despite the turnover of employees and period of time. Rules, procedures, technologies, beliefs, and cultures are conserved in the organization through the systems of socialization and control (Levitt & March, 1988). Organization not only records information but also shapes its future path, and the details of that path are highly dependent on the processes by which memory is stored and consulted internally. H. T. Johnson and Kaplan (1987) and Rovik (1987) highlighted the accounting system of recording and creation of history by an organization.
Organizations records experience in the form of documents, accounting files, standard operating procedures, and computer-generated spreadsheets and databases. These are retrieved in the social and physical geography of organizational structures and relationships, in standards of best practices, in the culture of organizational stories, and in shared perceptions of the way things are done in the organization.
However, it is not practically feasible for the organization to record routine information as it incurs cost. With the advent of the information technology, organizations are encouraged to automate the recording of the routines by substantially reducing the cost. The recording of routines also depends on the nature of the organization business. Skills-driven organizations rely more heavily on tacit knowledge than do bureaucracies (Becker, 1982). Organizations that face complex uncertainties rely on informally shared understandings more than organizations dealing with simpler, more stable environments do (Ouchi, 1980). However, outcomes of experiences, if not transferred from the ones who experienced it to those who did not, will be lost due to employee turnover.
Retrieval of Experience
It has been found that only part of an organization’s memory is likely to be remembered at a particular point of time or in a particular part of the organization. Some parts of the organizational memory are more available for retrieval than the others. Recently used and frequently used routines are more easily evoked than those which are less frequently used. Thus, organizations have difficulty retrieving relatively old, unused knowledge and skills (Argote, Beckman, & Epple, 1987). The routines that record lessons of experience are organized around organizational responsibilities and are retrieved easily when actions are taken through regular channels than when they occur outside those channels (Olsen, 1983). Large part of the routines can be stored using information technology, particularly where there are large numbers of routines bearing on relatively specific actions like design of structures and engineering systems, scheduling and production or logistical support, or the analysis of financial statements (Smith & Green, 1980).
Focus on Knowledge Management
Organizational learning and knowledge management are two parallely developed concepts resulting out of the plethora of research conducted in the last few decades on understanding the importance of learning in organizations. Organizational learning is referred to the changes in the state of knowledge (Lyles, 1988, 1992). It involves knowledge acquisition, dissemination, refinement, creation, and implementation: the ability to acquire diverse information and to share common understanding so that this knowledge can be exploited (Fiol, 1994) and the ability to develop insights and knowledge, and to associate among past and future activities (Fiol & Lyles, 1985). According to Bierly et al. (2000), “learning is the process of linking, expanding, and improving data, information, knowledge and wisdom” (p. 597). Part of the knowledge between an organization and individual is complementary and part of it is dissimilar to each other’s principles. In fact, organizational memory creates the knowledge base and acts as the foundation of knowledge accumulation and creation, and reflects the absorptive capability of the organizations. Hence, the main task for management to create learning environment between the individual and organizations is to facilitate interaction and strengthening of each other’s knowledge base (Adler, Goldoftas, & Levine, 1999).
The popularity of knowledge management as a full-fledged discipline for study and practice is contemporary. Off late, organization learning is linked to knowledge creation. The understanding of the impact of organizational learning on knowledge management can be taken from the “ontological dimension” of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995, p. 27) knowledge creation model. Knowledge creation model is the process of knowledge transfer among individual, group, and organizational and interorganizational levels.
Focus on Continuous Improvement and Innovation
The current literature on organizational learning is having an inclination toward continuous improvement (Buckler, 1996; Pedler et al., 1991; Scarbrough et al., 1999). The learning organization is a state which is continuously striven for and is more an aspiration for a continuous process rather than a single product (B. Garratt, 1999). Learning organization as stated by Senge (1990) is where the “people continuously expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together” (p. 3). A similar definition by Pedler et al. (1991) mentioned that “a learning organization should consciously and intentionally devote to the facilitation of individual learning in order to continuously transform the entire organization and its context.” In this context, the Total Quality Management (TQM) is a landmark toward the learning organization philosophy. TQM’s main doctrine is continuous improvement and is practiced as a technique and philosophy. TQM helps organizations to focus on managing customer satisfaction by improving the organizations’ processes, understanding internal customer concept, involving every individual employee, implementing organization-wide training and development, and concentrating on improvement of cost, quality, and customer satisfaction (Evans & Lindsay, 1999; Flood, 1993; Luthans, 1998). Barrow (1993) mentioned that organizational learning is an intended outcome of TQM, and there is a correlation between process improvement and organizational learning. Incremental innovation is achieved only through continuous learning and a learning organization can cultivate incremental innovation through effective learning mechanisms.
The review of some of the organization learning literature has boundaries in the real world of organizations. First, learning is based on systems thinking and stresses on the process of linear-sequential thinking. Each and every single process follows a plan-do-study-check circle and follows a scientific problem-solving or information-process system. This classification contains a certain degree of dearth in terms of flexibility, proactivity, innovativeness, and energies in the business environment attributed by hyper-dynamics, uncertainty, and chaos. Second, there is little evidence of creativity in the process of learning. Shortened product life cycles due to dynamic changes in technology have become a major impediment to the overall organization strategy to make improvements in the existing product ranges, processes, and systems. Holding to existing product ranges and systems may become counterproductive in the real business world. To succeed, organizations need to switch focus on triple-loop learning. Triple-loop learning encourages questioning the existing products and systems by strategically asking where and how the organization stands in the future marketplace with distinct people competencies. Triple-loop learning is also accompanied by organizational ambition, wisdom, and courage, and involves knowledge creation. The triple-loop learning process registers a high degree of creative input and organizational unlearning, and is an interactive process. According to Kuhn (1962), people do not tend to discard their current beliefs and methods as long as they seem to produce reasonable results and until inconvertible evidence, usually in form of failures, convinces them to accept new paradigms (Petroski, 1992). The persistence on existing beliefs and methods hold back learning, therefore, organizational learning is often accompanied with certain degree of organizational unlearning. Organizations have to discard the things they have learned previously. They need to dispose their plan rather than try to extend the life cycle of a successful product, process, or organization policy (Drucker, 1993). In a sense, organizational learning is all about organizational unlearning.
This article is aimed to illustrate the potential and synergy between the various approaches of learning. The concept of organizational learning has been developed from the individual learning perspective and is commonly believed to involve all aspects of the human nature and the interaction with the environment. However, organizations are in a more complicated context than an individual to the environment. To clarify, organizational learning is not simply the collectivity of individual learning processes but connects between the individual members in the organization and interaction between organizations as an entity and interaction between the organization and its contexts. The vast area of organizational learning field has created diversified understanding of the concept of organizational learning. To reinforce the understanding, seven constructs or focuses of the concept and the associated practices have been identified. Although these focuses of organizational learning are evident, they overlap each other and does not essentially exclude from one another. The successful implementation of organization learning is a journey where all the focuses are used according to organization situations. Organizational learning is an ever-evolving concept and includes all aspects that will facilitate the organization to build and maintain competitive advantage. It has been found that research on organizational learning needs to incorporate the perspective of creativity and radical innovation, as a strategic orientation to sustain competitive advantage.
Further research can be undertaken to understand the learning capabilities of organizations in dynamic environment where the change process is faster and radical. The challenge in this scenario for an organization will be to develop the skills and proficiencies of the individuals, teams, and larger communities which will enable people to consistently enhance their capacity to produce results that are meeting their individual goals along with the organization objectives (Senge, 1999). In addition, measuring learning effectiveness and the challenge to sustain the learning momentum across time has been an interesting area to study. How an organization does over the passage of time develop and implement the learning experiences can be a stimulating area of research. In the article, the transfer of learning from one organization to the other has been highlighted where individuals move from company to company carrying the knowledge which they have acquired or developed in the previous organization. How organizations transfer knowledge and learning experiences from one to the other through the transfer of human resources can be widely studied across different cultures at a global context. Aligning organizational learning strategies to the core organization goals can lead to knowledge development and encourage innovation of new product and services. Interestingly, research can be undertaken to study the correlation between organization’s product market strategies and learning ability in a dynamic business environment. Innovation management resulting through organization learning experiences can further contribute to the field of organization learning.
Mayuk Dasgupta is a doctoral scholar (PhD) in human resources and organization development at the Academy of Human Resources Development (AHRD), Ahmadabad, India. His research interests are in the field of organization development, strategic HRM, and managing change in organizations.
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.
- © SAGE Publications 2012