what is learning organization ?

and what is the characteristics of a learning organization?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A Learning Organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. Learning Organizations develop as a result of the pressures facing modern organizations and enables them to remain competitive in the business environment. A Learning Organization has five main features; systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning.

    Characteristics of a Learning Organization

    A Learning Organization exhibits five main characteristics; systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, a shared vision and team learning.

    Systems thinking

    The idea of the Learning Organization originally developed from a body of work called systems thinking. This is a conceptual framework that allows people to study businesses as bounded objects. Learning Organizations employ this method of thinking when assessing their company and will have developed information systems that measure the performance of the organization as a whole and of its various components. Systems thinking also states that all the characteristics listed need to be apparent at once in an organization in order to be a Learning Organization. If one or more of these characteristics is missing then the organisation will fall short of its goal. However O’Keeffee believes that the characteristics of a Learning Organisation are factors that are gradually acquired, rather than developed simultaneously.

    Personal mastery

    Personal mastery is the commitment by an individual to the process of learning. There is a competitive advantage for an organisation whose workforce can learn quicker than the workforce of other organisations. Individual learning is acquired through staff training and development, however learning cannot be forced upon an individual if he or she is not receptive to learning. Research has shown that most learning in the workplace is incidental, rather than the product of formal training, therefore it is important to develop a culture where personal mastery is practiced in daily life. A Learning Organisation has been described as the sum of individual learning, but it is important for there to be mechanisms by which individual learning is transferred into organisational learning.

    Mental models

    Mental models are the terms given to ingrained assumptions held by individuals and organisations. In order to have become a Learning Organisation, these mental models will have been challenged. Individuals tend to have espoused theories, which they intend to follow, and theories-in-use which is what they actually do. Similarly, organisations tend to have ‘memories’ which preserve certain behaviours, norms and values. In the creation of a learning environment it is important to replace confrontational attitudes with an open culture that promotes inquiry and trust. In order to achieve this the Learning Organisation will have mechanisms for locating and assessing organisational theories of action. If there are unwanted values held by the organisation, these need to be discarded in a process called ‘unlearning’. Wang and Ahmed refer to this as ‘triple loop learning.’

    Shared vision

    The development of a shared vision is important in incentivising the workforce to learn as it creates a common identity which can provide focus and energy for learning . The most successful visions build on the individual visions of the employees at all levels of the organisation and the creation of a shared vision is likely to be hindered by traditional structures where a company vision is imposed from above. As a result, Learning Organisations tend to have flat, decentralised organisational structures. The topic of shared vision is often to succeed against a competitor, however Senge states that these are transitory goals and suggests that there should also be long term goals that are intrinsic within the company.

    Team learning

    Team learning is the accumulation of individual learning. The benefit of sharing individual learning is that employees grow more quickly and the problem solving capacity of the organisation is improved through better access to knowledge and expertise. Learning Organisations have structures that facilitate team learning with features such as boundary crossing and openness. Team learning requires individuals to engage in dialogue and discussion, therefore it is important that team members develop open communication, shared meaning and understanding. Learning Organisations also have excellent knowledge management structures which allow the creation, acquisition, dissemination and implementation of this knowledge throughout the organisation.

    Hope i helped.

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  • 4 years ago

    Characteristics Of A Learning Organization

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Characteristics Of A Learning Organisation

  • 6 years ago

    A learning organization is meant to a company that improves learning of its members and continuously changes itself.


    Improves quality of at all levels.

    Improves Corporate image

    Increasing the pace of change within the organization

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  • Elvia
    Lv 5
    4 years ago


    Source(s): AskOnlineDegree - http://www.askonlinedegree.com/
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    They sound the same to me... Where is this training availible?

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