Learning Organization

Topics: Systems thinking, Organizational structure, Organizational studies Pages: 17 (6160 words) Published: February 15, 2011
Learning Organization: Answer to Organizational Growth

Organizations are established to fulfil various needs of the people. The organizational objectives could be achieved via the organization’s growth-oriented mechanism which is inevitable in today’s competitive world. However, the most important factor which needs to be taken into consideration towards achieving the objective is the people or staff members who directly have impact on the productivity of the product or services. Negative behaviour such as absenteeism and high turnover rates will increase the production cost and adversely affect the productivity, thus affecting the overall organisational growth.

Organizational Behaviour
Organizational behaviour is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and organizational structure have on behaviour within the organization, for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organizational effectiveness. Organizational behaviour is concerned with the study of what people do in an organisation and how that behaviour affects the performance of the organisation (Robbins:1998,9). Organizational behaviour is also defined as “the study and application of knowledge about human behaviour related to other elements of an organization such as structure, technology and social system” (LM Prasad). Stephen P Robins defines “Organizational behaviour as a systematic study of the actions and attitudes that people exhibit within organization”. Most of organizational behaviour strategies are eventually meant to optimally utilize the capabilities of individual and groups towards achievement of organizational objectives. Three elements of organisational behaviour are: first organisational behaviour is an investigative study of individuals and groups; second, the impact of organisational structure on human behaviour and the third, the application of knowledge to achieve organisational effectiveness.

What must be understood by an organisation is the fact that the best management, superior strategy and flawless execution did not guarantee success. It is important to note that the organizations who understand employees as partners stand a much better chance of achieving high organizational effectiveness and efficiency. "Organizational effectiveness is about each individual doing everything they know how to do and doing it well" (NIH, 2004). This is the point where Learning Organisation comes into picture.

A Learning Company is an organization that facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself. In other words, an organization becomes a learning organization when all members of the company at all management level cooperatively learn to develop, expand, and improve their abilities and overall performance by the means of openness and continuous learning from preceding experience.

In the healthcare industry, this is particularly important. As all of us realized, the healthcare industry is an ever-changing one. In the event that any of us, be it employee or the manager, resists change or unwilling to learn how to change, then the organization that the person is working in will not grow.

Sandra Kerka has suggested in her book The Learning Organization: Myths and Realities that any learning organization possesses the following characteristics.

Use learning to teach their goals. In hospitals for example, these learning are thought or impart upon new staff or employees during the company’s orientation program.

Learning organizations also need to embrace creative tension as a source of energy and renewal. Without creativity the organization will not grow. Imagine an organization remains the same from the time it started till years later. History has proven itself, that organization that don’t change with time or not creative will disappear pretty soon. In the healthcare industry, being creative is a value that very sort after. This does not...
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