The complexity of the majority of tasks that are suggested to specialists by the coherent society demands a certain level of skills and competencies needed for them to be able to cope with all assignments and guarantee positive outcomes. However, the acquisition of these very skills might be complicated and might also demand additional knowledge and skills. Under these conditions, the idea of constant learning and improvement becomes especially topical. A person that aims at becoming an acknowledged and appreciated specialist should be ready to involve in the process of gradual improvement of his/her personal and professional qualities. In this regard, such notions as individual and collective learning obtain unique topicality and great significance.
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Individual learning could be defined as an activity of an individual that is focused on the acquisition of additional knowledge or improvement of skills that might contribute to better outcomes (Örtenblad, 2001). Usually, a person involves in this sort of activity, aiming at the enhancement of his/her efficiency and obtaining certain benefits. Moreover, the final results of the given process depend on the ability of this individual to process the new information, analyze it, and use it for certain purposes. For instance, studying the main duties of an employee could be considered a good example of individual learning. Individual learning is a crucial part of the modern approach to professionalism as any specialist should realize the fact that the constant improvement of the basic skill is the key to his/her success.
Thus, individual learning could also be considered a part of another greater entity. The fact is that any individual working in an organization belongs to a collective characterized by certain peculiarities and bonds that exist between its members. When communicating, they share specific information every worker possesses. However, there is a great distinction between individuals and organizations as the learning entities (Örtenblad, 2001). For this reason, there is also a significant difference between individual and collective learning. The second one could be defined as a situation when two or more people learn or attempt to learn together (Peter Senge and the learning organization, n.d.). It is an important part of the functioning of any company as it contributes to its efficient functioning and results in better teamwork.
Therefore, unlike individual learning, employees who are engaged in collective learning use each others resources and competencies to become more efficient and acknowledged.
For instance, in the workplace, workers might ask each other for information, evaluate certain ideas, or trace the alterations of certain projects.
However, it could become possible only in case people who comprise the team possesses certain information that could be shared. In such a way, individual learning could be considered the needed background for the increased efficiency of shared learning, which consists of exchanging information people managed to obtain on their own when processing certain information or mastering skills.
Altogether, the functioning of modern companies conditions the great importance of individual and collective learning, which are considered key to the successful evolution of every organization. Being closely interrelated, these two notions are still different. The second one is based on the idea that knowledge might be created within a certain group of people who actively interact and share information they managed to obtain in the course of individual learning (Cropper, n.d.).
Thus, in the workplace, experienced workers often help new ones to understand the basic corporative rules and regulations accepted in the company by sharing their own understanding of these aspects.
In this regard, both individual and collective learning should be given great attention to guarantee positive outcomes.
Cropper, B. (n.d.). Five Learning Disciplines… Web.
Örtenblad, A. (2001). On differences between organizational learning and learning organization. The Learning Organization, 8(3), 125-133.
Peter Senge and the learning organization. (n.d.). Web.