Work force within an organization needs to be developed, sharpened and its skills improved with time; organizational learning is a strategic managing tool that is used to nature, tap, develop, and utilize human resources potential. The main aim of organizational learning is to improve employees’ skills and expertise (Meinolf, Ariane, John and Ikujiro, 2003). This paper discusses how managers can use organizational learning to improve their organizational performance.
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How managers utilize organizational learning and knowledge to construct better work systems
Organizational learning takes the form of three main forms, training, mentorship, and coaching; different situations calls for different systems and approaches, when new systems have been adopted, then an organization needs to inform their staffs and train them on how they will utilize the new ways of doing business for the good of the company.
For example at John Hospkins Hospital, after the facility adopted a health Record Management System (HRMS), the management had to organize some training lessons to ensure that employees use the system as expected. At this point, organizational learning is seen to facilitate change (Dulewicz and Malcolm, 2003).
Organizational learning is also used for strategic movements within an organization; this move was used by Barclays Bank in United states in 2008, were they embarked on training their human force on the effects that globalization has on the banking industry; they then asked employees to think of policies that could see the company through the hard economic time successfully.
With time, the company came up with stringent lending policies, embarked on debt collection and mobilized sales a move that saw the company succeed. Organizational learning has been used as a tool to nature creativity, invention and innovativeness.
Apple inc. used this approach in 2007 when it trained and mentored their staffs on the developments in the industry; with time, staffs were able to come-up with cost management policies, new products were developed and saw the development of a positive working environment (Parker, 2009).
Organizational learning frameworks
Human resources department assisted with line managers should be responsible of enacting appropriate policies that enhance learning within an organization (Schilling and Kluge, 2009). Learning should be a continuous process that occurs formally and informally, the following are the main forms that an effective organizational learning should have:
Training: when developing something new in an organization or there is a change in the business environment, management should ensure that its human capital are well trained on the new processes, for example Mitsubishi Motor Company has embarked on massive staff training on the need to conserve the environment.
Mentorship: this takes the form of guidance and instructing was leaders offer intellectual and technical assistance to their employees; this means that an organization should have leaders and supervisors who can mentor and show their subordinates the right pathway and direction to follow. It helps to share experiences and grow knowledge of both the leader and the employee.
Coaching: coaching mostly comes with something special with an employee or a certain point of strength that a company adopts; it calls for employees to be shown the right way to operate and undertake functions. For example, new entrants at Starbucks are trained on how to operate a fair business trading policy to ensure the company remains respected for its ethical business approach (Hornsby and Warkeoczeski, 2000).
Organizational learning is a strategic management tool that assists managers to improve their business through human force; it takes the form of training, mentorship, coaching, and sometimes counseling. When well managed, it offers an organization some competitive advantage.
Dulewicz, V. and Malcolm, H. ,2003.Leadership at the top: the need for emotional intelligence in organizations. International Journal of Organizational Analysis 11(3),pp. 193-210.
Hornsby, T. and Warkeoczeski, L. 2000. New roles for leaders: A step-by-step guide to competitive advantage. Franklin: Hillsboro Press.
Meinolf, D., Ariane, A., John, C. and Ikujiro, N.,2003. Handbook of Organisational Learning and Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Parker, G. ,2009.Team Leadership: 20 Proven Tools for Success. New Jersey: Human Resource Development Press.
Schilling, J. and Kluge, A.,2009. Barriers to organizational learning: An integration of theory and research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 11(3), pp. 337–360