The journal by Helen Shipton called “Towards a typology for organizational learning research,” compares and contrasts approaches to organizational management as there exists a close linkage between individual training and entire workplace training (Shipton, 2006).
This paper discuses the main issues and contributions brought about in the article.
The article gives reference to scholars who seems to have been the originators and first advocators for organizational learning, Cyert and March (1963) according to these early scholars, organizations respond to changes in the external environments and it is through the external environments that they align their organizations learning needs.
To some extent, the above observation of early scholars still holds however in modern times, strategic management approaches to business management puts less emphasis on need for organizational learning to have been initiated by an external influence (Kleiman, 2000).
They are of the opinion that the best approach to organizational learning is to have an ongoing program of learning, training, developing, mentoring, coaching and counseling to ensure that operations within an organization are well up-to-date.
In modern organizational learning theories, there exists a close relationship between organizational learning and performance in an organization; as brought about in prescriptive/normative theory literature, organizations that have well framed learning programs have higher tendencies of having higher outcomes; they make decisions that are responsive to the needs of business environment/industry.
Apple Inc. has become the world’s largest electronic industry because of its well planned organizational culture, the company ensures that there is a believing on the changes happening in the industry, as a response to the learning programs, staffs have come-up with new methods of reducing operating costs and have innovated new products (Henderson, 2003).
Zappo International Company has enacted policies that facilitate learning in the organization, they involve their staffs in decision making and keeps undertaking internal and external situational analysis to see the areas that employees needs training.
When appraising staffs, which takes place quarterly, the management leaves a section to be filled by staffs on areas they need training; this has facilitated training in the international apparels company (Muller, Maclean and Biggs, 2009).
How theories brought about can be advanced in the future and what challenges must be overcome
Though organizational learning has been taken as one of strategic management approach deeply in rooted in organizations, and undertaken by human resources management assisted with other line managers, in the future the area should be a full department and section within an organization.
It would yield better results if there were some people within an organization who can liaise with human resources, production departments, marketing, research and developing, business intelligence, and customer relation management teams to come up with policies and identify learning needs in an organization.
Such a department will ensure that an organization gets the right training, mentorship, and coaching to facilitate an improved business (Meinolf, Ariane, John and Ikujiro, 2003).
The success of organizational learning is hindered by internal and external factors facing an organization if the factors are not managed appropriately; internal factors include organizational culture, organizational politics, leadership and informal team in the organization.
To ensure that the practice is not hindered, management has the role of developing effective communication systems that facilitate sharing of information across the organization.
Organizational culture should be shaped to support training and mentorship programs; leaders should always have it in mind that organizational learning can only be effective if trainers and mentors are well informed and have good training skills (Hornsby and Warkeoczeski, 2000).
Henderson, R., 2003. Compensation Management in a Knowledge-Based World. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hornsby, T. and Warkeoczeski, L. 2000. New roles for leaders: A step-by-step guide to competitive advantage. Franklin: Hillsboro Press.
Kleiman, L.,2000. Human Resource Management: A Tool for Competitive Advantage. Cincinnati: South-Western College Publishing.
Meinolf, D., Ariane, A., John, C. and Ikujiro, N.,2003. Handbook of Organisational Learning and Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Muller, J., Maclean, R. and Biggs, H., 2009. The impact of a supportive leadership program in a policing organization from the participants’ perspective. Work, 32(1),Pp. 69-79.
Shipton, H.,2006. Cohesion or confusion? Towards a typology for organizational learning research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 10(11), PP.1468-2370