Term Paper: Learning Organization: A New Paradigm

Pages: 8 (2308 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] They also assume personal responsibility and ownership for the mission and vision of the company.

One of the biggest challenges facing the learning manager in any company is communication. "Employee perceptions are formed from the various kinds of communication present within and outside of each organization. Many indicators are exhibited in both the cognitive- and affective-based behaviors of the supervisors and managers as they transact daily business. Simply put, it is not what supervisors, managers, or the organization say (or think), but what they do (orally, non-verbally, and in writing) over time and across multiple situations." (Barker et al.) If a manager's words are not congruent with his or her actions, employees will not trust the manager and learning will not be promoted within the company.

Learning managers who understand the interdependence of individuals, teams, structures, and processes can better contribute to the goals of the company. Effective management communication helps employees to understand the organization as an interrelated system. Therefore, it is critical for learning managers to adopt a systems oriented approach to managing their work teams. "A learning organization perspective can be facilitated through clear systemic organizational communication. This provides a basic foundation upon which openness, trust, and commitment can be developed in meeting the challenges found within the changing environment. As a result of a relation-based foundation in organizations, the benefits of proposed changes within the system stand a better chance of being accepted rather than resisted." (Meen et al., 1992)

Finally, it is imperative that a learning manager is just that -- a manager that promotes continuous learning for his team and for himself. "Personal mastery is the continual process of growth and development needed for creative work for both the individual and organization. Learning in organizations occurs only through the learning that individuals acquire. The communication exhibited through trust, support, and empowerment encourages individuals to continue their growth process. Personal mastery is a discipline that envisions an individual's life as creative work in progress. This discipline values learning both on and off the job." (Nanus, 1992) When manager value open and honest communication, they empower their employees to challenge the status quo and also foster their efforts toward their own constant improvement.

In conclusion, the learning organization must create a greater sense of community at all levels of the organization in order to be successful. To do this, managers must take the lead in developing work teams that trust them and feel that their actions match the mission and goals that the companies pay homage to in their annual reports. "Decision making support systems must be used that facilitate timely information dissemination and shared interpretation of messages among members. Oral, nonverbal, and written communication must reinforce openness, truth, equality, and performance." (Barker et al., 1998) Learning managers must adopt the role of coach, facilitator, teacher, and communicator and must nurture relationships with each and every employee on their work team. The learning manager must encourage open dialogue concerning company and departmental successes and failures without the threat of punishment for expressing opinions that are outside of perceived company norms. In meetings, through e-mail and in performance appraisals, learning manager must facilitate accurate and honest information sharing. Without this commitment from managers, the effective transformation from an old thinking company to a relationship-based, learning focused company can not take place. "When you get together with others to discuss organizational intelligence, we urge you to take the long view first. What might the world look like in twenty-five or fifty years? What will the big changes be? What capabilities might the organizations need?... In the matter of (continuous learning) we are all beginners together." (Pinchot et al.)

References

Barker, Randolph T., et al. (1998). The role of communication in creating and maintaining a learning organization: preconditions, indicators, and disciplines. The Journal of Business Communication, 35.

Bradford, David L., et al. (1984). Managing For Excellence: The Guide to Developing High Performance in Contemporary Organizations. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Clardy, Alan (2002). Philosophy and Practice of Organizational Learning, Performance and Change. Personnel Psychology, 55.

Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel, et al. (1998). Knowledge-Driven Work: Unexpected Lessons from Japanese and United States Work Practices. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gilley, Jerry W., et al. (2000). Beyond the Learning Organization: Creating a Culture of Continuous Growth and Development Through State-Of-The-Art Human Resource Practices. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.

Goh, Swee C. (1998). Toward a learning organization: the strategic building blocks. Advanced Management Journal, 63.

Hesselbein, Frances, et al. (1997). The Organization of the Future. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Meen, David E., et al. (1992). Creating the learning organization. The McKinsey Quarterly, 1.

Nanus, Burt (1992). Visionary leadership: how to re-vision the future. The Futurist, 26.

Pinchot, Elizabeth, et al. (1993). The End of Bureaucracy & The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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