Learning Organization Models and Their Application to the U.S. Army
Technical Report,01 Jul 2015,30 Mar 2016
CONSORTIUM OF UNIVERSITIES WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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Army leaders recognize the utility of the Army becoming a learning organization to create agile, adaptive, and innovative leaders who can win in a complex world. However, there is no agreed upon definition or model of the learning organization and minimal empirical evidence to support existing models. This paper reviews four learning organization models Senges five disciplines, Garvins building blocks of a learning organization, Marquands systems-linked learning organization, and Watkins and Marsicks action imperatives. While different, these models agree on several components including reduced bureaucracy and hierarchy, a shared vision, a climate of empowerment, experimentation, systems thinking, sharing learning with external sources, and measuring important outcomes related to learning. To become a learning organization, the Army will have to leverage current strengths and overcome certain hindrances including those related to training and doctrine, knowledge management, and the hierarchical culture. Research questions are identified whose answers will provide important information to aid the Army in becoming a learning organization.