Learning Organisations: A Literature Review and Critique
DEFENCE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION FISHERMANS BEND (AUSTRALIA) LAND DIV
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A literature review on the Learning Organisation field was conducted, examining the dominant assumptions and creating a solid foundation for the practical application of the learning organisation concept to the Australian Army. In order to examine the literatures dominant assumptions, we asked the following questions i What are the various meanings attributed to learning organisations ii What sorts of learnings are privileged within the literature iii What are the key characteristics or building blocks that make up a learning organisation We discovered that the learning organisation construct represents an evolution from bureaucratic and performance-based organisational form to innovative and flexible organisations. In surveying the literature, other factors found to impact on learning organisations included cognitive, social, cultural, technological and structural elements. For example, learning organisations apply increasingly sophisticated understanding of knowledge and personnel management to best exploit their social, intellectual and knowledge capital. In contrast, some factors are not adequately explored in the literature for example, the significance of power relations, hierarchy and authority on learning within and by organisations has not been fully elucidated. There is an increasing number of studies investigating the direct impact of developing a learner-centric approach on organisational outcomes the number of studies linking learning to improved organisational performance is growing. There are real, significant and measureable benefits of developing the learning capabilities of an organisation.
- Military Forces and Organizations