Learning Organization is the organization that acquires knowledge and innovates fast enough to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. They create a culture that encourages and supports continuous employee learning, critical thinking, and risk taking with new ideas, allow mistakes, and value employee contributions, learn from experience and experiment, and disseminate the new knowledge throughout the organization for incorporation into day-to-day activities. A learning organization is one that seeks to create its own future, assumes that learning is an ongoing and creative process for its members. Adapts and transforms itself in response to the needs and aspirations of people, both inside and outside itself. Allows people at all levels, individually and collectively, to continually increasing their capacity to produce results they really care about. There are three definitions of a learning organization: Learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together. The Learning Company is a vision of what might be possible.
It is not brought about simply by training individuals, it can only happen as a result of learning at the whole organization level. Learning organizations are characterized by total employee involvement in a process of collaboratively conducted, collectively accountable change directed towards shared values or principles. Furthermore, learning organizations seem to work on the assumption that learning is valuable, continuous, and most effective when shared and that every experience is an opportunity to learn. The most known characteristics of learning organization are that: Provides continuous learning opportunities, uses learning to reach their goals, links individual performance with organizational performance. Promotes inquiry and dialogue, supports creative tension as a source of energy and renewal, continuously aware of and interact with their environment. Peter’s Senge’s Approach, the fifth disciplines focuses on system thinking, personal mastery, flexible and mental models, a shared vision and team learning. Systemic thinking is considered to be the conceptual cornerstone by Senge. His theories continue to provide the most accepted models in organizational communication strategy.
It is the discipline that integrates the others, fusing them into a coherent body of theory and practice. He also places an emphasis on dialogue in organizations especially with regard to the discipline of team learning. Dialogue is considered to be risky because it involves questioning our beliefs and assumptions. Thus it is a characteristic of every true conversation that each opens himself to the other person, truly accepts his point of view as worthy of consideration and gets inside the other to such an extent that he understands not a particular individual, but what he says. Dialogue is used as the most important communication tool in those organizations. Without the communication part nothing would be developed in organizational learning. There are also some problems and issues that learning organization faces. Generally, it focuses mainly on the cultural dimension, and does not adequately take into account the other dimensions of an organization. Favors individual and collective learning processes at all levels of the organization, but does not connect them properly to the organization’s strategic objectives. Remains rather vague, the exact functions of organizational learning need to be more clearly defined.
http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/learnor2.html Learning Organization