Learning is a process of acquiring knowledge or a skill; in order to understand this concept I am going to present some theories about this topic:
· Classical Theories:
1. Classical Conditioning: A condition stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus.
2. Operant Conditioning: Modifying behavior through the use of positive or negative consequences.
· Social Learning Theory: Explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences. (Learning theories knowledgebase, 2011).
One type of organizations that is important to analyze is “Learning Organizations” that are “Places where people continually expand their capacities to create the results they truly desire” (Senge, 1994).
This type of organization is really important nowadays because of the changes in workforce competency, high customer’s expectations, technological advancements and globalization.
There are four reasons for Corporate Failure associated with learning disabilities:
1. Life-Cycle Decline
2. Trapped by Past Success
3. Inappropriate Strategic Biases and “Mental Models”
4. Rigidity in response to Crises
To obtain and sustain competitive advantage, organizations must enhance their learning capability and must be able to learn better and faster from their successes and failures, from within and from outside (Marquardt, 1996).
Organizational Learning works in this way:
1. Personal mastery
2. Shared vision
3. Mental models
4. Team learning
5. Systems thinking
There is also a process of knowledge creation that takes place when tacit knowledge is converted into explicit knowledge:
What is the relationship between organizational learning and individual satisfaction?
Retrieved from: http://xaraluna.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/060628030657eafit3.jpg
Organizational learning is really closed to individual satisfaction because when people are involved in organizational learning is due to the objectives or goals they have, which at the same time became their motivation to behave in some way in order to obtain individual satisfaction. A clear example of this can be the Learning Organizations as Universities. People go to Universities because of their goal to become professionals and to be competitive in the work place, they are constant and motivated because of the benefits they will obtain in the future that will bring them individual satisfaction.
Retrieved from: http://www.skill-pill.com/newsletter/oct09/images/challenge/Managing%20change.jpg
Organizations nowadays are facing many changes in its structure and environment, so it is important to study the following concepts:
· Change: Is the coping process of moving from the present state to a desired state that individuals, groups, organizations undertake in response to dynamic internal and external factors that alter current realities (Kavita Singh, 2009).
There are some characteristics organizations need in order to succeed:
The organizational change can be planned or unplanned. The scope of change can be:
· Incremental change
· Strategic change
· Transformational change
For change to occur it has to be an internal or external change agent. Change can affect basic aspects of an organization such as: Strategy, Technology and Structure. It also threatens the status quo by creating: New problems, new situations, ambiguity, uncertainty (conflict).
Once conflict appears it can have positive (motivates change) or negative consequences (creates a negative climate).
Thomas-Kilman Conflict management modes:
Now I am going to analyze change in an age of stability (1950-1970):
· Force Field Analysis (Lewin): Unfreezing, moving and refreezing.
After the 1970s crisis:
· Model of Beer: It focuses on enforcing changed ways of thinking, attitudes and behaving.
Managing change in the age of globalization:
· Change as Contemporary Norm: Regulatory changes and privatization spawning new industries, customers learning to expect more.
Paths to Managing Change and Learning
· Environmental Path
· Psycho-Philosophical Path
· Organizational Path
Globalization plays an important role in managing change, globalization means: “global interconnectedness constituted by numerous flows and processes, and not just the economic” (Hopper, 2006).
Ubuntu (Mangaliso, 2003) brings the idea of paying attention to local cultures.
Is it possible to change corporate culture? If so, how?
I think it is possible to change a corporate culture, but it is not easy to do. When a company wants to change its corporate culture it is because things aren’t going well. It could be possible that the company is big enough, has great revenues and a good image on the public or clients, but inside it, something is creating unconformities between employees who are unmotivated to work towards the same task; and for that reason the company could be in risk of losing its best people. In this case a change in corporate culture must be taken into account. The first step to change the corporate culture is the recognition of the necessity of change it, after it is important that managers and directors change their view of employees and stop looking at them as assets and start treating them as investors who choose to come back every day because of the benefits they are receiving, give rewards, integrations and other activities that can create motivation and it can also contribute to the change of corporate culture into a more sustainable one.
· Cooper, Cary L. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management. Blackwell Publishing, . Blackwell Reference Online. Retrieved from13 January 2011: http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/book?id=g9780631233176_9780631233176
· Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2011, January). Social Learning Theory (Bandura) at Learning-Theories.com. Retrieved from January 12th, 2011: http://www.learning-theories.com/social-learning-theory-bandura.html
· Makridakis, S (1991) What can we learn from organisationalfailures ?, Long Range Planning, 24(4), 115-126.
· Nelson, D.L. & Quick, J.C. (2010) OrganizationalBehavior: Science, TheReal Worldand You. South-Western CollegePublication, 7th. Ed.
· Nystrom, PC and WH Starbuck, (1984, Spring). To avoid organisationalcrisis, unlearn, OrganisationalDynamic@, 53-64.
· Senge, P. (1998) Sharing Knowledge. At Society For Organizational Learning. Retrieved from January 12th, 2011: http://www.solonline.org/res/kr/shareknow.html
· Shukla, M (1994) CORPORATE FAILURES: Why OrganisationsFail To Learn. Productivity, 34(4), 629-639.
· Teece, D. (1998) Capturing value from knowledge assets: The new economy, Markets for know-how, and intangible assets. California Management Review. Vol40 No 3. Spring 1998. Retrieved from January 2011: http://apps.business.ualberta.ca/mlounsbury/techcom/readings/teece.pdf
· Deal T. and Kennedy, A. (1982). A Corporate Cultures. Adison-Wesley.
· Duck, J.D. (1993). Managing change: The Art of Balancing. Harvard Business Review.
· Hopper, P. (2006) Living with Globalization. Oxford: Berg.
· Mangaliso, M (2003) Building competitive advantage from Ubuntu. In Thomas, David Clinton, ed. Readings and cases in International Management: A cross-cultural perspective.
· Nadler, D. and Nadler, M (1998) Champions of Change: How CEOs and Their Companies are Mastering the Skills of Radical Change. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.
· Nelson, D and Quick, J.C. (2009) Managing Change. In Organisational Behavour: Science, the real world and you.
· Nicholson, N (1995) (ed.), Blackwell Encyclopedic Dictionary of Organizational Behavior. Oxford, England: Blackwell.
· Singh, K (2009) Organizational Behavior: Text and Cases. Pearson Education India, p. 421.
· Weick (1985) The significance of corporate culture. In PJ Frost et al (Eds.) Organisational Culture. New Delhi: Sage Publications.
· Zeira, Y., and Avedisian, J. (1989) Organizational planned change: Assessing the chances for success. Organizational Dynamics, Spring