Organizing for Learning1
WHAT THIS CHAPTER COVERS
This chapter is concerned with learning both within organizations and through cooperation between them. After identifying the strategic importance of learning, it moves on to discuss the nature of “organizational” learning and offers some important distinctions that help to unpack a complex phenomenon. Factors that can facilitate the process of learning within an organization are identified, notably managerial leadership, channels of communication, a balance between control and autonomy, the management of internal boundaries through methods such as cross-functional teams, and the ensuring of inward information flows across external boundaries. An organization's capacity to learn depends on a number of factors that are examined. The chapter then considers the increasingly important process of learning through the formation of strategic alliances. The closing section of this chapter indicates how organizational learning can be facilitated in practical terms.
The Strategic Importance of Organizational Learning
The contemporary economy is increasingly knowledge-based and subject to rapid change. One of the main reasons why some organizations perform better than others is that they apply superior knowledge and can adapt more effectively to changing conditions. This means that they are better at what has come to be called ...