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Article Review: Learning Organizations Essay

A learning organization is any organization that uses its power to acquire knowledge while managing to stay innovative enough to remain competitive in a constantly changing environment. Learning organizations have four main objectives: To create a culture that not only encourages, but also supports an environment of continuous employee learning, critical thinking, and taking risk with new innovative ideas. Understands and allows mistakes while valuing employee contributions. Learns from their mistakes through experience, and experiment with these ideals Disseminate any new knowledge throughout the organization for rapid and successful implementation into the day-to-day activities. (BusinessDictionary.com, 2012)

Article: Studying the Relationship between Components of the Learning Organization and Organizational Commitment (Forozandeh, Soleimani, Shah Nazari, & Nasri, 2011)

Article Summary

Organizational learning and the institutionalization of the learning organization are some of the most important factors of a successful business organization in today’s complicated, ever changing, and dynamic global business environment. The major capital in any learning organization is its employees and their commitment to the organization. The purpose of the article being reviewed is to study the relationship among components of the organization (System thinking, team learning experiences, Personal masters, mental models, and their shared visions) and their organizational commitment. The data collection was completed using the descriptive-field method on a cement company located in Iran; it consisted of 50 people, and was collected by means of a survey in July of 2011. Based on the results of the survey, there is a noticeable and significant relationship among every component of the learning organization and their organizational commitment (Forozandeh, Soleimani, Shah Nazari, & Nasri, 2011).

Author’s Conclusions and Recommendations

The authors of the article conclude that the results of their survey illustrate that the organizational commitment is one of the most important and effective factors in changing any organization to a learning organization. When the employees of a business have more of a commitment to the organization, the implementation of the learning organization is accepted with more facilitation, or the employees are more open to the idea. The results show that managers who want to establish a learning organization should provide the means for commitment towards the organization as much as possible. This factor will also help increase job performance and progress as well as help managers in the transformation towards the learning organization. Creating a learning organization on the other hand develops more commitment of the employees towards the organization.

Reviewers Conclusion and Recommendations

After reading the article, the authors conducted a survey to find the commitment to the organization and tried to establish how well the organization was creating an environment for a learning organization. Through a simple survey base of 50 employees, the authors were able to establish a link between employee commitment and the basis of a learning organization. This shows an important link between innovation and a learning organization: you have to have the commitment and dedication of the employees in order to implement an innovative and learning organization environment. Without the commitment of the employees (who are essentially responsible for carrying out any new implementations), you cannot foster a learning environment, as you will have employees unwilling to participate and be a part of the solution.

This conclusion would be a factor for any organization in any business model to consider. In the new and ever changing global markets (as the market is no longer based on local or even continental markets), a company has no choice but to accept change and grow with the markets in an effort to remain innovative and competitive. To do this, you have to have a learning organization committed to and able to accept change. This will require a learning environment with the ability to learn and change as often as needed. In order to have a learning environment, you have to have employee commitment!

How these Concepts Apply to the Reviewers Organization

The concepts discussed in this article would apply to any organization in many ways. The organization I work for is in the food distribution business, and one thing that is lacking is the ability to grow and become a learning organization. The organization is not willing to learn and grow with the ever-changing industry and as a result, they have begun to lose millions of dollars in business to their competition. One concept lacking in our business is the ability to change to meet the customer’s needs, they are only committed to their own wants. This environment is a perfect example for what a learning organization is not.

Every suggestion to change given to upper management by the employees to help the organization or the employees are considered and essentially ignored. Some companies are not able or lack the ability to change with the environment, and shrinking sales and lack of employee commitment are the results. There is not a lack of trying from the employees, who value their jobs and want to see the company grow. However, you cannot foster a learning environment when you have a management system that is not willing to learn or change with their environment.

References

BusinessDictionary.com. (2012). Learning Organization. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/learning-organization.html Forozandeh, L., Soleimani, M., Shah Nazari, A., & Nasri, H. (2011, October). Studying the relationship between components of the learning organization and organizational commitment. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(6), 497-509. Retrieved from UOP Library October 22, 2012


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