هدایت یادگیری سازمانی: تأملاتی در نظریه و پژوهش
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Leadership Quarterly, Volume 20, Issue 1, February 2009, Pages 49–53
This essay conveys some of the author's ideas about the influence of leaders on organizational learning. Limitations of some well known leadership theories for explaining this influence are described, and ideas for developing more comprehensive and accurate theories are suggested. Examples of specific ways leaders can influence organizational learning are provided. The methods used for most of the research on the subject are evaluated, and some alternative methods are suggested.
Organizational learning has been defined in many ways, but a core aspect of most definitions is collective learning by members of the organization. Essential processes include the discovery of relevant new knowledge, diffusion of this knowledge to people in the organization who need it, and application of the knowledge to improve internal processes and external adaptation. Successful application of new knowledge includes institutionalizing it in a way that will ensure it is retained as long as it remains relevant. Organizational learning is an important determinant of long-term performance and survival for organizations, but many companies seem unable to master the learning processes. Despite the substantial amount of research and development conducted by large organizations, the source for many innovative products and services is individual entrepreneurs or small businesses. Even when important innovations come from large organizations, the initial work is often done by individuals who do not have formal authorization and must overcome strong resistance to gain acceptance for their ideas. Failures in organizational learning may involve weaknesses in any of the core processes of discovery, diffusion, and application of new knowledge. Some organizations make little effort to improve inefficient procedures or poor customer service, even when the necessary knowledge is easy to find and apply. Sometimes effective practices are discovered in one subunit of an organization, but they do not get implemented in other parts of the organization where they are also relevant. For example, the Australian division of a multinational company established a program that increased market share by 25%, but the knowledge was not applied in the European and U.S. divisions where the benefits would have been even greater (Ulrich, Jick, & Von Glinow, 1993). Sometimes important discoveries are made in an organization, but top management fails to recognize their potential value, and the knowledge is never used in the organization. For example, Microsoft and Apple earned millions of dollars in profits from the sale of computers that incorporated unused discoveries made in a Xerox research facility (Smith & Alexander, 1988). Sometimes an organization implements best practices for avoiding accidents or serious problems, but the practices are later abandoned and the organization eventually has a disaster that could have been prevented. Research on organizational learning involves scholars from several disciplines and areas of specialization, including organization theory, organization behavior, industrial and organizational psychology, strategic management, and change management. Researchers have explored how leaders influence collective learning in teams and organizations, and the number of empirical studies on the subject is increasing (see Berson, Nemanich, Waldman, Galvin, & Keller, 2006). This essay will suggest some issues and research questions that deserve more attention and some research methods that should be used more often in the search for answers. I also point out some limitations of well known theories such as transformational and charismatic leadership for explaining how leaders influence organizational learning.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
More use of alternative research methods will improve the pace of discovery about the influence of leaders on organizational learning. The most useful methods require more time, more expense, and a larger team of researchers. However, the clear need to become more competitive in a global economy may make grants for such research more accessible. The research on organizational learning is itself a form of collective learning, and theories about it can be viewed as mental models about cause–effect relationships. As we learn more about ways to improve collective learning, we should apply this knowledge to improve our research and theory development. For example, ways to reduce communication barriers that impede the diffusion of knowledge in organizations could be used to improve the integration of relevant ideas across different disciplines concerned with collective learning. Better information systems and networking opportunities would make it easier to find colleagues who have relevant knowledge, access to samples, and interest in collaboration. More explicit identification of best and worst practices in research would provide helpful guidance for improving the quality of future research. Finally, more collaboration among scholars, and between scholars and practitioners, would improve the acquisition and application of knowledge about organizational learning.