The success of learning organisations is predicated on particular internal organisational relationships and particular relationships between the organisation and its environment. Discuss.
The only long term sustained competitive advantage for an organisation came from the ability of its people to learn faster than those in other organisations and to change the nature of the organisation to match the changes in the environment. For an organisation to be considered to be learning, it must contain certain characteristics and operate in certain environment to do so. How the organisation learns will depend on the interaction between individuals within the organisation and the interaction between the organisation and its external
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In organic forms, systems and people are more proactive and adaptable to changing circumstances. The adaptability and innovation developed through an organic structure supports the transformation of an organisation into a learning organisation. A learning organisation creates a ‘culture’ that encourages and supports continuous learning, critical reflection and thinking, innovation and risk taking informed by new ideas and organisational approaches. With a mechanistic structure, this cannot be achieved, because innovation tends to be limited in mechanistic forms of organisation where high level of hierarchical control, clearly defined roles and tasks, and centralised decision making impede flexibility and creativity. So by changing the social structure of the organisation from mechanistic to organic form, the organisation is able to change and able to obtain the characteristics of a learning organisation. Apart from changing the internal social structure to make learning possible, the interaction between the organisation and its external environment is vital to the success of learning organisations. It is argued that an organisation’s structure should be based on the conditions it faces in its environment. Based on institutional theory, organisations adapt not only to the strivings of their internal groups, but to the values of external