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Organizational learning

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Kotaiba Abdul Aal

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Organizational learning

Learning and Self-Organization
Organizations as brains: the learning organization Organizational Learning It is all about the Brain – our thinking – or our cognition Designing learning organization “learning occurs whenever errors are detected and corrected” Holography demonstrates that it is possible to create processes where the whole can be encoded in all the parts, so that each and every part represents the whole.

Memory is distributed throughout the brain and can thus reconstituted from any of the parts.

Three types of brains:
The information processing brain (decision making theory)
The learning brain (learning organization)
The holographic brain (the whole in the parts organization) Problem – bureaucracy in the way – opposing the change, tending to control. single loop system.

Organizations needs to develop capacities that allows them to do the following:
1- Scan and anticipate change in the environment to detect a significant variations. E.g. banks analysis of the economic situation. Facit. IKEA

2- Develop an ability to question and change operating norms (defensive routines). Lack of: banks reactive response to the financial crisis.

3- Allow an appropriate strategic direction and pattern of organization to emerge: Broad reference point that allows for considerable freedom and questioning of the reference points themselves. Bank ex, American vs Japanese (93-94). The ringi – collective consensus decision making. what is organizational learning? How Managers can stimulate learning 5. Learn to learn: Double-loop learning. 3. Requisite variety: Internal complexity must match the external environment.
2. The importance of redundancy (excess capacity) that make room for innovation – in information processes, in skills and designs. 4. Minimum specs: No unnecessary regulations. Organizations as Holographic Brains The metaphor of the holographic brain invites us to think of organizations as :
qualities of the whole enfolded in the parts the ability to self-organize.
Hologram: A 3-d copy of something else.

Organizations is a series of holograms (not a hologram): they are holographic.
If one part gets cut away, other parts have the inbuilt ability to renew the organization and replace the part. 1. Build the whole into all the parts – corporate DNA, networked intelligence, holographic/network structure, holistic teams and diversified roles. “An error is any mismatch between intentions and actual consequences” Why Organizational Learning?

organization depends on people
share knowledge
to make the organizations smarter Definitions What is knowledge, Data, and information? DATA INFORMATION KNOWLEDGE know-how
It is about action and decision-making capability Example:
how to work on a system at the bank.A book in a language that you don’t understand (information, learn now to read the book is knowledge) structured data
meaningful data
describe a particular situation or condition

It gives us definitions (what,who,when,where) Example: 123+123 is data =226 information Facts
Values of Results
Has not been processed
It is obtained from Observations (input). Example: 13, What is Brain? Organizations as learning brains Knowledge
From industrial to service/network economy.
In the industrial economy key resources were production and manufacturing facilities, manpower and raw material.
In the service and network economy such resources are still important but human resources such as knowledge and skills; interaction and communication; cultural, aesthetic and social capital; and creativity and entrepreneurship has increased in importance. Types of Knowledge

1- Tacit Knowledge (informal or soft)-knowing how
obtained from experience
stored in people’s head
difficult to document
difficult to communicate or share with other people

2- Explicit Knowledge (formal or hard)-knowing that
explained and recorded
easily documented and transferred
physically stored in either paper or electronic format Learning – using knowledge, aquering knowledge Single-loop learning: Rests in an ability to detect and correct error in relation to an operating norm.
solves the problem but it doesn't question why the problem occured in the first place.Double-loop learning: Depends on being able to take a ”double look” at the situation by questioning the relevance of operating norms.
It questions the reasons behind the problem and seeks solutions to solve this. Kaizen, TQM
Learning (surviving) organizations have the ability of double-loop learning (innovation) Single Loop
Facit, ”Calculators will be no hit” 2. Information compared with operating norms: Dominated by analogic logic – calculators and computers will be no hit! 3. Action:Continue to produce existing products. 1. Monitoring environment: Evolving digital logic: Calculators and computers are produced in Japan. Double Loop
Toyota, a story of success 2. Information compared with operating norms. Safety, quality, efficency, etc 3. Action.Production of safe, high quality and environmental friendly cars in a efficient way. 1. Monitoring environment. People are becoming environmentalists 2a. Questioning norms. Information about environmentalism is used to question norms Rational decision making – rational choice theory The decision maker is assumed to be searching for the best alternative of action, and uncertainty then relates to alternatives.
Humans are utility ‘maximizers’ and egoistic
Decisions are rationally made
Humans have:
Information about available alternatives
Have time and ability to make the best decision
The made decision is the best decision
Central to neo-classical economics Rational decision making – Buying a car The premise that decisions makers are fully rational
Unreasonable assumptions
That information are attainable
That human beings never fail to act logically
Unreasonable view of human beings
Humans have cognitive limitations
Therefore we need to take into account and study their actual cognition – how they think – when they make decisions the decision making approach Critique rational choice theory Oticon Not all goodbyes are sad

Example: "Goodbye, class" Give an example when you or an organization has operated according to a double loop learning logic? organizational learning takes place in the decision making process through the individual members of the organization. Goals are adapted by assessing past experience and comparing with other organizations. Changed goals lead to adaptation in attention, whereby different sets of events or problems would now need to be addressed. Rational decision making in Orgnization because people have to act on the basis of incomplete information, may only explore a limited number of alternatives, and are unable to attach accurate values to outcomes, people and organizations cannot operate entirely rationally and must settle for "bounded rationality," "good enough," or "satisfying." With all of this uncertainty, organizations often rely heavily on hierarchy, continuous feedback, and heavy centralization. Rational decision making – rational choice theory
Given requisite variety and sufficient complexity, an organization still requires a degree of freedom in terms of rules, restrictions, and specifications, in which to adapt
Managers should focus on the most critical issues and leave other issues to adapt and evolve as necessary Organizations must be capable of double-loop learning Requisite variety states that the "internal diversity of any self-regulating system must match the variety and complexity of its environment if it is to deal with the challenges posed by that environment"
Effectively shows an organization how much redundancy of function to build in
Rather than reducing variety in return for greater internal consensus, organizations should have sufficient complexity so that they can take on functions as necessary and survive changes in the environment "Redundancy allows initiatives to be generated from many locations at once, thus reducing dependence on the activities of any single location" (p.107)

Creates shared understanding

"Redundancy of parts" deals with having backup parts to replace broken ones, coming out of the mechanistic design principle, whereas "redundancy of function" builds extra functions into existing parts so that each part may perform more functions. It is redundancy of function that allows for self-organizing processes in organizations. "Corporate DNA" (visions and values)as a metaphor for building the key elements of the whole organization into all elements of the organization (Norwegian shipping company)
"Networked Intelligence" building the whole in parts. comes into play as a way of enacting corporate DNA, allowing centralized information to be accessed from many different points (the internet and WWW)
Holographic Structure is embodied in the example of Magna International, which mandates that each unit must remain small, so when they reach too large a size, spinoff units are created from the original
Holistic teams and diversified roles - each team ought to be able to perform a number of functions, so that an individual unit may complete all aspects of a given task, and within that team, each person may perform many roles Example:

Norwegian shipping company which has lost half of its employees in a plane crash, including managers, the company was soon able to function very much as before.
"the renaming staff shared much of the original intelligence of the company and by pooling their knowledge were able to reconstruct the functions performed by the perished people
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