Learning organizationIntroductionA learning organization is an organization which helps in the acquisition of knowledge by its members while continuously transforming itself. For a learning organization, change does not occur just for the sake of it, but it is always well thought of before being implemented. It is an organization where the human resource is continually empowered to expand its capacity in order to achieve the desired results. It is an organization where new and expanded patterns of reasoning are nurtured. In such an organization, collective way of thinking is set free while people persistently discover to learn together.
O’Keeffe, (2003, p. 139) argues that as firms grow their ability to learn is lost since organizational structures and personalized reasoning becomes rigid. The firm’s solution to problems becomes short term since the problems re-emerge in future. For the firm to retain its competitiveness, it restructures itself with fewer employees. Therefore, the few have to be more effective. For a firm to have a competitive advantage, it has to learn faster than its competitors and also create a culture that is responsive to customers needs.
The firm must therefore acquire and maintain knowledge regarding new products or processes. The firm must also acquaint itself with what is happening in its environment, and make use of knowledge of all its human resource to provide creative solutions to problems. Therefore, there must be co-operation and trust between all the stakeholders and reliable communication within a learning organization. In a learning organization, there is a shared vision which is agreeable to everyone. The individuals in a learning organization leave their old ways of reasoning and the normal routines of problem solving.
Members of a learning organization see all the organizational processes, actions, functions, and environmental interactions as being part of the entire system. It is a system where people communicate openly with one another without fearing being criticized or punished. Private interests and disjointed departmental interests are forgone for the sake of the organizational goal achievement. Therefore, the achievement of a learning organization is only possible where the organization supports and promotes the development and empowerment of every employee. According to Senge (2004), human resource development should lead to the success of the whole organization.
The human development strategy ought to maximize on the benefit the firm gets in investing in human resource. A learning organization achieves this by aligning the supply of capable and experienced workers with the existing human resource, the company’s current and prospected business plans and needs to increase return on investment and ensure continued existence and success. Human resource development should adequately address the organization’s human resources needs in a pragmatic manner. The strategy used in human resource development should be legal, ethical and try as is practically possible to secure the support and respect of the human resource.
In a learning organization, human resource development leads to organizational success by allowing for personal development while gratifying the organizational goals. Human resource should be treated as an asset whose value should be enhanced by development. The human development policy should focus on the workers growth and development. It should aim at enhancing personal skills and potential hence boosting his performance for the benefit of the entire organization.