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Employer Development

The Importance of Becoming a ‘Learning Organization’

Clearly defining what a Learning Organization is and its Characteristics

Introduction – Purpose of the Essay

The purpose of the essay is to understand the importance of the learning organizations as well as go deeper into the meaning of “professional education, management, and leadership; the ability to develop skills and reveal the talents of people” as it was previously addressed by Bartels & Pass (2000). In other words, the purpose is to understand how learning organizations manage their high performance due to the fact of constant learning and professional, as well as personal education on all the levels (Bartels & Pass 2000: p. 27, International business).

What is a Learning Organization?

Krugman and Maurice (2003) note, “A learning organization is the one that actively seeks to move the knowledge and skills from one part of the organization to another”. Such an approach helps the top management to make sure that the relevant knowledge and skills find their way to all the organizational units that need it most. In other words, learning organizations are those that invest lots of energy, money and time into the breakthrough with their own boundaries. They keep searching for the knowledge, skills, talents and experience and strive at achieving the full potential on all levels of interactions within the company (Krugman & Maurice 2003: p. 487, International economics).

Why is it Important?

Schneider and Barsoux (1997) observe, “Learning is the process of searching for, acquiring, and absorbing both unspoken and obvious information into the organization and translating it into knowledge, which is applied to the purpose of personal and profession growth and development of both employers and employees”. The learning process could enable the environment that will build the strategy and improve the source positioning and enhances the reasonable advantage of any learning organization in the world (Schneider & Barsoux 1997: p. 85, Managing across cultures). Anderson (2004) suggests that a “learning approach also helps to decrease the expenses and lastly improves the overall presentation for the mutual mechanisms of the learning organizations”. In more solid standings, the enduring impact of international development challenge of the learning organizations network could be found to “gain its income, validation of the production efficiency, and improvement of the innovative performance” (Anderson 2004, p. 249, Research methods in human resource management).

What are the Features and Characteristics of a Learning Organization? 

Based upon the distinctions of Napier & Peterson (2004), “learning organizations function in terms of their evolution and associated different models of education both for employers and employees”. The first model is known as the military or traditional one and its states the fact that the learning organization can successfully operate in the contemporary business environment only as a closed system (Napier & Peterson 1984: p. 262, Putting human resource management at the line manager level). Such a position of learning organizations helps them to become independent and centralized organizations in terms of hierarchical and self-sufficient nature. According to Nehles, Riemsdijk, Kok & Looise (2006), More recent models associate learning organization with an “open, dynamic and learning creature, which is dependent upon its capability to adapt its internal, as well as external forces” (Nehles, Riemsdijk, Kok & Looise 2006: p. 82, Implementing human resource management successfully: a first-line management challenge).

Concluding remarks on the Learning Organizations and their Performance

Griffin & Pustay (2010) claim, “The performance management is a very unique tool” that helps people all over the world do business in all aspects of life. It would be easier to assume that there is a company that is in the process of taking control of its operations by means of performance management and learning operations (Griffin & Pustay 2010: p. 65,
International business). Engaging learners can be a challenging exercise with all the teaching resources. Hill (2009) observes, in fact, every learning institution should have a Learning and Development Team that is committed to “deliver the necessary skills and knowledge using their expertise and experience”. Delivering skills, managing talents and devolving the role of leadership are the outstanding attributes of the learning organization along with its future strategy to train people by means to help them become successful on the workplace and in life (Hill 2009: p. 54, International business).

What is the Added-value of the Learning Organizations?

The lesser amount of measurable value of practice expanded in one factor of the learning organizations can correspondingly be misused in other mechanisms of the learning organization networks. Thus, Hutchinson & Purcell (2007) assume that it would be possible to “manage a better network and future performance with significantly enhanced figures, as well as lack of repeated costly mistakes” (Hutchinson & Purcell 2007: p. 14, Line managers in reward, learning and development). Based on the findings of Dany, Guedri & Hatt (2008), “learning organizations are considered as open or closed systems”. All that truly matters as far as differentiation of an exposure to the environment, economic, political, demographical, and technological factors are concerned (Dany, Guedri & Hatt 2008: p. 112, New insights into the link between HRM integration and organizational performance). Theorists believe that open systems are flexible and can help learning organizations to adapt according to changes in their surrounding and the world as a whole. The overall idea of Hubben (2007) is “the closed systems are less or even insensitive to such changes due to the constantly developing process of learning, personal development and professional growth” (Hubben 2007: p. 22, What line management expects of human resource managers).

Learning Organizations and their Performance Leadership

According to the Office of Personnel Management (2011), “The traditional leadership performance is known as a concept of having exceptional human qualities, deep understanding of power over other people” as well as the inner abilities to transform the beliefs of the team needed to come up with a favorable solution for the required environment and in a variety of spheres (Office of Personnel Management 2011: p. 70, Performance management). According to the Business Balls (2011), in the modern world of learning organizations, such understanding has not been changed but improved with some more factors such as “attitude and responsibilities along with the highly-professional qualities” one should have to be considered a leader in a conventional society (Business Balls 2011: p. 7, Performance management).

Based on the findings of Team Technology (1995), “the relationships in a life situation that happen between the leader and the followers are based on ethics with the high inspiration for respect, human qualities and value of an identity” within a learning organization (Team Technology 1995: p. 5, Performance management). According to Cooper (2000), “Leadership role is the core quality of every person within any learning organization” as it has a direct impact on the employees and any project philosophy. The idea is to learn how to gently assess all the sources available in life (Cooper 2000: p. 148, Effective competency modeling and reporting).

The findings of Sociology (2011) claim, “in case of a correctly chosen leadership model, a manager in every learning organization could be considered as a true leader, who “generates trust and creates new leaders for the public”. Therefore, such a person could become a valid asset for any learning organization (Sociology 2011: p. 9, Research methods – participant observation). Maxwell &Watson (2006) help to illustrate the promotion of a leader within any learning organization, “one should demonstrate understanding of being a leader in terms of actions”. In other words, leadership is not what people are but what they do showing their charisma and talent to empower other people on the road to their goals and ambitions. The thing is to manage the best possible performance quality (Maxwell &Watson 2006: p. 4, Perspectives on line managers in human resource management).

According to Renwick (2003), at times, there are certain cases when most of the leadership approaches do not work as they do usually, and this is the time for the learning organizations to “promote their leadership ability and charisma to show oneself and look for a completely different communication technique” (Renwick 2003: p. 8, Employee Relations). Marchington & Wilknison (2005) suggest that when this comes to need, “a true leader does understand that one is to use different leadership models at the same time” so as to manage the work properly and finish it on time. This has to do about an individual attention to every team member as well as the ability to lead gently and in a more sensitive way (Marchington & Wilknison 2005: p. 297, Human resources management at work: people management at work).

Application of Management in the Learning Organizations

Any learning organization is viewed as a system that requires qualified management practice of accurate human actions and product facilitation to manage the positive outcomes from the given system. According to Lawrence (2011), “there is one aspect that starts before the start-up management practice and that is to manage oneself properly and use the opportunity to manage others even more effectively for the needs of the learning organization” (Lawrence 2011: p. 3, Management Executive Development). As Peter Druker (1908-2005) used to say, “management is needed to fold marketing and innovation as it consists of the fundamental functions that formulate the learning organization and its policies, organization, planning, controlling, and directing the resources in order to reach the objectives” (Sources of Insights 2011: p, 27, Lessons Learned from Peter Drucker). The practice of management is essential for the managers and directors, who have the responsibilities as well as the power to manage people and make decisions to achieve the primary objectives of the learning organizations. The size of the managing personnel could vary from one person to a group of people up to a thousand and even more employees considering the multinational learning organizations. According to Renwick (2003), “in large organizations the process of the management is formulated with the help of chief executive officers, business analysts and financiers”, who define the quality of the management as well as the potential worth of the learning organization’s assets (Renwick 2003: p. 9, Employee Relations).

During the deep recession many people were laid off and were pushed to run their own businesses, which means developing their management skills while working with different people. The thing is that during this time those, who started their own businesses, were pursuing the happiness as a dream they always wished for many years. Thus, it turned out to be a success due to their hard and persistent work and revelation of their potential. According to Lawrence (2011), “when such learning organizations mature the senior executives face a decision whether to continue managing the company on their own or hiring professional managers”, who they delegate the power and then engage more time to be with their families (Lawrence 2011: p. 5, Management Executive Development).

Bagchi (2011) suggests, “The nature of managerial work is a for-profit work, where management is the primary function to satisfy shareholders”. When people are involved in making a profit, the top management is to deal with creating a high-valued product or a service that has a reasonable cost on the world market. Bagchi (2011) suggests, “Learning organizations provide the opportunity for the employees to get high-paid jobs” and at the same time develop the skills to become a successful manager in the company (Bagchi 2011: p. 156, Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work).

In case of talking about the non-profit management, this involves an importance of keeping the faith of donors while making an administrating decision. Management practice has been changed during the last decade but still it is in process of management functions. According to Peter Druker (1908-2005), “the overall idea is managing the operations classified as planning, organizing, staffing, leading/directing, controlling / monitoring and motivating people during the working process” (Sources of Insights 2011: p, 17, Lessons Learned from Peter Drucker). Planning speaks for the needs one may have in the future; organizing means implementing the resources that are required for the successful plan realization; staffing is all about analyzing the job performance, recruiting people for appropriate job positions; leading or directing stands for the identification of the needs of people; controlling or monitoring is aimed at checking the progress of plans and its coordination; finally, motivating is making people work effectively and efficiently on the workplace in order to contribute to the new level of management in the organization. According to Peter Druker (1908-2005), “If one or some factors do not take place in the learning organization, it fails to meet the objectives and starts from scratch”. Every learning organization has to choose what works best in the competitive business environment (Sources of Insights 2011: p, 22, Lessons Learned from Peter Drucker).


According to CIPD (2011), “The major challenges that are faced by the learning organizations are those, which are based on the rapid expansion of their network along with the governance structure that makes the overall strategic management function as a global network of educational institutions” (CIPD 2011: p. 19, The role of line managers in HR). Bagchi (2011) suggests, “Every learning organization needs to have a manager it could always count on”. One always works as needed and finishes the job on time. Also, one is capable of controlling the process of work even though it is needed to stay late at night to finish the project (Bagchi 2011: p. 198, Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work). Anyways, the executives of any learning organization always want to have a person, who they can ask something to do and be absolutely sure the job will be done professionally and on time. According to Peter Druker (1908-2005), “The reason why a person, who is dependable, will be able to become a perfect manager in any learning organization despite its specialization and achieve success in everything required for the future (Sources of Insights 2011: p, 18, Lessons Learned from Peter Drucker). Thus, the national ownership is constantly observed and expected to extend its governance structure in terms of already established learning organizations and their functionality. According to Bagchi (2011), the purpose is to “promote the learning organizations by means of personal growth and professional development” while executing the individual approaches and various leadership models for the growth of learning organizations (Bagchi 2011: p. 206, Defining the New Standard of Excellence at Work).

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