Organizational learning

The 'broad knowledge' culture:

Organizational learning is the process of creating, retaining, and transferring knowledge within a company and goes as follows:

  • Companies tend to improve over time as they gain experience
  • From this experience, they are able to create knowledge
  • This knowledge can be described as ‘broad’, covering any topic that could increase the ROI of an organization.

As organization learning happens when there is a change in the knowledge of an organization, knowledge is considered to be a big indicator of organizational learning itself. Therefore, the concept of knowledge management is the process of collecting, developing, and spreading knowledge assets to enable organizational learning.

Examples include ways to boost production efficiency and developing beneficial investor relations.

Organizational learning units:

Besides group-based and individual learning, knowledge is created at two other important units:

  • Organizational learning
  • Inter-organizational learning

Note that you can measure organizational learning in different ways, though one common measurement used is the well-known learning curve.

1. Organizational learning

As described above, organizational learning is the way in which a company creates and organizes knowledge relating to their functions and culture. Organizational learning can happen in all of the organization’s activities, and it happens in different speeds.

General goals

  • Successfully adapt to changing environments
  • Adjust under uncertain conditions
  • Increase efficiency
2. Inter-organizational learning

Inter-organizational learning is the way in which different organizations in an alliance collaborate, share knowledge, and learn from one another. Interorganizational learning occurs frequently in fixed business models, such as franchising. The franchisee looking to use the franchisor’s brand has to learn how to use the organization’s business model before starting a franchise.

General goals

  • Learn faster
  • Decrease risks associated with problem solving
  • Improve general processes and products

Conclusion: Organizations, teams and smaller companies can learn successfully when they are able to retain this knowledge and transfer it to, or spread it throughout, the various divisions within their business itself.