The Importance of Organizational Learning for Change in Higher Education Institutions


Many works have been written about different forms of organizational learning (OL), mostly in business environments. However, currently, academic environments are tapping into the same concepts in order to enhance performance that is driven by competition from other institutions that may have better strategies for student enrollment and retention, high caliber of faculty, more prominence and higher ranking. It is necessary to define OL especially as the term is sometimes mixed up with or occasionally interchanged with the learning organization (LO). In this presentation, the author chooses to refer to LO as a process (a plan or proposal or agenda) to change while OL refers to having a plan that includes strategies or procedures for implementing change (actual actions taken) throughout an organization. The same perception is expressed by Argyris (1977) who refers to OL as the process of “detection and correction of errors”. According to King (2009), OL is the goal and at the core of knowledge management (KM) in the sense that it is one of the important ways an organization can maximize use of knowledge. On the other hand, a LO is defined as one that has a culture that supports individual learning, resulting in changes in the behavior of the organization itself (Ablett, 1998). As such, a LO has the potential to operate proactively especially in the current dynamic globalized information environment, and recognize those who develop knowledge. With both OL and LO in mind, this presentation reflects on KM practices at institutions of higher learning.

Author Information
Judith Mavodza, Zayed University, UAE

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2015
Stream: Organizational learning and change

This paper is part of the IICE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon