Development Cooperation Handbook/The development aid organization/The Learning organization

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Learning is a fundamental component of organization development and of the empowerment of organization employees. An organization learns and develops itself when it:

  1. articulates its mission through well planned programmes,
  2. is aware of the results it obtains though a constant activity of monitoring and evaluation,
  3. collects, organize and shares within the organization the knowledge produced by M&E activities for:
  • improving programme management
  • empower the human resources.

Learning organizations are those that have in place systems, mechanisms and processes, that are used to continually enhance their capabilities and those who work with it or for it, to achieve sustainable objectives - for themselves and the communities in which they participate.
As organizations are increasingly asked to operate effectively they tend to focused on “outcome centred” management approaches. This implies the capacity to move from centralized bureaucratic structures to interrelated but self-governing programme/projects teams. (see projectized organization). As organizations are increasingly asked to operate in a effective environment they tend to focused on “outcome centred” management approaches. This implies the capacity to move from centralized bureaucratic structures to interrelated but self-governing programme/projects teams. A consequence of this shift of managerial focus is that managers need to foster an organizational  process so that the employees learn from the programme/project results and can contribute to share the information required to better plan future actions. A further consequence is the growing need within the organization of workers who are able to access and use the knowledge present in the organization and to contribute to further capitalization and sharing of new knowledge.
In knowledge-based organizations, learning is no longer restricted to the initial start up phase of new workers, but becomes a continuous process that moves along the implementation of the tasks assigned in programme/project implementation. IT revolution and Internet are increasingly making possible new ways of capitalizing and sharing knowledge within the organization: this is the process known as knowledge management.

Learning organizations:

  • are adaptive to their external environment
  • Continually enhance their capability to change/adapt
  • Develop collective as well as individual learning
  • Use the results of learning to achieve better results

Information technologies and learning processes within the organizations make the role of “communication” much more important within programme/project management activities.  On the one side this implies that more training should be given to communication skills and mastery of communication tools. On the other side it is training itself that in learning organizations becomes communication process meant to generate employee alignment to the new requirements of knowledge workers.


See also[edit]

In other sections of this handbook
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Learning and Knowledge Management
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Managing project human resources
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg Organization development
Ezra Cornell's first book.jpg How do we manage the human resources of programmes and projects?
On Wikipedia
600X WIKIPEDIA LOGO.svg Organization development
600X WIKIPEDIA LOGO.svg Learning organization
On other Wikibooks
Wikibooks Organizational Learning Processes
Wikibooks Learning Agents