Management Theory Organizational Learning

Management Theory

Organizational Learning

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In the business community, learning is much more than just a manner in which to create the future that is desired. In today’s quick-paced, highly aggressive work world, it may in fact give a company the edge it needs to survive and thus keep fulfilling its purpose. Organizations flourish to adjust incessantly to external conditions as well as highlight internal hierarchical decisions that are needed for change. Therefore, organizations persistently tend to balance the learning process between equilibrium and evolution in order to achieve success (Chatterjee, 2010). Organizational learning necessitates systematic incorporation and collective interpretation of new knowledge that leads to collective action and involves risk taking as testing.

Systems behavior is affected by environment with both internal and external factors being at play. A system’s assessment of the relation between its purpose and its behavior is determined by the stability of representations and views that determines the behavior of the learning system. This stability of representations and perceptions are brought about by some lasting changes induced by learning where rules stay in balance as long as the learning system is unmoved. “If the rules are changed contemporaneously, it would be difficult to ascertain the outcomes of a learning process” (Chatterjee, 2010.

Adaptive learning is related to reasonableness, protective relationships, and low freedom of choice and dissuasion of inquiry while generative learning requires five disciplines: personal mastery, mental molds, shared vision, team learning and systemic thinking (Chiva, Grandio, & Alegre, 2010). Internal factors or environment of a business consists of the organizational resources accessible to achieve its goals. These normally include human, technological, financial and physical resources. The task of management is to obtain these resources and make competent and effectual use of them inside an organization. Organizational resources are usually scarce and management success depends on how well these resources are both gotten a hold of then utilized (External and Internal Factors, n.d.).

External factors include sociological, economic, political and technological aspects. The sociological aspects include the demographic status and trends, work ethics and personal values, and general cultures. These factors all have difference influences on how management gets its job done. The social environment presented in each company is unique and as each business grows and expands, management needs to understand these unique environments. “This understanding assists the management to plan for the future and design products for particular groups of people” (External and Internal Factors, n.d.).

The economic and political aspects include all the essential factors such as competitors, suppliers and customers. In an open model of business management must study the economy and political environment in order to determine a continual and dynamic relationship. In this system the management assumes that the business or company has both input and output. By studying the companies’ suppliers, competitors and customers as well as current political factors, management is capable of making effectual managerial decisions. Technology has the most remarkable effect on business as changes in this external environment are frequently felt by firm very rapidly. Since the market can change overnight, management should be in a position to make decisions that will put the company in a flexible poison to acclimatize with changes that are taking place (External and Internal Factors, n.d.).

Values are the personification of what an organization stands for, and should be the foundation for the behavior of its members. A disconnect between individual and organizational values often leads to dysfunction. “Additionally, an organization may publish one set of values, perhaps in an effort to push forward a positive image, while the values that really guide organizational behavior are very different. When there is a disconnect between stated and operating values, it may be difficult to determine what is acceptable” (Strategic Leadership and Decision Making, n.d.).

(SCT) says that contingency plans are a necessary part of making sure that a business continues to function efficiently when it is faced with challenges and difficulties. When put into motion, contingency plans can change the scenery of the business provisionally or permanently. Structural contingency theory suggests that companies have a plan in place to guide organizational change when needed. Structural contingency theory points out that organizational structure must be flexible to each business and that each business must make moves to make sure they are operating within the most competent structure to support the business (Long, 2012). This theory supports the idea of organizational learning in that it fosters the idea of a continuous process that enhances the organization. This theory is inapplicable to organizational learning in that it does not really involve any risk taking.

Social network analysis (SNA) is the mapping and assessing of relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers, URLs, and other connected information entities. “The nodes in the network are the people and groups while the links show relationships or flows between the nodes. SNA provides both a visual and a mathematical analysis of human relationships” (, a Brief Introduction, 2011). This theory supports the idea of organizational learning in that it includes all the aspects of the organization and not just the things that people know. This theory is inapplicable to organizational learning because it does not deal with any external factors, as it only looks at internal relationships.

These two theories could be adapted to accommodate organizational learning by including both internal and external relationships and incorporate the idea of risk taking so that all things and risks that influence a company can be dealt with and planned for.


Chatterjee, S. (2010). Behavioral Aspects of Organizational Learning and Adaptation.

Retrieved from http://opendepot.org/392/

Chiva, R., Grandio, a., & Alegre, J. (2010). Adaptive and Generative Learning: Implications

from Complexity Theories. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(2),

114-129. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2370.2008.00255.x

External and Internal Factors. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.streetdirectory..html

Long, N. (2012). Definition of Structural Contingency Theory. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron..html

Social Network Analysis, a Brief Introduction. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.orgnet.com/sna.html

Strategic Leadership and Decision Making.(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-dm/pt4ch15.html

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