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How do organizations learn?

A broad definition of the notion of organizational learning states that it is a process of gradual adaptation, based on assessing organizational undertakings in terms of its performance and plans for future activities. This is the definition we use in the Learning Ministries project.

The MUS research, utilizing many theoretic definitions that elaborate on the role of knowledge in organizations from a review of circa 1,000 academic books and articles, has generated a theoretical model describing the organizational learning process. It assumes that:

  1. Organizations that learn better, through being able to utilize knowledge in action, achieve better results,
  2. If the organization is to learn efficiently it has to possess three kinds of knowledge assets – pertaining to its environment, strategic goals and its day to day operations
  3. This knowledge has to be verified through the activities of the organization and through mechanisms of internal and external feedback loops (discussions, critique, outside evaluations, controls, benchmarks, etc.)
  4. Consequently, constantly modified knowledge assets influence the way of performing future organizational activities and shape the way it responds to environmental changes.

The overview of the organizational learning process presented above allowed the project team to construct a research model utilized in the Learning Ministries study. You can find it under this address