Learning Organization & Knowledge Management

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1- Introduction

2- Definitions

3- Review of the learning Organization

4- Review of the Knowledge Management

1- Introduction

Learning organizations are not simply the most fashionable or current management trend, they can provide work environments that are open to creative thought, and embrace the concept that solutions to ongoing work-related problems are available inside each and every one of us. All we must do is tap into the knowledge base, which gives us the "ability to think critically and creatively, the ability to communicate ideas and concepts, and the ability to cooperate with other human beings in the process of inquiry and action (Navran Associates Newsletter 1993). A learning organization is one that seeks to create its own future; that assumes learning is an ongoing and creative process for its members; and one that develops, adapts, and transforms itself in response to the needs and aspirations of people, both inside and outside itself ( Navran Associates Newsletter 1993). What learning organizations do is set us free because employees no longer have to be passive players in the equation; they will learn to express ideas and challenge themselves to contribute to an improved work environment by participating in a paradigm shift from the traditional authoritarian workplace philosophy to one where the hierarchy is broken down, and human potential is heralded. Learning organizations foster an environment wherein people can "create the results they truly desire," and where they can learn to learn together for the betterment of the whole (Rheem 1995,10). Has Knowledge Management (KM) been done? Of course, KM has been done. It is a natural function in human organizations, and it is being done all of the time in an informal distributed way by everyone undertaking activity in order to enhance Knowledge production and integration tasks. But whether formal interventions claiming the label "KM" are bona fide instances of KM practice is another matter entirely. To answer that question, we need to have clear, non-contradictory ideas about the nature of knowledge, knowledge processing, and Knowledge Management. And to have those, we need to get beyond the notion that we can do KM by just doing anything that may have a positive impact on worker effectiveness while calling that thing "KM."

Instead we need to recognize that the immediate purpose of KM is not to improve either worker effectiveness (though it may well do that) or an organization's bottom line. Its purpose is to enhance knowledge processing (Firestone and McElroy, 2003, ch. 3) in the expectation that such enhancements will produce better quality solutions (knowledge), which, in turn, may, ceteris paribus, when used, improve worker effectiveness and the bottom line. And when we undertake KM projects, we must evaluate the contributions of our interventions to the quality of knowledge processing and knowledge outcomes. That calls for tough, precise thinking about knowledge processing, knowledge, and the impact on these that our interventions are likely to have.

2- Definitions
2.1 Learning Organization:

Pedler “an organization that facilitates the learning of all its members and consciously transforms itself and its context”, emphasizing that change should not happen just for the sake of change, but should be well thought out. Some definitions are broader, encompassing all kinds of organizational change, not just change through learning. Senge defines learning organizations as “Organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to learn together.”

2.2 Knowledge Management:
WIKI "Knowledge Management ('KM') comprises a range of practices used by organizations to identify,...
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