The evolution of "Organizational Learning" has started in 1938 when John Dewey, in his book "Experience and Education", publicized the concept of experiential learning as an ongoing cycle of activity.
But, how did this concept emerge? Or, what does it really mean for the businesses? In order to understand this, we have to analyze the problems and needs.
The core idea behind "learning organization" is that organizations of all kinds will not survive, let alone thrive, if they do not acquire an ability to adapt continuously to an increasingly unpredictable future. Or in other words, in order to survive and succeed for businesses, it is essential to establish or build stronger relationships with customers, where there are rapidly changing, turbulent and/or highly competitive market. Through learning, organizations may be better equipped to meet the challenges caused by continuous environmental turbulence.
In addition, where products and processes can rapidly be copied, according to Arie de
Geus, head of strategic planning department of Royal/Dutch Shell, the only real source of competitive advantage is to stimulate learning by employees. This may allow these individuals to identify new ways of working more closely with customers, which in turn permits the organization to differentiate itself from competition.
However, the style of learning has to reflect the operational needs of the organization. For instance, a manufacturer which has adopted a transactional marketing style would probably choose to operate in a relatively stable market, produce standard components and focus primarily on offering adequate quality goods at a competitive price. In such circumstances, assuming that the organizational systems are based around repetition of routine procedures, the firm would probably be well advised to focus upon creating a single-loop learning environment as the most appropriate way fur sustaining employee development aimed at