Denise L. Smith
Learning organizations can be understood as institutions which allow for expansion of capacity among its employees or people. In such organizations, people have the opportunity to develop and give the desired results. Learning also allows for the nurturance of new ideas and thought patterns. According to Senge, learning organizations involve collective aspirations that are not restricted and enables individuals to be in a continuous learning process (170). The rationality for any learning organizations, according to Senge, is to remain flexible and productive even when they are subjected to drastic changes. Further, learning organizations are expected to remain adaptive and excel in a coerced environment. However, Senge is clear that such adaptive and productive mechanisms cannot just occur, but organizations and the leadership must see and trap the commitment of the partners or workers, and develop their capacity to learn at various levels (Senge 170). This is because individuals have the innate ability to learn, however, structures that these same individuals’ functions are not supportive and sometimes fail their full engagement. Senge also argues that individuals may be willing to learn, but circumstances do not provide guiding ideas in order for them to interpret the environment on which they operate. In this case, organization that learns continuously is a wakeup call for most people. This is because such people can develop their capacity for future necessity. However, according to Bartel (354), there are some organizations that are not ready to help people learn to become part of the “moving” team. For instance, most workers in a particular organization may not have a clue of being part of a team. However, to some individuals, a single association with the organization is enough to become part of the great team (Bartel 354).
One issue that ought to be noted, in most learning organizations, is their quest to embrace diversity. Most learning organizations have the perception that the success of organizations is to manage diversity. In this case, an organization can solve problems and make competent decisions. Diverse groups are also known to be creative and can generate unique ideas for organization. With the talent of creativity, the rate of turnover within organizations and unnecessary costs will be reduced drastically. The characteristics of a diverse organization also constitute the features of AT&T. AT&T believes in embracing diversity. Since its inception, AT&T recognized the responsibility they have, as an international organization, in terms of embracing diversity.
Some of the key success factors for AT&T are based on their policies and procedures laid down for the recruitment process. Their policies ensure that minorities, in terms of race and gender, are incorporated in their workforce (Bristol). After the recruitment, AT&T management ensures that they enroll their recruits into a career development program for induction. The induction process is mainly meant for mentorship and provision of training resources. The resources offer guidance towards development of their career. Their recruitment policy also ensures that there is the incorporation of diversity in the management system especially minority groups. In this case, AT&T is regarded as one of the learning organizations. It is recognized as a learning organization because it encounters challenges of discrimination along ethnic minorities, which can bring uncertainties in performance. AT&T also has a top management system, which involves system thinking of Senge’s components, to face their problems. The institution has since realized that focusing on linear approach, as solution model, is ineffective. With the approach taken by the management system, Bartel (358) argues that the AT&T framework enabled employees to react in a positive way, which was a success to the...
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