Supporting continuous learning in a large organization: the role of group and organizational perspectives

Mulholland, Paul; Zdrahal, Zdenek and Domingue, John (2005). Supporting continuous learning in a large organization: the role of group and organizational perspectives. Applied Ergonomics, 36(2) pp. 127–134.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2004.09.009

URL: http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/paulm/rae/app-erg-art...

Abstract

Many organizations recognize the need to continuously adapt and learn in order to survive and remain competitive. Learning and therefore change in organizations is driven in two ways. First, there is strategically driven learning, motivated by high-level factors such as market changes, company mergers and newly emerging approaches to organizational management and workplace learning. These changes reveal themselves in the introduction of new training programmes, recruitment strategies and knowledge management methodologies. Second, there is local, continuous learning occurring from the ground up. This is revealed as workers become more adept at their job through experience and collaboration with colleagues. Continuous learning is more gradual and
requires local autonomy. This paper describes an experiment in supporting local, continuous learning, and its dissemination, but driven by a strategic initiative of the organization. This work raised many issues concerning the difficulty of integrating local and global organizational influences on learning. We outline lessons learned and suggestions as to the extent to which it is possible to align continuous learning witha company-wide perspective.

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