Organizational Learning

Organizational Learning

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The way an organization learns through a continuous process that increases its collective capacity to adapt to internal and external change. Organizational learning is the ability of an organization to gain knowledge from experience through experimentation, observation, analysis and a willingness to examine both successes (good practices) and failures (lessons learned), and to use that knowledge to do things differently. Organizational learning occurs when, through its processing of information, an organization becomes collectively more knowledgeable and skillful in pursuing a set of goals. It involves individual learning, and the ability to think critically and creatively, but it is more than the sum of the knowledge held by the individuals. It includes using organizational development as long term continuous improvement, using interdisciplinary approaches and modern technologies.

It involves five disciplines:

A learning organization must demonstrate a commitment to the following principles in the workplace: [1]
Principles Content
Building systems that output learning Workplaces should actively modify their policies, structures, and procedures to support discovery
Sponsoring personal excellence The learning organization should encourage good practices innovation and self-managed learning
Creating new mental models Learning organizations have to question the assumptions and mindsets of their employees to ensure that openness and innovation are championed at the expense of secrecy and politics


  1. (7 March 2008), (7 March 2008), The Human Resources Glossary: The Complete Desk Reference for Hr Executives. William R. Tracey, 2003, Transforming Learning in the Workplace. Alastair Rylatt, 1999, May 2009), Wikipedia (25 May 2009), (25 May 2009)