Learning in organisations

Organisational learning is defined as the process of creating, retaining, and transferring knowledge inside an organisation. Organisational learning is important for all companies, as the creation, retention and transfer of knowledge within the organisation will strengthen the organisation as a whole.

A Organisational learning is defined as the process of creating, retaining, and transferring knowledge inside an organization. Organisational learning is important for all companies, as the creation, retention and transfer of knowledge within the organisation will strengthen the organisation as a whole. Health care is a complex and multidisciplinary system where different groups of people have to collaborate to guarantee internal stability inside the care home sectors.

Peter Senge, introduced the term “learning organisation” as a scenario in which people are continuously learning together for the best possible outcomes from the organization. What is being learned, made more effective, and disseminated are “routines” for conducting work that accomplishes goals. Routines evolve over time as individuals get experience with tasks, people come and go, technologies change, priorities and policies shift, and best practices are shared.

The organisational learning theories suggest various modality of learning for the organizations: the single and the double loop learning, developed by Argyris, and the triple loop learning. Single-loop learning is the easiest and most common learning style. It involves using feedback to make continuous adjustments and adaptations, in order to maintain a high performance standard. For example, if a certain action yields results that are different to what one expected, through single-loop learning, one will observe the results and automatically take in feedback, in order to apply a different approach. It is in a sense increasing efficiency by learning out of experience. The more one does something the better one gets at it. This can translate to cost savings, increased revenue and profitability amongst others in a corporate setting. Double-loop learning is a more complex way of processing information and involves a more sophisticated way of engaging with an experience. It is the ability to challenge and redefine the assumptions underlying performance standards to improve performance (Argyris, 1978). In double-loop learning, members of the organization are able to reflect on whether the “rules” themselves should be changed, not only on whether deviations have occurred and how to correct them. This kind of learning involves more “thinking outside the box,” creativity and critical thinking. This learning often helps participants understand why a particular solution works better than others to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Experts assert that double-loop learning is critical to the success of an organization, especially during times of rapid change. In the last decade another concept of learning is considered in the organizational theories, the triple loop learning. Triple-loop learning involves “learning how to learn” by reflecting on how we learn in the first place. In this situation, participants would reflect on how they think about the “rules,” not only on whether the rules should be changed. This form of learning helps us to understand a great deal more about ourselves and others regarding beliefs and perceptions. Triple-loop learning might be explained as double-loop learning about double-loop learning (Mc Namara, 2005).

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