About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5899-5905
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

LEARNING ORGANIZATION IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: ESTONIAN EMPLOYEES UNDERSTANDINGS BEFORE AND DURING THE RECESSION

M. Ahonen, M. Kaseorg

University of Tartu (ESTONIA)
Since Peter Senge’s (1990) book “The Fifth Dicipline. The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization” the topic has been widely studied, the ideas have been extended and measuring models developed. Variety of approaches reflect on different understandings on what to focus on, however the common ground seems to be that organizations which have relevant characteristics build competitive advantage and have more chances to survive in turbulent times. Uncertain business environment creates new opportunities and a favorable ground for innovation. Being innovative and creative allows organizations to adapt to changes in the market, technology and competition (Senge, 1990; Watkins and Marsick, 1996). According to Cavalery (2008): “The prospects of a learning organization are in peril when the leaders fail to implement systems to improve and validate the quality of knowledge that has been created.”

Difficulties in economic climate have made organizational development theorists bring forward the critics, debates and extremely opposite views. Already in 1985 Fiol and Lyes noted that in uncertain times organizations cease to learn at cognitive level and concentrate on mere adaption by trial and error. Today Grivers (2008) however has taken a more outrageous viewpoint and proposes that the whole idea of a learning organization should be abandoned because it is imaginative and has now run its course. On the other hand Cavalery (2008) notes that organizational learning and its instantiation: the learning organization, provide ideas whose time has come. Have sudden changes in external environment made employees to stop believing in their organizations being competitive and offering personal development or to what extent staff has started to adapt their thinking and behavior?

The aim of the paper is to determine to what extent employees’ understandings about their organization being a learning organization in 2009 differ compared to the results of the study conducted in 2006-2008 when the business environment was blossoming. The authors of the article explore knowledge management as an element of creating the learning organization. Relying on available audit instruments and literature on the learning organization the authors developed an assessment instrument for measuring the current status and exploring employees’ understandings in terms learning organization. (Ahonen and Kaseorg 2008) The questionnaire was carried out in 2006-2008 and in 2009, the data were processed using MS Excel.





References:
[1] Ahonen, M. and Kaseorg, M. 2008. Exploring Learning Organization – Estonian Employees Perspective. International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2008), Madrid (Spain), 17-19.11.2008, pp. 1-8.
[2] Cavalery S.A. 2008. Are learning organizations pragmatic?. The Learning Organization, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 474-485.
[3] Fiol C.M. and Lyles M.A.1985. Organizational learning. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 803-814.
[4] Grieves J. 2008. Why should we abandon the idea of the learning organization. The Learning Organization, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 463-473.
[5] Senge, M.P. 1990. The Fifth Discipline. The Art of Practice of the Learning Organization. Random House, New York.
[6] Watkins, K.E. and Marsick, V.J. 1996. Creating the Learning Organization. Alexandria, VA: ASTD.
@InProceedings{AHONEN2009LEA,
author = {Ahonen, M. and Kaseorg, M.},
title = {LEARNING ORGANIZATION IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: ESTONIAN EMPLOYEES UNDERSTANDINGS BEFORE AND DURING THE RECESSION},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5899-5905}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Ahonen AU - M. Kaseorg
TI - LEARNING ORGANIZATION IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: ESTONIAN EMPLOYEES UNDERSTANDINGS BEFORE AND DURING THE RECESSION
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 5899
EP - 5905
ER -
M. Ahonen, M. Kaseorg (2009) LEARNING ORGANIZATION IN UNCERTAIN TIMES: ESTONIAN EMPLOYEES UNDERSTANDINGS BEFORE AND DURING THE RECESSION, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 5899-5905.
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