Madrid Open University (UDIMA) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 2430-2437
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1512
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
The purpose of this study was to analyze learning organization construct in higher education in Spain. The concept of the learning organization, most often attributed to Peter Senge as the pioneer, refers mainly to the identification of characteristics of organizational culture and climate that help to develop a learning culture. Information society and globalization require constant change and adaptation in the competitive environment. Learning is frequently described as a critical feature of the behavior of an organization and is considered as a key factor for innovation and competitivity. Universities are considered as learning organization since they facilitate learning of individuals, groups, and contribute to the progress of the entire society through research and innovation. Watkins and Marsick's Learning organization questionnaire was administered to a sample that consisted of 250 faculty members of different universities in Spain.

This instrument assesses the following aspects:
(a) Continuous Learning: represents an organization’s effort to create continuous learning opportunities for all of its members;
(b) Dialogue and Inquiry: refers to an organization’s effort in creating a culture of questioning, feedback, and experimentation;
(c) Team Learning: reflects the “spirit of collaboration and the collaborative skills" that support the effective use of teams;
(d) Embedded Systems: indicates efforts to establish systems to capture and share learning;
(e) Empowerment: signifies an organization’s process to create and share a collective vision and get feedback from its members about the gap between the current status and the new vision;
(f) System Connections: reflects global thinking and actions to connect the organization to its internal and external environment; and
(g) Providing Leadership: shows the extent to which leaders think strategically about how to use learning to create change and to move the organization in new directions or new markets.

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlations were used as main techniques of data analysis. Our results determine that faculty members are committed to learning organization by updating their skills and life-long learning agenda for personal and professional growth. They developed skills and competencies to adapt to the continuous change of the environment. They align constantly their vision, knowledge, abilities and e-skills to the vision, goals and needs of their respective universities. Furthermore, the findings show significant differences in the perceptions of faculty members based on their age and teaching experience, particularly in dialogue and Inquiry, Embedded Systems and empowerment dimensions. However, the variable gender did not produce significant differences. Practical implications and recommendations for future researches are discussed.
Learning organization, Higher education, faculty Staff, continuous Learning.