What is learning in organizational behavior

Organizational learning

Organizational learning is a rather vague term used in learning theory against the background of whether an organization can learn at all. In the general understanding, it is a metaphor that succeeds for the transition from individual knowledge (values, assumptions, etc.) to other members of the organization in so far as there is then common knowledge with operational consequences. The interaction between the learning people and the learning organization creates a knowledge store for the company. It contains facets that are not known to all members of the organization. The goal of organizational learning is less this result than the learning process that is supposed to contribute to organizational development (in the sense of improved competence). As such, it is embedded in knowledge management. The processes of organizational learning differ from individual learning processes and also from company to company. Learning is i. d. Usually understood as an exchange process.

The exchange resp. According to March / Olsen, the learning process between the company and the environment takes place with people who act intentionally rationally, but on the basis of incomplete information, unclear preferences and uncertain developments. Learning processes are not objective processes. Rather, they are shaped by different interpretations in the interactive process between environment, company and person. A cycle of suboptimal judgments, beliefs, behaviors, communications, and more. leads to learning. A Decision cycle looks like this: (1) First of all, perceptions and preferences influence individual behavior. (2) The behavior of the people determines the organizational voting behavior. (3) These corresponding actions in turn influence environmental actions. (4) These influence individual cognitions and preferences. See also Fig. 0-2. According to this view, precise control of organizational learning is not possible.

In addition, the exchange resp. Learning process between individuals and organization, among other things. Themed by Argyris / Schön. According to this, organizational learning arises from the emergence and dissemination of so-called action theories. Various Forms of learning The topics are: single-loop-learning, double-loop-learning and Deutero-learning. (See also the Fig. 0-3):

  • Single-loop learning: Learning takes place here as follows: Employees in a company react to internal and external change insofar as they change their strategies for action when these no longer lead to the expected results. This learning process works like a thermostat-controlled machine (in the sense of learning to adapt).
  • Double-loop learning on the other hand represents a form of learning in which the "mismatch" between real and expected consequences leads to a development of the objectives. Especially in changing worlds, the ability to question the familiar and to learn towards a more adequate goal is more in demand. At the same time, the prerequisites for efficient single-loop learning can be created.
  • With Deutero learning Finally, it addresses the ability of companies to improve their own learning ability. The reflection of the learning processes in a broader sense with regard to supporting and hindering determinants as well as inefficient phases can lead to this organizational learning.