Organizational Learning - Maintaining the Competetive Advantage


Organizational learning is the means by which organizations develop, enhance, and manage knowledge and standards within their functions and in their cultures and adjust and improve their efficiency by making better use of the wide range of skills of their employees. It is critical for modern day business organization.

In the present dynamic condition of global business environment organizations are always trying have an edge over other in gaining competitive advantage. One of the main aspects many of them have concentrated on is organizational learning. Strategists have understood the significance of organizational learning in generating and maintaining competitive advantage.

The turbulent nature of business environment and the intricate character of globalization phenomenon are putting organizations in situations which demand them to be adaptable and at the same time be proactive. Such adaptability and proactive capacity are decisively connected to the capability of an organization to learn.

It is through organizational learning an organization improves the ability to respond to various business situations and there by enhance competitive performance by means of generating of new knowledge. Along with this, organizations have to manage their organizational learning capabilities effectively to generate superior performance.

Individual Learning

In an organization an individual can be involved in the practice of enhancing functions by means of improved awareness and knowledge. This is fundamentally the essence of individual learning.

An organization that finds to be in need of organizational learning first of all should create an environment that promotes individual learning. This individual learning creates individual knowledge which forms the foundation of knowledge building in an organization. This knowledge building process will in turn result in organizational learning.

The development of core competences which help the organization to sustain its competitive advantage is habitually depending on organizational learning. Thus individual learning forms the source from which organization develops the essential core competences that makes it distinct in the business environment.

Learning Organization

A learning organization is a firm that intentionally creates frameworks and plans in order to improve and expand organizational learning. Such an organization will focus on the main aspects of the learning process with the intention of leveraging the intellect of the organizational members.

Such an organization understands that it is through processes of organizational learning it can generate new knowledge essential to achieve competitive advantage. Thus such organizations are seeking to generate new knowledge that is based in organizational learning.

It is possible to assume the exploration of new possibilities and the exploitation of existing certainties in organizational learning.

  1. Exploration comprises of things encapsulated by terms such as investigation, disparity, risk taking, experimentation, adaptability, detection and innovation.

  2. Exploitation comprises of things such as improvement, selection, construction, efficiency, option, completion and execution.

Both exploration and exploitation are necessary for organizational learning. Comprehending the alternatives and enhancing the sense of balance between exploration and exploitation is needed for a learning organization.

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