Learning Organization 2

The Learning organization concept was coined through the work and research of Peter Senge and his colleagues. It encourages organizations to shift to a more interconnected way of thinking. Organizations should become more like communities that employees can feel a commitment to. A learning organization has five main features; systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning (Wikipedia, 2014).

Organizations do not organically develop into learning organizations; there are factors prompting their change. As organizations grow, they lose their capacity to learn as company structures and individual thinking becomes rigid. When problems arise, the proposed solutions often turn out to be only short term (single loop learning) and re-emerge in the future (Wikipedia, 2014).

According to Peter Senge (1990: 3) learning organizations are:

…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together (http://infed.org/mobi/peter-senge-and-the-learning-organization/)

The dimension that distinguishes learning from more traditional organizations is the mastery of certain basic disciplines or ‘component technologies’. The five that Peter Senge identifies are said to be converging to innovate learning organizations. They are:

  • Systems thinking
  • Personal mastery
  • Mental models
  • Building shared vision
  • Team learning

You can read of these main components on the following webpage: