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Building the Learning Organization

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Building the Learning Organization

Mastering the 5 Elements for Corporate Learning

Davies-Black Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To make the grade, everyone in your organization has to keep learning. All the time.

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Okay, so you already know that everyone in your organization needs to be learning new skills and tactics all the time. If you wonder just how to accomplish that, on top of everything else you’re doing, turn to Michael J. Marquardt’s Building the Learning Organization for step by step guidance. Human resource professor Marquardt introduces the internal systems you need for structured, company-wide learning. In his professorial way, he runs through its dimensions, principles, practices and ideals in detail (all you ever wanted to know and perhaps just a bit more). He provides an instructive general framework, guidelines and sixteen steps to follow in creating a learning organization. He’s a man with a plan, system by system, complete with charts, models, principles and subsystems. This tool box for implementation leaves the theoretical reader out of the loop, but confirms that if you want something you can put into action as an executive, manager or human resource chief, here’s your hands-on manual.


The Need for Learning Organizations

Only learning organizations can survive and succeed in today’s changing marketplace. Becoming a learning organization requires a new mind-set about work and learning. You need to think of learning as a by-product of working, rather than thinking only that you need to acquire knowledge before you can perform a particular task or job. Today’s learning:

  • Is based on performance and tied to business objectives.
  • Focuses on the process of learning how to learn, not just getting knowledge.
  • Considers learning part of everyone’s job.

The concept of organization-wide learning developed in the 1940s. However, the approach only began to be applied in the 1980s, when a few firms, such as Shell Oil, began to look at how organizational learning could improve performance and planning. In the ’90s, a growing number of firms - such as General Electric and Johnsonville Foods in the U.S., Nokia and Sun Alliance in Europe, and Honda and Samsung in Asia - decided to become learning organizations. Now, globalization makes being a learning organization even more important. Organizational learning involves learning on five...

About the Author

Michael J. Marquardt, Ed.D., president of Global Learning Associates, is an international speaker and consultant whose worldwide clients include the U.S. Peace Corps, Nokia, Boeing, Alcoa, Caterpillar, Singapore Airlines and the governments of Spain, Indonesia and Jamaica. He is a professor of human resource development and Program Director of Overseas Programs at George Washington University, as well as the author of fifteen books, including Action Learning in Action and Global Teams.

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    D. H. 6 years ago
    A fine reference volume for all things corporate learning. Several constructs for understanding and building a learning organization.