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Formal and Informal Facilitators of Learning Capability: The Moderating Effect of Learning Climate

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Abstract

Organizations need to put in practice the most favourable conditions to facilitate learning capability. The different ways of thinking about learning in organizations distinguish two kinds of learning facilitators: formal and informal facilitators. In this paper, we suggest that organizations undertake both types of learning facilitators, but considering that informal facilitators may act as potential moderators of the effects of formal ones. We have focused on one comprehensive informal facilitator, the learning climate, and four formal facilitators: environmental scanning, strategic planning, performance measurement, and information technologies.

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... A desirable learning climate can encourage learn-ers to work hard, ensure the efficient operation of teaching and learning and improve learning efficiency. Prieto and Revilla (2006) stated that learning climate should be studied from two aspects: physical environment and spiritual environment [10]. Unlike traditional face-to-face teaching method where learning activities take place only in the classroom, blended learning is expected to provide personalized learning spaces that meet the demands of individualized learners. ...
... A desirable learning climate can encourage learn-ers to work hard, ensure the efficient operation of teaching and learning and improve learning efficiency. Prieto and Revilla (2006) stated that learning climate should be studied from two aspects: physical environment and spiritual environment [10]. Unlike traditional face-to-face teaching method where learning activities take place only in the classroom, blended learning is expected to provide personalized learning spaces that meet the demands of individualized learners. ...
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p class="0abstract"> Abstract— Increasingly, blended learning courses are being offered in schools throughout China. One of the key factors influencing the effectiveness of blended learning is students’ acceptance. The researchers proposed six predictive dimensions that contribute to students’ acceptance for blended learning, namely, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, learning climate, attitudes towards online learning, attitudes towards classroom learning and personal charm of the instructor. One existing questionnaire is adapted, together with the interview data with university undergraduates, generating 63 items for the initial questionnaire. The first draft of the scale was distributed to 180 university students in Hubei Province, China. Data collected were analyzed by SPSS 24.0. Eleven items were deleted based on the Exploratory Factor Analysis results. Then the second pilot was done to purify the scale further. 191 questionnaires were distributed, and the data collected were processed by EFA again. One item was removed in the second pilot and 51 items were reserved for the final version of the scale. The final adapted version of Blended Learning Acceptance Scale (BLAS) is reported to possess high levels of reliability and validity. The BLAS can be used to investigate Chinese University students’ acceptance for blended learning so that better opinions can be put forward to improve the effectiveness of blended learning.</p
... This view is consistent with the two perspectives that dominate the literature focusing on aspects of knowledge management and organizational learning (Prieto and Revilla, 2006): one focused on the technological aspects of processing, interpretation and dissemination of information as essential structure that supports the processes of production and integration of knowledge within organizations; the other focused on social interactions through which become effective the processes of knowledge production that precede the processes of its integration and implementation. By its very nature, the former may be defined as systems formally implemented and developed by the organization through which the tangible information is acquired, transmitted and used, while the second corresponds to informal systems promoted and supported by the organization to induce in individuals (and groups of individuals) conducts which amount to a predisposition for connectivity (interaction, collaboration, teamwork, knowledge sharing, etc.). ...
... A sample was drawn from the Belém Data Base, a Portuguese firm database developed by the Portuguese institute of statistics (Statistics Portugal), covering all economic sectors. The focus on all sectors of activity is likely to provide a cross-sectional image and therefore a more global perception on the effects of the relationships between the explored variables in Portuguese firms, thereby increasing the generalization of results (Prieto and Revilla, 2006). Regarding the size of the companies surveyed, the option for entities with large number of employees is related to the importance of focusing the analysis on those entities that, first, have MAS formally implemented and, second, these systems present a certain extent and some degree of sophistication. ...
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The present study is focused on the contribution of management accounting systems (MAS) in the development of intellectual capital (IC). Based on empirical evidence that supports the proposition that the value creation process is strongly associated to the level of IC, the study also examines the mediating effect of MAS on performance through their positive direct effect on IC. These relationships were consolidated into a model and empirically tested with data from 281 Portuguese firms using the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The findings show that six out of nine hypothesized relationships were supported by data with positive and significant causal links between MAS and the human and structural dimensions of IC. Results also confirmed the conceptual validity of the inner circular model for the interactions among the three IC dimensions. Finally, results showed a positive and significant direct effect of structural capital on performance. Overall, the results confirmed the validity of the proposed conceptual model and contributed to the literature on the role of MAS in supporting the development of the IC.
... Desde la perspectiva del comportamiento humano, Prieto y Revilla (2006) sugieren el factor clima de aprendizaje, concepto vinculado con los facilitadores Ba de Nonaka, Takeuchi y Konno (2001) gestión de personas de Benavides y Quintana (2003) y personas de Bueno (2001), ya que estos suponen la existencia de condiciones y características del entorno de trabajo que favorecen la confianza y el compromiso, para una mejor generación y aplicación de conocimiento (Janz y Prasarnphanich, 2003). ...
... Repasando de nuevo los distintos modelos, apreciamos tres aspectos fundamentales con relación a la naturaleza del conocimiento y su efecto sobre las capacidades tecnológicas. El primer aspecto se refiere a la importancia de la interacción entre distintos niveles de conocimiento clave en la creación de valor, que conceden los distintos autores (Nonaka y Takeuchi, 1995, Leonard-Barton, 1995Bueno, 2001;Gold, Malhotra y Segars, 2001;Benavides y Quintana, 2003;Prieto y Revilla, 2006) en los modelos analizados. Este aspecto no solo nos acerca a una postura sobre la naturaleza del conocimiento sino que nos ayuda a comprender el significado del conocimiento en la organización a partir de la diferencia entre conocimiento individual y conocimiento organizativo, ya que conciben al conocimiento individual y al conocimiento colectivo como dos representaciones de la dimensión ontológica 4 4 Como hemos señalado anteriormente la dimensión ontológica fue introducida por Nonaka (1994) y Nonaka y Takeuchi (1995). ...
Thesis
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Tesis doctoral inédita. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Departamento de Organización de Empresas. Fecha de lectura: 11-3-2010 Bibliogr.: p. [193]-224. - Anexos
... Se caracteriza por afectar el comportamiento individual e influir en la actitud de las personas para obtener una mentalidad abierta para lidiar con lo desconocido, y la audacia de experimentar e innovar en el trabajo. Proporciona el tiempo y el espacio esenciales para permitir a los colaboradores reflexionar sobre sus acciones que, a su vez, permiten que se produzca el aprendizaje (Kolb, 1984;Honey & Mumford, 1996;Hicks-Clarke & Iles, 2000;Prieto & Revilla, 2006). ...
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Este artículo analiza la relación entre la gestión del conocimiento y la capacidad de innovación en instituciones de salud. La revisión de la literatura permitió identificar y establecer la definición conceptual y contextualización de las variables determinantes que inciden en la relación propuesta. El estudio empírico se llevó a cabo en hospitales de alta complejidad de Colombia. El tratamiento de los datos se efectuó mediante la técnica de Modelamiento con Ecuaciones Estructurales (SEM). Los resultados muestran las variables de la gestión del conocimiento (entorno competitivo, estructura flexible, cultura organizacional, clima de aprendizaje, capacidad de exploración y capacidad de explotación), son determinantes e inciden de forma positiva sobre la capacidad de innovación en las instituciones de salud.
... A sample was drawn from the Belém Database, a Portuguese business database developed by the Portuguese Institute of Statistics, covering all sectors of the economy. The focus on all sectors of activity was considered likely to provide a cross-sectional image and thus an overall portrayal of the effects of the relationships between the variables examined as regards Portuguese companies, thereby raising the level of general applicability of the findings (Prieto and Revilla, 2006). Regarding the size of the companies surveyed, the targeting of organizations with a large number of employees was aimed at ensuring those companies have MAS formally implemented with a degree of sophistication. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of management accounting systems (MAS) in the development of intellectual capital (IC) – i.e. human capital (HC), structural capital (SC) and relational capital (RC) – and the resultant effects on organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire was developed to conduct a survey of high-level managers of Portuguese companies. The data collected were analyzed through the use of structural equation modeling with AMOS. Findings Statistical support was found for six out of nine hypothesized relationships. The findings confirm the role of MAS in the development of HC and SC. Results also showed positive and statistically significant relationships between the three dimensions of IC, in line with previous research. Finally, results indicated that SC has a positive and significant link with organizational performance, in keeping with some research. Research limitations/implications The estimation procedure allowed only a partial validation of the proposed model because, although positive, the relationships between MAS and RC, between HC and performance and between RC and organizational performance were not statistically significant. Practical implications The study highlights the role of MAS as information networks that collect, process and communicate information that influences the development of IC, as well as networks of relationships that support the establishment of conditions for the creation and integration of organizational knowledge and the development of IC. Originality/value In this research, an arguably more complete framework of the relations between MAS, IC and performance is developed and empirically tested. Despite the existence of some literature addressing the relationship between MAS and IC, this is the first study, of which authors are aware, that focuses specifically on the relationships between MAS and the three dimensions of IC (HC, SC and RC), as well as their effects on organizational performance.
... Learning Climate refers to the learning atmosphere in the context of BELS (Prieto & Revilla, 2006). Wu et al. (2010) suggested that interaction and learning climate are important antecedents of beliefs about using a BELS. ...
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This study examines factors that determine the attitudes of learners toward a blended e-learning system (BELS) using data collected by questionnaire from a sample of 396 students involved in a BELS environment in Vietnam. A theoretical model is derived from previous studies and is analyzed and developed using structural equation modeling techniques. Several theoretical findings from previous studies are confirmed but there are new findings concerned with important indirect effects on the learner's attitude caused by (a) the extent to which the BELS provides flexible access to instructional/assessment media (System Functionality); (b) the individual's ability to use language as a studying tool (Language Capability); and (c) the extent of the interactions among students and faculty (Interaction). Each of these indirect effects operates by directly increasing the individual's belief that using the BELS is easy (Perceived Ease of Use) which in turn produces an improved attitude towards the BELS. Also, System Functionality has an important indirect effect on the learner's attitude to the BELS by increasing the learner's perceptions that the information and the manner in which it is presented in the BELS are appropriate (Content Feature), which then produces a definite improvement in the learner's attitude to the BELS. Based on the theoretical findings, a hierarchy of practical objectives and associated actions are suggested for improving the learner's attitude toward the BELS. These practical implications are expected to be of interest to education professionals and BELS developers and the actions relate directly or indirectly to (a) increasing the extent of the interactions among students and faculty; (b) increasing the individual's perception that the BELS is easy to use; (c) improving the learner's language skills; (d) ensuring that the BELS provides flexible access to instructional/assessment media; and (e) ensuring the appropriateness of the information and its presentation in the BELS.
... Many studies have established that the confidence that a user has in use computers at work positively influences user satisfaction and learning performance [93][94][95][96]. According to Ref. [97], a positive learning climate encourages the exchange of ideas, opinions, information, and organizational knowledge, ultimately improving learning satisfaction and the desire to learn. Of course, user satisfaction is also determined by learning performance. ...
... Flexible blended learning environment is becoming more of a necessity for the extended education landscape (Wei & Chen, 2008). Prieto and Revilla (2006) uses the term 'learning climate ' to refer to the learning atmosphere in the context of Blended Environment Learning System, while 'classroom climate' refers to interaction among class members, physical environment and class materials to form a special emotional perception which refers to class psychological environment (Wei & Chen, 2008). ...
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Blended learning is a popular learning approach among higher education institutions as it integrates face-to-face teaching with web-based learning. As there is an increase usage of blended learning, there is an urge in measuring its quality via students’ satisfaction. The present study aims to: (1) examine the relationship between individual factors and students’ satisfaction on blended learning; (2) determine the relationship between situational factors and students’ satisfaction on blended learning. Data were collected from students of a public higher education institution using questionnaires. The findings and implications of the study are further discussed and elaborated.
... High levels of adapted teaching methodologies focused on development of student's creativity are seen as a prerequisite for enhanced personalised study programmes. A positive learning climate encourages and stimulates the exchange of ideas, opinions, information and knowledge in the university as it is characterized by trust and collaboration between learners (Prieto and Revilla, 2006). ...
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In this paper we present an automated analysis system called BLIS- Brain Lateralisation Information System that we applied to students attending Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Applied Electronics specialities. The Information System that we have designed helps us to analyse the creative potential of our engineering students and their type of thinking. From an educational perspective, we aim at identifying ways in which creative thinking and problem solving techniques can be implemented in existing courses of the engineering curricula, further on to the achievement of personalised Education Programmes for students attending courses in the fields of Engineering.
... Learning climate is defined as the learning atmosphere among all students of the same course. A positive learning climate encourages and stimulates the exchange of ideas, opinion, information, and knowledge [37]. According to social learning theory, learners will imitate others' learning behaviors via observing their learning activities. ...
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Teaching and learning are no longer restricted to traditional classrooms, while e-learning (electronic learning) has become one of the powerful supporting tools which have diversified the traditional context of learning in colleges. With the rapid development of technology, the Internet as a delivery platform has motivated colleges to invest their resources on developing online programs. Meanwhile, the blended course, which combines online components with the conventional face-to-face components, has emerged as alternative mode of teaching and learning and a substantial supplement. With opportunities and barriers as well, however, the development and management of e-learning are still challenging, especially for the continuous improvement of students' learning effectiveness via e-learning for blended courses. This paper applies the socio-technical systems theory to review and integrate theories on students' e-learning from a macro view. To make up the insufficiency of related research, literature review is conducted first, and an analysis model is constructed to thoroughly explore factors affecting e-learning effectiveness. Later, through a questionnaire survey on students' adoption of e-learning and subsequent multi-level data analysis, hypotheses on the relationship of the influencing factors and the research model are verified. Results show that e-learning effectiveness (usefulness of e-learning, use, and e-learning performance) is simultaneously or alternately affected by direct or moderating factors of the technical system and the social system at the learning environment level and the individual level. Compared with the existing research, this paper uses a more comprehensive system view to construct the theoretical model and empirically verify it. The results can be a reference for future researchers and managers of e-learning in colleges.
... Johnston et al. (2005) argued that contact and interaction with instructors and learners is a valid predictor of performance. A positive learning climate encourages and stimulates the exchange of ideas, opinion, information, and knowledge in the organization that will lead to better learning satisfaction (Prieto & Revilla, 2006). That is, when learners believe that BELS provides effective student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactions and improves learning climate, they will be more satisfied with BELS. ...
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This paper resolves the long-standing debate between the two dominant process schools in strategy. Analysis of the planning practices of 656 firms shows that formal planning and incrementalism both form part of ‘good’ strategic planning, especially in unstable environments. Environment neither moderates the need for formal planning nor the direction of the planning/performance relationship, but does moderate firm planning capabilities and planning flexibility. In unstable environments planning capabilities are far better developed and formal plans more amenable to change. The planning/performance relationship is, however, moderated by planning duration: at least four years of formal planning are required before external performance associations are noted. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Ikujiro Nonaka e Hirotaka Takeuchi establecen una vinculación del desempeño de las empresas japonesas con su capacidad para crear conocimiento y emplearlo en la producción de productos y tecnologías exitosas en el mercado. Los autores explican que hay dos tipos de conocimiento: el explícito, contenido en manuales y procedimientos, y el tácito, aprendido mediante la experiencia y comunicado, de manera indirecta, en forma de metáforas y analogías. Mientras los administradores estadounidenses se concentran en el conocimiento explícito, los japoneses lo hacen en el tácito y la clave de su éxito estriba en que han aprendido a convertir el conocimiento tácito en explícito. Finalmente, muestran que el mejor estilo administrativo para crear conocimiento es el que ellos denominan centro-arriba-abajo, en el que los gerentes de niveles intermedios son un puente entre los ideales de la alta dirección y la realidad caótica de los niveles inferiores.
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Learning in and by organisations has been of great interest to scholars and practitioners for a number of years now. Over the last three decades the concept has attracted many researchers. Despite all the interest, we still know relatively little about learning (processes) in organisations. The lack of understanding of learning processes is even more problematic when it comes to learning in product innovation processes since these are complex and dynamic activities that have been hardly researched from a process perspective. An assumption in literature on learning is that it can be stimulated through the implementation of different enablers: mechanisms used to stimulate learning. If adequately applied, these enablers can have an influence on an organisation's attitude and practices in generating, transferring, interpreting, storing and retrieving knowledge (c.q. learning processes). Based on results from 10 in-depth case studies and survey (interview) research (70 SME's in the manufacturing industry) in 6 countries in Europe and Australia, this article reports on research in which one of the aims was to identify effective managerial activities and decisions in stimulating learning behaviour exhibited by individuals and teams in product innovation processes. The results indicate that especially project planning and control and HRM policies have a strong effect on learning behaviour. Their impact however does not span the entire learning process and all levels of learning. For this, a configuration of enablers is required that amongst other things, is dependent on the strategy and goals of the organisation.
Article
Learning at all levels is essential for organizational survival. Drawing on the literature in adult and organizational learning, this article proposes a sociological model of organizational learning based on Parsons’ general theory of action. The model defines individuals and organizations as learning systems, and uses diagnostic questions related to adaptation, goal attainment, integration, and pattern maintenance to identify individual and organizational learning needs. The article applies the model to a strategic planning scenario, showing how managers may be able to use the model as a guide to address the learning needs of individuals and organizations.
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This article is about employees' perception of the Learning Organization, and it confirms our theoretical model claiming that employees see causality between frames for learning and a learning environment. This indicates that to some extent it is possible to design and manage a learning organization by working with the frames for learning. The model furthermore shows that the reward system as a learning frame has a high effect on the learning environment according to the employees. We base our theoretical model on a theory of the Learning Organization where the Learning Organization is described by 11 characteristics, and we test the model on data from four Danish service firms by using the technique of structural equation modelling (LISREL).
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The article presents a discussion of issues of human resource diversity and diversity climates in organisations and develops a conceptual model of a “positive climate for diversity” (PCFD). This refers to the degree to which there is an organisational climate in which human resource diversity is valued and in which employees’ from diverse backgrounds feel welcomed and included. It presents a model of the indicators of a positive climate for diversity and the outcomes for organisations and individuals of such a climate, especially individual career and organisational attitudes and perceptions. It also presents variables which have a moderating effect in the model. The results of research from both private and public sector organisations, with emphasis on service, indicate that climates for diversity do impact significantly on a range of career and organisational attitudes and perceptions. The research and managerial implications are discussed.
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Today, knowledge is considered the most strategically important resource and learning the most strategically important capability for business organizations. However, many initiatives being undertaken to develop and exploit organizational knowledge are not explicitly linked to or framed by the organization's business strategy. In fact, most knowledge management initiatives are viewed primarily as information systems projects. While many managers intuitively believe that strategic advantage can come from knowing more than competitors, they are unable to explicitly articulate the link between knowledge and strategy. This article provides a framework for making that link and for assessing an organization's competitive position regarding its intellectual resources and capabilities. It recommends that organizations perform a knowledgebased SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, comparing their knowledge to that of their competitors and to the knowledge required to execute their own strategy.
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In this article Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton report on the Balance Scorecard. Before the Balanced Scorecard companies have used various measurement systems that have made incremental improvements and concentrated mostly on the company's financials. The Balanced Scorecard shows you four different perspectives in which to choose measures that can redefine a company's processes measurement system so short term and long term objectives are in balance with each other. When using the Balanced Scorecard a company is no longer needs to worry about small incremental improvements, but a new processes measurement system that will allow a company to get where it wants to go.
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In marketing applications of structural equation models with unobservable variables, researchers have relied almost exclusively on LISREL for parameter estimation. Apparently they have been little concerned about the frequent inability of marketing data to meet the requirements for maximum likelihood estimation or the common occurrence of improper solutions in LISREL modeling. The authors demonstrate that partial least squares (PLS) can be used to overcome these two problems. PLS is somewhat less well-grounded than LISREL in traditional statistical and psychometric theory. The authors show, however, that under certain model specifications the two methods produce the same results. In more general cases, the methods provide results which diverge in certain systematic ways. These differences are analyzed and explained in terms of the underlying objectives of each method.
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Since firms are knowledge institutions, or well-springs of knowledge, they compete on the basis of creating and using knowledge; managing a firm's knowledge assets is as important as managing its finances. A firm's expertise is acquired by employees and embodied in machines, software, and institutional procedures. Management of its core or strategic capabilities determines a firm's competitiveness and survival. Through decision-making and action, core technological capabilities can be built and changed. The author proposes to (1) help managers think about the knowledge-building consequences of their technology-related decisions and (2) provide academics materials usable in training managers to think about knowledge building. All aspects of product or process development must be viewed in terms of knowledge management and growth. Knowledge cannot be managed the same as tangible assets; to manage knowledge assets, one must understand them. Successful adaptation is an incremental re-direction of skills and knowledge. A set of four core technological competencies bestows competitive advantage on firms; these are the firm's skill and knowledge bases, physical technical systems, managerial systems, and values and norms that create a firm's special advantage. These may reside at any line-of-business level. Core capabilities must be managed to foster, not inhibit flow of critical knowledge. There is a dilemma: core capabilities are also core rigidities when carried to an extreme or when the competitive environment changes. Limited problem solving, inability to innovate, limited experimentation, and screening out new knowledge can undermine the development of competencies. Four key activities create and sustain flows of knowledge and direct them into core capabilities: (1) Integrated, shared creative problem solving across cognitive and functional barriers - shared problem solving achieves new level of creativity when managed for "creative abrasion." (2) Implementation and integration of new internally generated methodologies and technical processes and tools. These can move beyond merely increasing efficiency when managed for learning. (3) Formal and informal experimentation. Experimental activities create new core competencies that move companies purposefully forward and are guards against rigidity. (4) Importing and absorbing technological knowledge expertise from outside the firm. Technology alliances, for example, develop outwise wellsprings of knowledge (identify, access, use, and manage knowledge from external sources). Well managed, these enable companies to tap knowledge wellsprings consistently and continuously. Many dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors within firms inhibit these activities. These activities are oriented to present, internal, future, and external domains, and involve managers at all company levels and all functions. Specific managerial behaviors that build (or undermine) capabilities are identified. Managers must design an environment that encourages enactments of these four activities to create an organization that learns. Thereby, organizations and managers can create an atmosphere for continuous renewal; application to commercial ends is as important as managing it internally. The growth and nurturing of core capabilities (expressed in successful product development) requires learning from the market (understanding user needs), or feeding market information into new-product development. Identifying new product opportunities depends on empathic design, actual observed customer behavior, and technological capabilities. Technology transfer can also be understood as transferring technological capabilities to a new site, which is examined at four levels (assembly or turnkey, adaptation and localization, system, redesign, product design). Transfer of production development capability is illustrated with the cas
Article
Argues that the knowledge management process can be categorized into knowledge creation, knowledge validation, knowledge presentation, knowledge distribution, and knowledge application activities. To capitalize on knowledge, an organization must be swift in balancing its knowledge management activities. In general, such a balancing act requires changes in organizational culture, technologies, and techniques. A number of organizations believe that by focusing exclusively on people, technologies, or techniques, they can manage knowledge. However, that exclusive focus on people, technologies, or techniques does not enable a firm to sustain its competitive advantages. It is, rather, the interaction between technology, techniques, and people that allow an organization to manage its knowledge effectively. By creating a nurturing and “learning-by-doing” kind of environment, an organization can sustain its competitive advantages.
Article
Argues that there are two strands in the organizational learning (OL) literature marked by incompatible world views. The dominant substance is modernist while the spirit is interpretive. The focus on systems, in the form of learning loops and systems archetypes, identifies an acceptance of the tenets of modernism. The spirit offers an innovative view of management and contradicts the modernist substance. Drawing on contemporary hermeneutics, the spirit leads to a different conception of the organization, the role of management, and OL. Organizations comprise communities with different interests and understandings. Both organizational problems and solutions reflect people’s understanding. Co-operation involves establishing mutual interests and is achieved through discourse that builds communities of understanding. Concludes that an important role of managers is to facilitate discourse, and organizational learning occurs in communities of discourse.
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The paper argues against attempts to create asingle framework for understanding organizationallearning. Relevant literature is reviewed from sixdisciplinary perspectives: psychology and OD; management science; sociology and organizational theory;strategy; production management; and culturalanthropology. It is argued that each discipline providesdistinct contributions and conceptions of problems.Furthermore, a basic distinction between organizationallearning and the new idea of the learning organizationis noted. Whereas the former is discipline based andanalytic,the latter is multidisciplinary and emphasizes action and the creation of anideal-type of organization. Due to thediversity of purpose and perspective, it is suggestedthat it is better to consider organizational learning asa multidisciplinary field containing complementary contributions andresearch agendas.
Article
The present study examined how executives' perceptions of the environment affected their decisions to collect strategic information. It was hypothesized that two dimensions of perceived uncertainty would have unique relationships with environmental scanning. Interviews were conducted with 72 senior executives in a cross-section of industries and produced the following results: (1) strategic importance was the primary determinant of scanning; (2) scanning declined as the environment was perceived to be more complex; and (3) perceived variability interacted with importance to positively affect scanning.
Article
There is insufficient trust between top British managers and those they manage, trust which is essential to the mode of learning implied in the concepts of organizational learning and the learning organization. Requisite levels of trust will not be created and nurtured without institutional change, at national and organizational level, and a new form of politics which allows `rank-and-file' members of organizations to ensure that their own experience is given voice and taken into account. It is proposed that radical theatre, founded on notions of trust and learning, has the potential for introducing such a conception of politics into organizational life.
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This study explores learning climates within a financial services organisation. Through the use of survey and case study strategies and analysis of secondary data available within the organisation, it assesses the current state of individual, team and organisational learning in the organisation and the managers’ roles in promoting a learning climate. The conclusions drawn from this research lead to recommendations for a series of actions, which, if adopted, would help to establish the need for a learning climate and a wider and deeper understanding of the nature of learning in the organisation. Initial practical steps are outlined to put into place activities that would add value to the organisation, enhance its learning capabilities and develop its learning climate. Research implications are also discussed.
Article
Many writers on management during the 1990s have stated that we have neither a good understanding of the process of organizational learning nor a good grasp of the concept of knowledge management. In his 1990 book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge quoted others in asserting that “The most successful corporation of the 1990s will be something called the learning organization and the ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable means of achieving competitive advantage”. More recently, writers such as Drucker, Davenport, Prusak, and Stewart have made similar claims when describing the drivers for managing corporate knowledge. This paper briefly looks at the overlaps and synergies between these concepts. It is argued that the discipline of knowledge management at a corporate level and the phenomenon of the learning organization are inextricably linked and should always be analysed and discussed in concert.
Article
Presents an argument for the use of group decision support systems (GDSS) in the promotion of organizational learning. The combination of reflection, analysis, and openness that such systems encourage is postulated to encourage the learning process. Discusses problems associated with power, information loss, and cultural knowledge. Sets out a view of organizational learning which emphasizes that learning can occur at the organizational level through processes.
Article
This paper focuses on two elements of process knowledge that we call sticky and fluid knowledge. Process knowledge, we argue, differs from the more commonly described tacit or explicit knowledge due to its domain specificity. Process knowledge is a potential source of competitive advantage for an organisation and is key to the development of intellectual capital for an organisation. Knowledge management is the operational means of delivering this intellectual capital value. From empirical research conducted, two cases are presented that illustrate process knowledge and its value and exploitation for the development of intellectual capital. The findings emphasise the necessity for a multiplicity of means for process knowledge transfer in order to ensure the widest possible distribution. In particular, in order to ensure that sticky process knowledge is transformed into fluid process knowledge, it is recommended that, communities and face2face discussions supplement knowledge exchanges via electronic networks.Knowledge Management Research & Practice (2004) 2, 118–128. doi:10.1057/palgrave.kmrp.8500030 Published online 17 June 2004
Article
Describes a procedure that enables researchers to estimate nonlinear and interactive effects of latent variables in structural equation models. Given that the latent variables are normally distributed, the parameters of such models can be estimated. To do this, products of the measured variables are used as indicators of latent product variables. Estimation must be done using a procedure that allows nonlinear constraints on parameters. The procedure is demonstrated in 3 examples. The 1st 2 examples use artificial data with known parameter values. These parameters are successfully recovered by the procedure. The final complex example uses national election survey data. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A Monte Carlo simulation assessed the relative power of 2 techniques that are commonly used to test for moderating effects. 500 samples were drawn from simulation-based populations for each of 81 conditions in a design that varied sample size, the reliabilities of 2 predictor variables (1 of which was the moderator variable), and the magnitude of the moderating effect. The null hypothesis of no interaction effect was tested by using moderated multiple regression (MMR). Each sample was then successively polychotomized into 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 subgroups, and the equality of the subgroup-based correlation coefficients (SCC) was tested. Results show MMR to be more powerful than the SCC strategy for virtually all of the 81 conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The author proposes an alternative estimation technique for latent variable interactions and quadratics. Available techniques for specifying these variables in structural equation models require adding variables or constraint equations that can produce specification tedium and errors or estimation difficulties. The proposed technique avoids these difficulties and may be useful for EQS, LISREL 7, and LISREL 8 users. First, measurement parameters for indicator loadings and errors of linear latent variables are estimated in a measurement model that excludes the interaction and quadratic variables. Next, these estimates are used to calculate values for the indicator loadings and error variances of the interaction and quadratic latent variables. Then, these calculated values are specified as constants in the structural model containing the interaction and quadratic variables. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Organisations must find ways of surviving in times of rapid, transformative environmental change. Organisational learning is the process of changing the organisation to fit the change environment, and may be either adaptive (not involving paradigmatic change) or generative (moving to new shapes and structures). Management control systems may help or hinder organisational change. They may be reactive, changing in a passive way to reflect environmental change or used to reinforce existing rationales for action. However, basic management control and budgeting systems are designed to ensure that problems or errors of environmental fit are detected. If the correction of these problems results in fundamental changes, generative learning will take place. There are four major constructs associated with organisational learning: knowledge acquisition, information distribution, information interpretation and organisational memory. Management control system design may include features which fit each of these constructs, and appropriate system design can assist organisations to learn and survive during periods of change. To illustrate the links between management control and organisational learning, this research undertook case studies in two organisations which approached a common environmental change differently and exhibited different levels of organisational learning related to different management control system characteristics.
Article
Examines the correlation between the exploration of new possibilities and the exploitation of old certainties in organizational learning. Also discusses the difficulty in balancing resource management between gaining new information about alternatives to improve future returns (i.e., exploration) and using information currently available to improve present returns (i.e., exploitation). Two models which evaluate the formation and use of knowledge in organizations are developed. The first is a model of mutual learning in a closed system having fixed organizational membership and stability. The second is a model which considers the ways in which competitive advantage is affected by knowledge accumulation. The analysis indicates that the choice to rapidly develop exploitation over exploration might be effective in the short term, but is potentially detrimental to the firm in the long term. (SFL)
Article
The knowledge-based view of the firm is a recent approach to understanding the relationship between firm capabilities and firm performance. Specifically, this approach suggests that knowledge generation, accumulation and application may be the source of superior performance. Other research has conceptualized organizational knowledge in terms of stocks of accumulated knowledge in the firm and flows of knowledge into the firm. This paper tests the relationship between stocks and flows of organizational knowledge and firm performance in the biotechnology industry. We suggest that a firm’s geographic location, alliances with other institutions and organizations and R&D expenditures are representative of knowledge flows, while products in the pipeline, firm citations and patents are indicative of knowledge stocks. Through factor analysis, we develop an aggregated measure of location from several variables. A regression model suggests that location is a significant predictor of firm performance as are products in the pipeline and firm citations. A major contribution of this investigation is the operationalization of geographic location and its statistically significant link to firm performance. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.