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Management and Organisational Behaviour

7th Edition

CHAPTER 10

The Nature of Learning

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Learning
Learning means change
Learning implies a different internal state that may result in new behaviours & actions or new understanding & knowledge Learning can be undertaken within a formal setting or be spontaneous or incremental

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Figure 10.1

Factors influencing the learning process

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The significance of learning for psychologists

1. Provides understanding of development & deterioration and is at the very heart of demonstrating the ways in which individuals differ 2. Studies are dependent upon knowledge of memory & intelligence
3. It is a challenge to find new ways of studying invisible processes and of accurately measuring changes to behaviour
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The significance of learning for managers

1. Powerful processes which can lead to positive outcomes, e.g. increased competence, understanding, self esteem & morale 2. Individuals who enjoy learning are more likely to be flexible in times of constant change & therefore more adaptable to organisational turbulence
3. Growing evidence that a learning culture can affect an organisations effectiveness
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Knowledge management

The promotion & formalisation of learning within the workplace with the aim of aligning training with the needs of the business

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Types of knowledge

Explicit knowledge knowledge that is easily communicated, quantified and systematic Tacit knowledge knowledge and wisdom that is not easily communicated or quantified but is gained through experience and communicated on an informal basis

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Types of knowledge
Knowledge-creating companies systematically ensure that tacit & explicit knowledge feed into each other in a spiral of knowledge Tacit knowledge is converted into explicit knowledge by articulation.
Explicit knowledge is used with an individuals cognitive understanding by a process of internalisation

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The importance of knowledge management


Business pressure on innovation Inter-organisational enterprises Networked organisations & the need to co-ordinate geographically dispersed groups Increasingly complex products & services with a significant knowledge component Hyper-competitive marketplaces Digitisation of business environments Concerns about the loss of knowledge due to increasing staff mobility, attrition etc.
Kerr
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Knowledge management practices


The Business Processes Resource Centre at Warwick University has distinguished four different types of knowledge management practices

1. 2. 3. 4.

Valuing knowledge Exploiting intellectual property Capturing project-based learning Managing knowledge workers

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Knowledge management initiatives


1. Getting employees on board
2. Allowing technology to dictate knowledge management 3. Not having a specific goal 4. Knowledge management is not static 5. Not all information is knowledge
Santosus & Surmacz
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Knowledge management processes

Managing the generation of new knowledge through learning


Capturing knowledge & experience Sharing, collaborating, & communicating Organising information for easy access Using & building on what is known

Mayo
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The learning organisation

an organisation which facilitates the learning of all its members and continuously transforms itself.

Pedler, Boydell & Burgoyne

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Basic principles of a learning organisation


1. It can learn as much, if not more, from failure as from success 2. Rejects the adage if it aint broke, dont fix it as it constantly scrutinises the way things are done 3. Assumes that managers and workers closest to the design, manufacturing, distribution & sale of the product often know more about these activities than their superiors 4. Seeks to move knowledge from one part of the organisation to another 5. Spends a lot of energy looking outside its own boundaries for knowledge
Lampel
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Table 10.3

Learning experiences of different companies

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Difficulties with the learning organisation concept

Effective implementation of the learning organisation concept requires the resolution of:
Meaning (or definition) Management (or practical operational advice) Measurement (tools for assessment)
Garvin

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How people learn

Classical conditioning
Operant conditioning Social learning

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Figure 10.2

Classical conditioning

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Figure 10.2

Classical conditioning

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Figure 10.2

Classical conditioning

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Figure 10.2

Classical conditioning

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Figure 10.3

Operant conditioning

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Figure 10.3

Operant conditioning

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Figure 10.3

Operant conditioning

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Figure 10.3

Operant conditioning

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Social learning

Drive

Cue

Response

Reward

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Figure 10.4

Kolbs learning cycle

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Components of the thinking environment

Attention Incisive questions Equality Appreciation Ease

Encouragement Feelings Information Place Diversity

Kline

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Action learning sets

Small groups of people who all wish to develop themselves through tackling live issues The sets provide opportunities for each individual to report in turn on their actions and reflect on the progress they have made

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Learning styles

Accommodative
Divergent Assimilative Convergent
Honey & Mumford

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Learning styles
Mayo suggests that organisations need to recognise the fact that people learn in different ways & that the following actions should be taken: Give people the opportunity to discover their most natural learning style(s) Offer learning opportunities that suit people with different learning styles Recognise the need to complete the full learning cycle Help people to translate the learning cycle into an upwards continuous spiral of learning
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Creative thinking process


Creativity the application of imaginative thought which results in innovative solutions to many problems
Goodman

1. 2. 3. 4.

Preparation Incubation Illumination Verification

Wallas

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Blocks to personal creativity

Perceptual Emotional Process Communication Environmental Cultural

Goodman

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Coaching

Uses deductive techniques to increase an individuals ability & willingness in a specific subject or problem area

Ideally the techniques are used in a structured way The coach does not have to be an expert in the subject
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Mentoring

Uses a mixture of inductive & deductive techniques to increase an individuals ability in a specific subject
Ideally a structured programme is used The mentor must be an expert in the subject

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The GROW model


Goals what does the coachee want to achieve, how do they want to feel afterwards? Reality what is the scenario, what is the context, what are the problems? Options what are the possible actions, which are most attractive, what has worked in the past? Wrap up what actions are needed, what does success look like, what if things get in the way?
Starr

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Applying theories of learning to organisations

1. Self development learning what to do, how to be, learning the ropes 2. Development of others personal development, development of planned learning events 3. Development of learning culture policy development

Mullins: Management and Organisational Behaviour, 7th edition Pearson Education Limited 2005