Aligning continuous learning with company-wide issues

This post courtesy of Anne Taylor-Vaisey:

Here is another article from the March 2005 issue of Applied Ergonomics:

Mulholland P, Zdrahal Z, Domingue J. Supporting continuous learning in a large organization: the role of group and organizational perspectives. Appl Ergon 2005; 36(2):127-134.

Abstract: Many organizations recognize the need to continuously adapt and learn in order to survive and remain competitive. Learning and therefore change in organizations is driven in two ways. First, there is strategically driven learning, motivated by high-level factors such as market changes, company mergers and newly emerging approaches to organizational management and workplace learning. These changes reveal themselves in the introduction of new trai! ning programmes, recruitment strategies and knowledge management methodologies. Second, there is local, continuous learning occurring from the ground up. This is revealed as workers become more adept at their job through experience and collaboration with colleagues. Continuous learning is more gradual and requires local autonomy. This paper describes an experiment in supporting local, continuous learning, and its dissemination, but driven by a strategic initiative of the organization. This work raised many issues concerning the difficulty of integrating local and global organizational influences on learning. We outline lessons learned and suggestions as to the extent to which it is possible to align continuous learning with a company-wide perspective.


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