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Journal cover: Handbook of Business Strategy

Handbook of Business Strategy

ISSN: 1077-5730
Currently published as: Business Strategy Series

Online from: 2000

Subject Area: Strategy

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Toward zero management learning organizations

Document Information:
Title:Toward zero management learning organizations
Author(s):Ted O’Keeffe, (National Expert for SME Research and Development to the European Commission, based in Brussels. He can be reached at
Citation:Ted O’Keeffe, (2006) "Toward zero management learning organizations", Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.293 - 298
Keywords:Leadership, Learning organizations, Organizational culture, Training
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/10775730610618963 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – To determine the percentage of organizations that have moved beyond best practice and lean manufacturing toward zero management learning organizations.

Design/methodology/approach – The research utilized a structured undisguised survey by Weiers to generate the data. A quantitative survey was utilized to elicit information on the various issues identified from a comprehensive review of the literature. The second stage entailed four case study companies randomly selected from the learning organizations identified from the earlier quantitative research In the first stage dichotomous, multiple choice and open questions were utilized while the second qualitative research utilized semi-structured interviews on a longitudinal basis.

Findings – The findings suggest that those companies pursuing active learning strategies are more likely to possess those attributes that constitute the bedrock of learning organizations. The findings also show the internal drivers to be the need to improve productivity, operational crises, cost reduction and corporate directives while external drivers centered on technology, capacity, customer pressure, new entrants and price sensitivity.

Research limitations/implications – One limitation is that no definitive rules have been devised for managers to transform their firms into learning entities. The view of organizational learning presented here is less straightforward and more complex than those definitions typically offered in consultancy reports and the popular management literature. However, this perspective is more likely to strike a cord with practicing managers as it conforms more closely to their own tacit understanding of the concept. Other limitations result from practical and methodological constraints.

Practical implications – This research has lead to a new learning model that facilitates individuals, groups or organizations to accurately locate themselves on their own unique learning curve cost effectively, the interactive model can be reviewed at the following web site

Originality/value – This paper will help focus company leaders on the more critical softer issues that drive organizational performance. It identifies the key learning parameters common to all high performing organizations. It should be of value to all management levels from the chief executive to front line staff. When utilized in conjunction with the interactive flash learning model sited earlier individuals or organizations will be able to identify training and development deficiencies cost effectively).

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