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Demystifying Organizational Learning

Demystifying Organizational Learning

First Edition

August 2006 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This book presents a solid, research-based conceptual framework that demystifies organizational learning and bridges the gap between theory and practice. Using an integrative approach, the authors provide practitioners and researchers with tools for understanding organizational learning under real-world conditions.

Key Features:

- Tackles the problem of mystification: A clear message is presented that organizational learning and related concepts have been mystified in a way that is unnecessary and dysfunctional to both theory and practice. This book provides a unique set of tools for understanding, promoting, and studying organizational learning.

Introduces an integrative theme that addresses three key questions: How can organizations actually learn? What is the key for productive organizational learning? When is productive organizational learning likely to occur? Answering these questions is the key to clarifying the conceptual confusion that plagues the related fields of organizational learning, learning organizations, and knowledge management.

- Illuminates organizational reality: All of the concepts presented in the book are illustrated through concrete case examples. Detailed analyses are provided of both successful and unsuccessful applications of organizational learning. In addition, examples of interventions to develop organizational learning are included to help managers and consultants.

Intended Audience: This book is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as Organizational Learning, Knowledge Management, and Organizational Behavior in the departments of Management, Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Sociology.

Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1: Demystifying Organizational Learning
The Mystification of Organizational Learning


The Facets of Organizational Learning

Applying the Multi-Facet Model

How to Read This Book

To Sum Up

Part 2: The Multi-Facet Model
Chapter 2: Organizational Learning Mechanisms
Types of Organizational Learning Mechanisms

Off-Line/Internal OLMs

Online/Internal OLMs

Off-Line/External OLMs

Online/External OLMs

Mechanisms, Technologies, and Choosing the "Right" OLM

Chapter 3: The Cultural Facet: The Key to Productive Learning
Cultural Islands of Learning

The Norms of a Learning Culture

Demystifying Culture and Organizational Learning

Chapter4: The Psychological Basis of Productive Learning
Psychological Threat and Psychological Safety

Organizational Learning as a Source of Psychological Threat

Defensiveness and Defensive Routines

Psychological Safety and Trust

Creating Psychological Safety

Commitment to the Organization

Chapter 5: The Context of Organizational Learning
Environmental Uncertainty

Task Uncertainty

Task Structure

Proximity to the Organization's Core Mission

Organizational Structure

Chapter 6: Organizational Learning and Managerial Channels of Influence
Instituting OLMs

Tolerance for Failure

Commitment to the Workforce

Manager's Behavioral Channels of Influence

Chapter 7: The Dissemination of Knowledge
The Problem of Dissemination

The Source of Knowledge

The Recipient of Knowledge

The Relationship Between Source and Recipient

Understanding Knowledge

Dissemination Mechanisms

Attributes of the Organizational Context

Demystifying Dissemination

Part 3: Applying the Model
Chap 8: Inside an OLM: Postflight Reviews in the Israeli Air Force
Learning Functions

Social and Control Functions

Psychological Functions

Psychological Safety and Learning Culture in a High-Threat Environment

What Can Managers Learn From Postflight Reviews?

Chapter 9: Is Training Organizational Learning?
Computer Chips International

Johnsonville Foods

Motorola University

Dell Learning

Bell Labs

Discussion and Lessons Learned

Chapter 10: High-Quality Organizational Learning: Why Do Some After-Action Reviews Work and Others Don't?
Low-Quality After-Action Review

High-Quality After-Action Review

Chapter 11: Demystiying the Learning Organization I: The Case of Hewlett-Packard
HP' Work Innovation Network (WIN)

The HPC Knowledge Management Initiative

Why Did WIN Die and the KM Inititative Live?

Demystifying the Learning Organization

Chapter 12: Demystifying the Learning Organization II: The Case of Chaparral Steel
Organizational Learning Mechanisms at Chaparral

Productive Learning at Chaparral Steel

The Contextual Facet


Chapter 13: Putting the Multi-Facet Model Into Practice

Designing the Organizational Learning Process: An Action Science Approach

Ending the Formal Organizational Learning Intervention


Demystifying the Organizational Learning Process

Chapter 14: Before We Go...
About the Author

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 5