Organizational Learning Capability: Generating and Generalizing Ideas with Impact

Hardcover | February 1, 1999

byArthur K. Yeung, David O. Ulrich, Stephen W. Nason

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Organizational learning matters now more than ever. In today's hypercompetitive business environment, successful executives must be able to discover opportunities, face problems, and pursue innovative ideas, then turn those ideas into action throughout an organization. Based on both empiricalresearch and practice experience, this book gives managers the tools to do just that. Organizational learning capability is the capacity to generate and generalize ideas with impact. Managers generate new ideas in four basic ways: experimentation, in which organizations learn by trying many new products and processes; continuous improvement, in which they learn by constantlyimproving what they have done before and mastering each step in a process before moving on to other processes; knowledge acquisition, in which they learn by encouraging individuals and teams to acquire new knowledge continuously; and benchmarking, in which they learn by studying how other groups dothings and trying to adapt their techniques. Each learning types leads to different performance consequences. Managers must also be able to generalize information through technology, movement of people, incentives, and learning processes. By both generating and generalizing ideas with impact, managers have a blueprint for making learning happen. Learning may not be sustained, however, unless it iscongruent with the larger business context--the organization's strategy and culture and the industry's characteristics. Unfortunately, just as organizations develop learning capabilities, they also suffer from certain learning disabilities. This book outlines common disabilities and the means toovercome them. The authors assist practicing managers by providing several examples of successful and unsuccessful organizations and describing the ways in which they have helped organizations improve learning capability in their consulting practices. Based on detailed case studies, a review of past literature,and data gleaned from a worldwide survey of companies,Organizational Learning Capability is an accessible and useful guide for managers competing in the information economy. This book turns abstract ideas into practice, offers tools that managers can use, and presents a simple yet profound road mapfor making learning a reality.

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From the Publisher

Organizational learning matters now more than ever. In today's hypercompetitive business environment, successful executives must be able to discover opportunities, face problems, and pursue innovative ideas, then turn those ideas into action throughout an organization. Based on both empiricalresearch and practice experience, this book ...

Arthur K. Yeung is Executive Director (Asia-Pacific) of the University of Michigan Business School, where he teaches and conducts research in the leadership and organizational capabilities of Asian multinational corporations. Dave Ulrich is Professor in the School of Business at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Stephen W. Naso...

other books by Arthur K. Yeung

Format:HardcoverDimensions:232 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:February 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195102045

ISBN - 13:9780195102048

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Table of Contents

1. Organizational Learning: From Theory to Reality2. What We Know about Organizational Learning: Different Learning Styles3. A Model for Organizational Learning Capability: The Three Building Blocks4. Generating Ideas with Impact: 3M, HP, and Other "Idea Machines"5. Generalizing Ideas with Impact: The Case of Samsung Electronics6. Identifying Learning Disabilities: Samsung Revisited and Three Health Care Systems7. Building Organizational Learning Capability: A Blueprint for Learning Architects8. Learning Matters, Warts and All: Diary of a True Learning OrganizationWorksheetsAppendix 1: Notes on Research Methodology and Participating CompaniesAppendix 2: Survey Research InstrumentNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Organizational learning capability provides very clear roadmaps and practical insights for corporations that compete today based on their brainpower. I recommend this book for every executive who faces the same competitive challenges that we face at Acer"--Stan Shih, Chairman and CEO, TheAcer Group