Traditional & Learning Organizations

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Introduction Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (1990). He can be said to be responsible for the popularity of the concept of a ‘learning organization’ today. Peter Senge argues that not only we humans learn, but organizations also. However, learning itself may not be enough for the organization to survive in this ever-challenging era. In his book, The Fifth Discipline, Senge introduced five ‘disciplines’, namely systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, and team learning, that characterizes an organization as a learning organization.…show more content…
When an organization is approached as a whole, appropriate actions can be assigned to tasks thus making the system of the organization run more smoothly. Besides that, according to Senge, systems thinking gives us the realization of the importance of a feedback means in an organization. Peter Senge obviously believes systems thinking to be a very important component of a learning organization when he concluded that,
“The systems viewpoint is generally oriented towards the long-term view. That’s why delays and feedback loops are so important. In the short-term, you can often ignore them; they’re inconsequential. They only come back to haunt you in the long-term.” (Senge 1990, pg.92) An example of the importance of systems thinking in a learning organization can be seen in the automobile manufacturer Fiat Auto Company. Fiat's Direzione Technica took a systems approach to understanding the consequences of its structure on new product development. As a result, it changed the structure to establish mechanisms for simultaneous engineering. To reduce the new products' time to market, functions now work in parallel rather than sequentially. [Extracted from Understanding Organizations as Learning Systems by Edwin C. Nevis, Anthony J. DiBella and Janet M. Gould, Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), www.solonline.org]

2. Personal Mastery “…Personal mastery is the discipline of continually clarifying and
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