Significant of Learning in Organization

Learning is any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience. We can say that the changes in the behavior indicate that learning has taken place and that learning is a change in behavior. The definition of learning highlights few characteristics of learning:
  1. Learning involves change: This may be good or bad from an organizational point of view. People can learn unfavorable behaviors as well as favorable behaviors. 
  2. The change must be relatively permanent: Temporary changes may be only reflexive and fail to represent any learning.
  3. Leaning takes place when there is change in actions: A change in an individual's thought processes or attitudes, if accompanies by no change in behaviors and would not be learning.
  4. Some form of experience is necessary for learning: This may be required directly through observation or practice or if may result from indirect experience such as that acquired through reading.
  5. Predict behavior of people at work: OB is concerned with understanding, managing and predicting behavior of people at work. The understanding of learning concept offers significant insight to managers for managing employee behavior. the managerial skills such as technical, human and conceptual are learnt, which helps to predict behavior at work.
  6. Human resource development: Learning serves as a key factor for HRD as it enhances skills, competencies and potentials of employee of an organization. Employee learns to face challenges, work on pressure, manage productivity and enhance efficiency through their training and development programmes. Learning fosters desirable behavior and eliminates undesirable behaviors.
  7. Technical adaptation: Technology refers to mechanical and intellectual process used to transfer input to desired outputs. The technology is rapidly changing the use of technology requires skills which employee can adopt through learning. The rapid change in technology has generated new forms of employment relationship such as flexible work hours, virtual offices, contingent work force etc. which can only be coped through the process of learning.
  8. Total quality management (TQM): Learning is significant to enhance TQM philosophy. To implement the TQM, the leader involves employees and enhances their sense of ownership and commitment at work. It directs for the management of people so that quality is involved as the central part of the job. The process requires learning in the organization.
  9. Facilitate organization change and development: The dynamic forces of external environment involves change in organization, it can be terms of globalization, technology, increasing work force diversity etc. A manager and other employee should learn to reconfigure organizations to adapt to such situations. The learning helps to minimize the resistance to change. On the contrary, OB seeks to make system wide intervention with the help of change agents to cope with the changing environment. The success of OB largely depends upon parallel learning structure.
All organization behavior is affected by learning. It plays a vital role on training is organizational setting. It is directly related to their death and survival. The significance of learning is, obviously, for people and organizations. For people, it changes the behavior orientations such as knowledge, skills, values, personality and competency and so on that are essential for achieving organizational goals. In organizational setting, learning is significant for the following reasons:
  1. For effective Human Resource Development: Learning is the key to developing skills and potential of employees. Training in organizations aims at learning. Managers can foster desirable behavior and check undesirable behaviors through training. Learning also helps managers developed effective training programmes.
  2. To Understand and predict behavior of the people at work: One of the objectives in the field of organizational behavior is to understand and predict behaviors of people at work, different rules and skills of managers are acquired through learning. If managers need to be effective, they should play roles and have skills. Without learning experience, it is difficult to manage and people in organization.
  3. To facilitate organizational change and development: Leaning facilitates organizational change and development. There are different forces in the external environment for change in the organizations. Some of these forces are globalization, technology and demographics. Such changes force managers and workers to learn to reconfigure organizations to adapt to such situations.
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