IntroductionSuccess in becoming a learning organization relies not only on a commitment to learning on the part of the organization itself but on a realization of the centrality of individuals to the change process. Organizations need to engage with individual perspectives as a basis for initiating change. These may involve a notion of the disciplines of a learning organization, which involve ideas such as personal mastery (individual commitment to lifelong learning), mental models (the capacity of individuals to scrutinize and share their own thinking and assumptions), and shared vision (the fusion of individual and organizational vision), or Garvin's approach, which promotes the building blocks of a learning organization such as systematic problem solving, learning from past experience, and the transfer of knowledge through a variety of mechanisms. All these approaches imply that change is a continuous process and involves an element of reflection and analysis.
DiscussionThe strong emphasis on organizational problem solving in the use and dissemination of new knowledge is encapsulated in the problem-solver perspective of change described by Havelock.
This model of change implies that organizations have the ability to identify and solve their own problems and that this ability is practiced at all levels in the organization. All areas must therefore be involved in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, which forms the basis of the change process. This process should be dynamic: Responsibility should not lie with the individual alone or be confined to a particular department or section of the organization. However, individuals at each level of the organization take different responsibilities for the creation and transfer of learning. These individuals and the roles that they play can be summarized in the following way.
Managers play a key role in providing the broad conceptual framework for a learning organization and in supporting individual efforts...