Organisational Learning Theorists and Theories

Essay by davidpak86University, Bachelor'sB-, March 2006

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One theory that I have found useful and rather easily simple to relate to an organisation context is with the use of Chris Argyris and Donald Schon's theory of 'Single and Double-learning'. For Argyris and Schon learning involves the detection and correction of error (Argyris, C. et al, 1978:2). Where something goes wrong, it is suggested, an initial port of call for many people is to look for another strategy that will address and work within the governing variables (Argyris, C. et al, 1974). In other words, when a problem occurs, an individual or group will seek to find a strategy to correct the problem. According to Argyris and Schon, this is single-loop learning. Another response is to question to different problems themselves, and then to subject them to critical analysis. This they describe as double-loop learning.

Although it is suggested that organisations should adapt to double-loop learning in order to correct their errors, there are still a large amount of organisations which only adapt to single-loop learning as their correcting method.

For example, my experience within a sales company (Pro-Sales/Cobra Corporation), most employees's struggled to sell their goods because they only experimented with a small amount of selling techniques, and regularly used the techniques which created successful sales for themselves as an individual. On the contrary, I discovered that there are many different categories of people in relation to personalities. I then analysed the different personalities of the people and set them out into separate groups, and furthermore experimented which selling techniques suited them most. According to Argyris and Schon, the other employee's implemented only single-loop learning, whereas I implemented double-loop learning due to further analysis which led to more advance understanding of the customers.

According to Robbins, S. et al, leading organisations such as BP fuel...