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Understanding Organizations as Learning Systems

How can you tell if your company is, indeed, a learning organization? What is a learning organization anyway? And how can you improve the learning systems in your company? The authors provide a framework for examining a company, based on its "learning orientations," a set of critical dimensions to organizational learning, and "facilitating factors," the processes that affect how easy or hard it is for learning to occur. They illustrate their model with examples from four firms they studied -- Motorola, Mutual Investment Corporation, Electricite de France, and Fiat -- and conclude that all organizations have systems that support learning.

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