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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the validity of the concept of learning organization through the use of the Dimensions of Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) in an Indian public sector organization. Literature on learning organizations was reviewed to ascertain the sample organization’s progress toward becoming a learning organization. The current research also tries to explore the relationship (if any) between learning organization dimensions and organizational performance.
Design/methodology/approach – The study employed a survey method for collecting data from 204 respondents from the sample organization. The data were statistically analyzed and interpretations were made.
Findings – The study reveals that the sample organization scores high on the various learning organization dimensions (seven dimensions of DLOQ), which in turn impact knowledge performance and financial performance. Learning organization practices and processes are prevalent in the sample organization and it is progressing well toward its vision of becoming a learning organization (mentioned in its HR vision).
Research limitations/implications – The data for the study were collected from a single sample organization. Hence, any sweeping generalization of the results needs to be made with caution.
Originality/value – This research demonstrates the impact of the four levels of specific learning organization dimensions on its knowledge and financial performance in the context of an emerging country like India
The competitive landscape for the organizations is continuously changing, forcing organizations to change, adapt, unlearn and learn to survive and grow. This constant process of change and renewal is imperative to sustain competitive advantage. The mechanism which makes it possible is learning throughout the organization. The emergent organization was termed “the learning organization” by Senge (1990). A learning organization develops both endurance and resilience in order to cope with changes both internal and external. To foster better agility to a changing environment, organizations need to be designed where learning is embedded (McGill and Slocum, 1993). This requires learning at all levels of the organizations such as the individual level, team level, organizational learning and global level (GL). The level “global” was given by Jamali et al. (2009). Organizational learning or learning organization is interchangeably used (Fulmer et al., 1998; Klimecki and Lassleben, 1998) and is a product of the learning at the individual level (Liao et al., 2010). Learning organization should promote and sustain individual and team learning, a consolidation of individual and team learning results in an organizational learning approach (Ortenblad, 2001; Antonacopoulou and Chiva, 2007).
Limitations and future research
The findings from the research demonstrated that learning organization processes and practices do exist and prevail in publicly owned firms. Given the sample for the study, which was one such firm, caution needs to be exercised while generalizing the results. Future researchers may take findings from a large number of organizations to make the findings of the study more generalizable. The instrument, DLOQ gathers self-reported data on financial and knowledge performance outcomes, which is subject to biases at the behest of the respondents. Subsequent researchers could collect data on learning organization dimensions and financial and knowledge performance outcomes from different respondents to eliminate common source bias. Alternate research design like a mixed method would help to explore the issues deeper for richer findings.