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Network organisations and cross organisational learning


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Network organisations and cross organisational learning

  1. 1. Network organisations andCross-Organisational LearningHRM3011<br />Dr Rea Prouska – Middlesex University Business School<br />Dr Maria Kapsali – Imperial College Business School<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Learning objectives<br />Critically examine what is meant by ‘organisational learning’ and ‘the learning organisation’.<br />Explore what is meant by ‘network organisations’, how these form and operate.<br />Critically analyse the way in which ‘cross-organisational learning’ takes place.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Think<br />Organisational Learning<br />The Learning Organisation<br />3<br />
  4. 4. The importance of learning in organisations<br />What is the importance of learning in organisations?<br /><br />4<br />
  5. 5. Organisational Learning<br />‘Organisational learning’ – based on observations of individual and collective learning processes in an organisation.<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Organisational Learning<br /><ul><li>Organisational learning is more than just the sum of individual learning
  7. 7. Members learn together when individual’s learning impacts on and interrelates with others and begin to change the way things are done
  8. 8. Increase in collective competence
  9. 9. How individual learning feeds into organisational learning is just beginning to be addressed
  10. 10. Viewing the organisation as a process or a living organism helps</li></ul>6<br />
  11. 11. The Learning Organisation<br /><ul><li>Can be defined as ‘an organisation which facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself’ (Pedlar, Boydell and Burgoyne, 1987)
  12. 12. ‘Learning is not restricted to discrete hunks of training activity, either fragmented or systematic, but is one where it has become a continuous process, and where on the job learning has become a way of life’ (Barhamet al., 1988: 50).</li></ul>7<br />
  13. 13. principles and characteristics of a learning organisation<br />It can learn as much, if not more, from failure as from success.<br />Rejects the adage ‘if it isn't broke, don’t fix it’ as it constantly scrutinises the way things are done.<br />Assumes that managers and workers closest to the design, manufacturing, distribution and sale of the product often know more about these activities than their superiors.<br />Seeks to move knowledge from one part of the organisationto another.<br />It encourages people at all levels of the organisation to learn regularly and rigorously from their work<br />It has systems for capturing and learning information and moving it where it is needed<br />It is able to transform itself continuously<br />Spends a lot of energy looking outside its own boundariesfor knowledge.<br />8<br />
  14. 14. Discuss<br />“Learning organisations are dreams which can never come true”. Discuss why you agree or disagree with this statement.<br />9<br />
  15. 15. Difficulties with the learning organisation concept<br />Effective implementation of the learning organisation concept requires the resolution of: <br />Meaning (or definition)<br />Management (or practical operational advice)<br />Measurement (tools for assessment)<br />10<br />
  16. 16. Network organisations<br />11<br />
  17. 17. Cross-organisational learning<br />Through alliances and networks, organisations can learn and internalise new skills (Hyder and Abraha, 2004), particularly those hard to obtain and internalise by other means (Doz and Hamel, 1998:5).<br />However, strategic alliances cannot easily replace the internal development of organisational capabilities (Chan and Wong, 1994). Why?<br />12<br />
  18. 18. Processes of cross-organisational learning (1)<br />Experience: a firm’s independent experiment and acquisition of knowledge through trial and error (Osland and Yaprak, 1995). <br />13<br />
  19. 19. Processes of cross-organisational learning (2)<br />Imitation: an attempt to learn about the strategies, technologies and functional activities of other firms and to internalise this second-hand experience (Osland and Yaprak, 1995).<br />Open imitation: one partner agrees to let the other partner use, for example, a particular technology under specified conditions (Hyder and Abraha, 2004). <br />Secret imitation: the owner of the resource has no intention of letting the partner imitate (Hyder and Abraha, 2004). <br />14<br />
  20. 20. Processes of cross-organisational learning (3)<br />Grafting: organisations increase their store of knowledge by formally acquiring another firm or by developing a long-term alliance with another organisation that possesses information not previously available within the organisation (Osland and Abraha, 2004). Grafting is often faster than learning by experience and more complete than learning through imitation. <br />15<br />
  21. 21. Processes of cross-organisational learning (4)<br />Synergism: firms collaborate to produce new knowledge. Through collaboration partners can develop innovations that may not have been possible through independent efforts (Osland and Abraha, 2004).<br />16<br />
  22. 22. Knowledge transfer<br />The replication of knowledge in alliances requires both firms to implement managerial processes to transfer and receive knowledge (Wang and Nicholas , 2005). <br />Wang and Nicholas (2005) distinguish learning into collective and competitive:<br />Collective learning occurs in cases where partners learn to work together and mutually acquire knowledge.<br />Competitive learning occurs when partners strive to out-learn each other.<br />17<br />
  23. 23. Relationship between partners<br />Critical to a long-lasting cross-organisational learning process is the relationship between the partners. <br />Many relationships never evolve, while most enter a deep crisis within the first three years <br />The key to longevity of contracting relationships is learning and adjustment, first to each other, then to changed circumstances.<br />Successful alliances and networks go through cycles of learning, re-evaluation, and readjustment over time. As the partnership evolves, partners re-evaluate the potential of the alliance to create value, the expected balance and equity of value capture among them, and their ability and commitment to adjust to the existing conditions of the alliance. <br />18<br />
  24. 24. 19<br />
  25. 25. Factors affecting the outcome of cross-organisational learning initiatives<br />Ideas?<br />20<br />
  26. 26. factors<br />Industry/sector<br />Type of relationship<br />Trust, risk, power and control in relationship<br />Organisational strategy<br />Organisational culture<br />Learning culture/strategy<br />Knowledge management processes<br />21<br />
  27. 27. Learning=knowledge transfer <br />Types of trans-organizational learning transfer: <br />Alliances, mergers, acquisitions, projects, networks <br />Depends on the degree of integration within the supply-value chains between the organizations <br />Less More <br />Projects Alliances Mergers Acquisitions Networks <br />Is this correct? <br />relatedness of the knowledge bases between the acquiring and acquired firms and whether the rationale of the jointed activity <br />22<br />
  28. 28. characteristics of organizational networks <br />23<br />Interaction <br />Content = the purpose of the interaction <br />Direction = direction of the flow of interaction or indication of lack of reciprocity <br />Durability = the period over which a certain set of links to the organization is activated and used <br />Intensity = volume of information, funds, decisions, flowing between given nodes <br />Frequency = frequency of interaction or contact <br />Shape <br />Reachability<br />Density = degree of interconnectedness of a group of organizations cohesiveness vsisolationism <br />Range = the number of direct links to an organization to mobilize support on an issue <br />Composition = diversity and conflict within teams (lately the role of innovation) <br />
  29. 29. WHO are the people at the interfaces of these networks <br />Within the organization: middle managers <br />Across organizations: project managers <br />WHERE are the boundaries between value chains when density of interaction increases <br />WHAT are the obstacles for learning coming from networking <br />HOW can organizations control the type and level of learning through networks <br />WHICH types of learning are favoured by which types of relations <br />brokerage, power, trust and reputation <br />dynamics of conflict and consensus <br /> distribution of power <br />Combine knowledge assets <br />coordinated management of functions, the bilateral transfer of expert staff, or the transfer for further development of products or processes <br />synergies that can occur from relatedness <br />the impact of both technological and market relatedness on learning <br />combinations of two factors: the complementarity or similarity of the knowledge and the complementarity or similarity of the production capabilities of the target and the acquiring firm <br />Knowledge and integration approach = the rationale of the deal <br />complementarity or similarity <br />appropriate integration strategy <br />organizational design and strategy <br />24<br />
  30. 30. Task and network need (Katz and lazer, 2003: 97)<br />25<br />Lazer & Katz, 2003] Lazer D. & N. Katz, 2003, “Building effective intra-organizational networks: the role of teams.” Research Paper, Centre for Public Leadership, J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. <br />
  31. 31. Activity – 10 MINUTES <br />26<br />What are the differences between these types of organizational interaction – what parts of their value chain do they share <br />How exactly learning happens to these different types <br />When does networking impede rather than support learning and goal achievement <br />