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Building knowledge through action systems, process leadership and organizational learning

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Purpose ? The aim of this paper is to explore the notion of organizational learning as a way of collective knowledge construction to achieve long-term competitive advantage. It proposes a theoretical framework based on action systems and process leadership perspective, integrating five key themes: systems, interaction and relationship, teambuilding, change, and renewal. Design/methodology/approach ? Literature review was adopted to determine the main streams of theoretical contribution on organizational learning and knowledge acquisition. Five distinct yet interrelated themes have been identified as contributing to the theoretical framework proposed. Findings ? It has been found that leaders play a crucial role in facilitating systems dynamics, influencing the rate and degree at which organizational members learn. Two such intervening factors as dialogue and reflection have been found to be the leitmotif of learning and knowledge co-construction in the workplace. Research limitations/implications ? The paper provides a number of pointers for further theoretical development, motivating both exploratory and explanatory empirical research in organizational learning and knowledge sharing. Of importance is the linking mechanism between different levels of learning and people involved in the learning. Practical implications ? A list of strategies has been suggested to help leaders manage and develop organizational learning. These views have arisen according to theoretical insights drawn from the literature review and the author's practical experience. Originality/value ? The paper offers both researchers and practitioners a useful perspective on the various aspects of organizational learning and knowledge building. Of practical value is the paper's attempt at making simple the complex process of learning and knowledge generation in ever-changing organizational contexts.
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Keywords: Knowledge creation; Learning organizations; Teambuilding

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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