Organizational Learning Term Papers Examples

Type of paper: Term Paper

Topic: Organization, Learning, Charity, Business, Commerce, Profit, Education, Accountability

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/03

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Shared Knowledge

“The process of collective education in an organization that has the capacity to impact an organization’s operations, performance and outcomes is called organizational learning. In non-profit organizations, for instance which are teams consisting of experts and volunteers from diverse backgrounds working together to provide their specialized expertise and assistance. Organizational learning in non-profit is central to managing the learning requirements in complex interconnected dynamic systems where all members have to know common background knowledge along with shared meta-knowledge of roles and responsibilities to carry out their assigned functions, communicate, and transfer the flow of essential information to the community. Therefore, organizational changes elicit organizational learning and organizational learning implements new knowledge and practices to create organizational changes” (Uleryk, 2014, p. 24).
The organization, for the purpose of this discussion is a non-profit organization which main goal is to donate to those individuals who are in need. The “shared knowledge” is the procedures and processes for outreach within their community, directing families to food pantries in times of hunger crisis, donating to other local charities, and being a place for comfort for the poverty stricken population. However, these characteristics were the shared knowledge of the organization within the decade of the nineties. The culture of the organization began to change. The significant issues that were discovered were “that the organization “skims” money off the top of every donation, or in other words, takes a percentage for their own profit. The second issue is that, if someone were to direct their donations to specific charities, the specified non-profit actually utilizes an accounting trick to funnel money in the proportions that they see appropriate. And the third issue is the organization provides donated funds to organizations that discriminate against women and ethnic groups” (Rafkin, 2009). However, the biggest “disconnect” emerged at the beginning of the millennium when the organization announced in a public press conference that they would only be “limiting their money to large and medium-size groups. The new policy raised questions about whether the people mostly in need of money and services will benefit from local philanthropy. The organization will award money only to groups that have at least $50k in revenue and an overhead cost of 32 percent or less. And that the beneficiaries must have been in operation for a period of three years. In addition, the ones at risk of losing a share of the organization pot, which last year tallied $23-million, are 100 to 150 of 800 local organizations. The chief executive assured that with this method it would promote higher standards and ensure its money will make a difference in the community by neglecting it” (Eisenberg, 2012).


“Every employee at some point in their career may experience sorts of organizational mystification. Numbers and other important information may be selectively utilized. The organization’s analysis may contain unrevealed assumptions, and if revealed they would occur within detailed footnotes that are unintelligible. It can be extended to feature interpretations of data in which an employee may observe, and not be present. The significance of it however, is whether if there is mystification present, and what is being observed or reported may not add up. Using the analogy of a magician and how he would perform a trick, is being reported is not how the operational reality may be” (Allcorn, 2005, p. 171). The three mystifications of this non-profit organization are “anthropomorphizing organizational learning, split in the field between visionaries/ skeptics, and active mystification of the concept” (Friedman, 2012, p. 19) based on the main issues on the organization previously mentioned.

Organizational Learning Mechanism(s) (OLMs)

“Organizational learning could be perceived of as a principal of achieving the strategic renewal of an enterprise, or of its organization. Strategic renewal will always place additional demands on a theory of organizational learning. Renewal requires that organizations explore and learn new ways while concurrently exploiting what they have already learned. In contrast, learning applied to the domain of new product or idea development. For instance, it tends to focus on the exploration side of the exploration-exploitation tension identified. Recognizing and managing the tension between exploration and exploitation are two of the critical challenges of renewal, and must become a central requirement in a theory of organizational learning” (Lane, 2000, p. 522). However, the discussed non-profit organization must possess accountability “in dealing with failures of accountability, whether it is pertaining to a lack of transparency among public agencies and in the realms of democratic decision making, or a failure to deliver the results promised to funders by a nonprofit organization in which it is highly assumed that the more accountability is better. Any agency involved in activities of complex social development and poverty alleviation, too much accountability can hinder them in achieving their missions. It is proposed however; that organizational learning is foundational for a broader view of accountability and crucial for focusing organizational attention on its overall purpose” (Ebrahim, 2000). Furthermore, to demystify this organization, the most appropriate (OLM) would be the “Off-Line External” since it would be simplified damage control for the superior management to make decisions that are in the best interest of its community and to teach, or prepare the subordinates to follow the same direction. This could be achieved by providing hands on workshops, implementing new policies, etc.

Norms of the Organization’s Learning Culture

In conclusion, the two norms that may prevent productive learning within the organization are accountability and integrity. The non-profit may have these characteristics in its mission statement, but it does not show in the overall company’s character, or portrayal. In some cases, more charities are robbing the community of its finances altogether. Take for instance; the CEO’s of the top charitable organizations receive a six figure salary while the local subordinate organizations barely have enough in funding to keep its lights on. These CEO’s will receive salaries over “$400k, including numerous expensive benefits such as, a lifetime membership for two golf courses (1 in Canada, and 1 in the U.S.A.), two or more luxury vehicles, a yacht club membership, three major company gold credit cards for his personal expenses, etc. valued at over a million dollars. This equates to about $0.51 per dollar of income which goes to charity causes” ("Charitable Compensation," 2014). No one wants to be accountable, and the non-profit lack the integrity to care. It is a classic tale of the “rich will continue to be rich”, while the poor continues to be poor”.


Allcorn, S. (2005). Organizational Dynamics And Intervention: Tools for Changing the Workplace. [Kindle DX]. Retrieved from
Charitable Compensation. (2014). Retrieved from
Ebrahim, A. (2000). Accountability Myopia: Losing Sight of Organizational Learning. State University. Retrieved from
Eisenberg, P. (2012). A United Way’s Misguided Focus on Big Charities. Retrieved from
Friedman, V. (2012, July 1). The Mystification of Organizational Learning. Journal of Management Inquiry, 14(1), 19-30.
Lane, H. W. (2000). AN ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING FRAMEWORK from INTUITION TO INSTITUTION. Academy of Management Review, 24, 522-527.
Rafkin, S. (2009). Why I Will Not Support the United Way . Retrieved from
Uleryk, E. (2014). Organizational Learning in Health Care Organizations . Systems, 2(1), 24-33. Retrieved from

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