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The characteristics, outcomes and sources of the Learning Organization: The case of car component suppliers in Britain.

Rosengarten, Philipp (1999) The characteristics, outcomes and sources of the Learning Organization: The case of car component suppliers in Britain. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis contributes to the understanding of the theory of organizational learning and the Learning Organization, focusing on the characteristics, outcomes and sources of the Learning Organization. A critical review of existing literature has led to the identification of the ten characteristics of the Learning Organisation. Two main hypothesis were then developed and tested. The first hypothesis, referring to intra- organizational learning, is that the existence of the characteristics of the Learning Organization within a company enhance organizational learning. The second hypothesis, concerning inter-organizational learning, is that these characteristics are mainly acquired through relationships with Japanese car producing and/or component supplying companies. This thesis examines direct car component suppliers in Britain, using a combination of three empirical methods: exploratory interviews, the analysis of seventy questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The conclusions and contributions of this research are as follows: Firstly, an improved working definition of organizational learning is developed. This new definition comprises the most important elements of former definitions, but considerably extends them. Secondly, a new model of the comprehensive organizational learning cycle is elaborated, consisting of two phases. Furthermore, the cycle is analysed with regard to possible interruptions. Thirdly, a coherent model of the Learning Organization with its characteristics is synthesised and refined from the piecemeal models of the existing literature, as well as operationalized for empirical research. Fourthly, this thesis concludes that the Learning Organization's characteristics have a positive impact on organizational learning outcomes, though predominantly in an indirect way via organizational learning systems (first null hypothesis rejected). Fifthly, this thesis concludes that the relationship of component suppliers in Britain to Japanese companies in the car industry is advantageous when acquiring tacit knowledge about the characteristics of the Learning Organization (second null hypothesis rejected). Nevertheless, the commitment of top management plays a pivotal role in this process.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business Administration, Management
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1534

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