Learning Organization: Sustainable Competitive Advantages

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1.0 Introduction Learning Organization helps to achieve sustainable competitive advantages (Popper & Lipshitz, 1998). In this dynamic business environment all industries and organization experience change and this change is whether driven by competitors, customers suppliers or technology and to remain in the industry, organization are required to continuously learn to cope up the change. Russell (2007) argues that “the rate at which organizations learn may become the only sustainable source of competitive advantage.” The learning organization is a strategy to improve organizational performance and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in an increasingly turbulent business environment. Many organizations focus on people as their main…show more content…
Learning Organization can be defined as one that is characterized by continuous learning for continuous improvement, and by the capacity to transform itself (Marsick & Watkins, 1999). 2.2 SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Sustainable competitive advantage is achieved when firms strive for unique characteristics that distinguish them from competitors. It is the ability to offer superior customer value on an enduring and/ or consistent basis, a situation in which competitors are unable to easily imitate the firm’s capacity for value creation (Njuguna, 2009). Barney (1991) argues that Sustainable competitive advantage is obtained when a firm’s resources are valuable (the resources help the firm to create valuable products and services), rare (competitors do not have such resources), imitable (resources cannot be replicated) and appropriate (the resources are owned by the firm and can be exploited at will). Capability to learn is a critical part of Sustainable competitive advantage. Essentially, capacity to learn, acquisition and use of learning resources is difficult to replicate due to its complexity, cost and time required (Ruzzier & Anthonic,…show more content…
His seminal works, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, and The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, describe five disciplines that must be mastered when introducing learning into an organization: 1. Systems Thinking - the ability to see the big picture, and distinguish how change in one area of the organization affects the system as a whole. It involves the overall recognition of the system and how to leverage and drive change throughout the system as a whole. 2. Personal Mastery - Senge describes Personal Mastery as personal capability-building, focusing on becoming the best person possible, and encouraging personal and organizational goals to facilitate the realization of potential. 3. Mental Models - The process begins with self-reflection and understanding how they dramatically influence the way we operate in our own lives. Changing our way of thinking and a focus on openness, real change can take place. 4. Building Shared Visions – It is building shared vision and sense of fosters a commitment to the long term as to where the organization wants to

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