Continuous Learning in Organizations
Individual, Group, and Organizational Perspectives
Psychology Press – 2006 – 416 pages
There is already considerable literature on learning at the individual level and a growing body of literature on group and organizational learning. But to date, there has been little attempt to bring these literatures together and link learning at all three levels. Continuous Learning in Organizations targets learning at each of the three levels and demonstrates how processes at one level impacts learning at other levels. At the heart of the work is the idea that individuals, groups, and organizations are living systems with internal learning mechanisms that can be activated and supported or stymied and thwarted. Once activated, systems can learn adaptively by reacting to a change in the environment; they can learn by generating new knowledge and conditions; and/or they can transform by creating and applying frame-breaking ideas and bringing about radically new conditions. Individuals, groups, and organizations are nested within each other forming an increasingly complex hierarchy of intertwined systems. From this point of view, the book describes the interactions between the levels and how developmental processes at one level affect learning at other levels.
The text appeals to both the scientist and professionals alike in the fields of human resource development, training, management and executive education, coaching, and organization change and development. It is also for executives who establish directions for learning and need to convince others that continuous learning is the key to on-going success of their enterprise.
"The book makes a significant contribution to the field of continuous learning in organizations. … The book will be a valuable resource for both scientists and practitioners in I-O psychology, human resource management, management education and training, coaching, and organizational development. It will also be of interest to managers who are attempting to establish a learning organization by communicating to their employees that continuous learning is critical for the survival of their organization." - John W. Fleenor in Personnel Psychology
"The purpose of this book is not just to describe how organizations can promote continuous learning in their employees; they want to integrate literature on individual, group, and organizational learning. A distinctive feature of this book is the authors' use of a panel of subject-matter experts (SMEs) on the topic of continuous learning. Sessa and London make a strong case for the importance of continuous learning at the individual, group and organizational levels. Without this learning, the organization, like the shark, will die." - PsycCRITIQUES
"The volume looks great! It represents an advance to the field by integrating previously disparate ideas around this common theme. It will be a good contribution to the fields of training, management, and organizational development. To my knowledge, there is no book like this that looks at the process of continuous learning in the diversity the authors present here." - Allan Clardy, Towson University
Contents: Preface. The Meaning of Continuous Learning. Understanding Individual Continuous Learning. Individual Characteristics Affecting Continuous Learning. Facilitating Individual Learning. Understanding Group Continuous Learning. Facilitating Group Learning. Understanding Organizational Continuous Learning. Facilitating Organizational Learning. Future Directions. Appendices: On-Line Discussion of Continuous Learning. Personal Reflections on the Meaning of Continuous Learning.