Organizational Learning and Performance Under the Approach of Organizational Theories

Organizational Learning and Performance Under the Approach of Organizational Theories

José G. G Vargas-Hernández (University of Guadalajara, Mexico), Rebeca Almanza-Jiménez (Instituto Tecnológico de Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico), Patricia Calderón-Campos Calderón (Instituto Tecnológico de Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico) and Rafael Casas-Cardenaz (Instituto Tecnológico de Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3009-1.ch005
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The objective of the present study is a theoretical revision that aims to broaden the framework of analysis and to identify a range of competencies necessary to act effectively in the designs of modern organizations and to understand the nature of these individual capacities that favor learning in the Organizations that includes more people, processes and the influence of the environment. The findings of this work guide practitioners on where to focus efforts to promote the acquisition of new knowledge and take action for its application that promotes organizational change and achieves their durability through competitive advantages.
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Companies today face a complex and turbulent environment characterized by phenomena such as globalization, the technological transformations, the increase in the degree of competitiveness and continuous and unpredictable changes, which have led to a new way of understanding organizations, from a stable organization to a more dynamic organization.

In order to assume the volatility of the environment and to achieve competitiveness, it is necessary to increase productivity and performance through organizational learning and performance, which can contribute to the generation of sustainable competitive advantages. One of the purposes of the organization is to be able to use knowledge as a resource, as well as to the ability to develop and promote it internally. Whereas the foregoing in this research is addressed firstly, the concept of organizational learning under the conceptualization of different authors with the purpose of achieving a better understanding of it.

Learning encompasses all our efforts to absorb, understand and respond to the surrounding world. Learning is social and occurs in daily work. Learning is the essential process in expanding the capacities of individuals and organizations. Learning is not just about knowledge. It is also related to visions, beliefs, values, attitudes, habits, feelings, shared wisdom, understanding and self-awareness. (Chetley & Vicent, 2003).

The modern organizational learning movement initiated by Argyris and Schôn (1996). And Senge (1990) marks the beginning of a new movement in change management. It is for the first time based on the principle that change is a continuous and systematic process reflective on the experience and daily reality of each company. This movement seeks to turn the organizational experience into learning. This reflective principle does not contradict the approaches of change followed until now. On the contrary, it seeks to recognize the essence of each one of them and rethinks to adapt it to the needs of each organization.

Secondly, some contributions from the theories of organizations are incorporated into organizational learning in order to explain the operation and main dimensions of the same. Third place, it is described the relationship between organizational learning and performance in order to determine the existing relationships, as well as the relationship with business results. Finally, it is the empirical contrast, discussing results, ending the essay with the conclusions and presenting some limitations and implications of the study.

In order to achieve these issues, the following objective is proposed: To develop new knowledge and skills that have potential to influence organizational behavior. The specific objectives are:

  • 1.

    Identify the contributions of organizational theories to organizational learning.

  • 2.

    Determine the contribution of individual learning to organizational learning.



The study is a descriptive analytical type based on a review of empirical research, whose focus is the analysis and the comprehensive explanation of the phenomenon and specifically the process as the organizations are learning under a critical and analytical literary orientation. Therefore, the analysis seeks to find answers about the possibilities of how organizations learn. By referring the different authors, the results of this study can be established fourfold.

  • 1.

    The improvement based on results led by Argyris and Schon (1996) fundamentally on the theory of action, which holds that social actors such as individuals, groups or organizations construct action theories through learning.

  • 2.

    The one that is oriented to the individual work led by Fiol and Lyles (1985) defined by the distinction between individual and organizational learning and from the fields of theory and practice.

  • 3.

    The one that is oriented to the environmental adaptation, emphasizing the alignment with an environment and the importance of the harmony of the internal environment, but questioning the artificial interpretation around the nature of the external environment (Miller 1992).

  • 4.

    The one of the planned learning, sustained by Senge (2002), who argues that at the level of the organizations the knowledge will be the cornerstone in which all the systems are integrated.

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