Adaptation and Context
- Elgar original reference
Edited by Anders Örtenblad
Chapter 14: Universities as learning organizations: internationalization and innovation
As Christensen and Eyring (2011) state, universities and higher education institutions (HEIs), more than ever, must proactively evolve and respond to change swiftly in order to cope with and meet the demand of a knowledge and technology-intensive society. This poses a question: how do HEIs equip themselves to survive and succeed in such an environment? Through our own research (Bui & Baruch 2012) and the extant literature it is evident that many HEIs are in the process of becoming, or aspire to become, learning organizations. A learning organization in the context of higher education is somewhat different than a learning organization in the business context, for several reasons. Firstly, higher education is a unique environment where massive knowledge is created and transferred. Secondly, HEIs are typically not-for-profit organizations, with performance criteria different than for-profit firms (Baruch & Ramalho 2006). Therefore, most resources can be invested within the organization, giving priority for learning, much of it via development of employees and team-learning. Investment in people can and should be more than a slogan in the higher education sector.
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