The Path to Sustainability
In the previous chapter we introduced collaborative strategic improvement and discussed how it is, in essence, a process of learning, whereby problems are identified, and solutions are created, analysed, selected and implemented. The result is seen, not only in improved operational performance, but also in improved capability. A firm with an improved capability is an organization that has learned. Similarly, a firm that can learn has the capability to improve. Likewise, an EME with an improved capability is a network that has learned and can continue to learn. The ability to co-direct, to co-develop and to co-deploy such learning is at the heart of sustainability. In this chapter, we deepen our understanding of learning in organizations and networks as we explore the notions of organizational, interorganizational and network learning in order to add to the underpinning of our concept of collaborative strategic improvement as a contributor to sustainability. We focus on five themes: different types of network; learning mechanisms required for these networks to learn successfully; the systemic relationship between individual, group and inter-group learning in organizational and inter-organizational learning; how inter-organizational learning involves processes at home and away; and, work-based social sustainability. First, however, we introduce some foundations. FOUNDATIONS Organizational learning is the second of the three domains in which the book is located and to which it contributes – the other two being operations management and action learning. For our purposes, the organizational learning domain rests on the following foundations: 1. 2. 3. organizational learning as a capacity and...
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