Chapter 8: Organisational Learning and the Development of Organisational Capabilities
This chapter builds on the discussions in Chapters 3 and 7 using a crosscase analysis to explain how the theoretical concepts advanced in the organisational learning literature help explain enterprise transformation in transition economies. On the basis of iteration between the literature and the grounded case analysis I propose a theoretical framework for organisational learning in organisations facing major external change. How do organisations faced with radical external change learn how to survive and prosper under a new set of circumstances? A call to link the study of organisational change with learning theory (Hendry, 1996) has been answered by studies utilising organisational learning perspectives to explore this question in both joint ventures (for instance, Lyles and Salk, 1996) and domestically-owned ﬁrms (Newman, 2000; Uhlenbruck et al., 2003). Suggested causes of lack of learning include weak ‘absorptive capacity’ (Lyles and Salk, 1996), lack of managerial knowledge (Child and Czegledy, 1996), organisational cultures that inhibit knowledge sharing (Michailova and Husted, 2003) and cognitive barriers to recognising and implementing new organisational routines (Newman, 2000). However, these studies still do not provide a detailed understanding of the processes by which organisational learning leads to the development of organisational capabilities. This chapter investigates these issues in the Russian oil industry exploring the variations between the companies and their causes. On this basis, I propose a theoretical framework explaining a two-stage process of organisational transformation, the ﬁrst stage being the development of operational capabilities via exploitation learning and the second stage being the development of strategic...
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