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Most managers today understand the value of building a learning organization. Their goal is to leverage knowledge and make it a key corporate asset, yet they remain uncertain about how best to get started. What they lack are guidelines and tools that transform abstract theory--the learning organization as an ideal--into hands-on implementation. For the first time in Learning in Action, David Garvin helps managers make the leap from theory to proven practice. Garvin argues that at the heart of organizational learning lies a set of processes that can be designed, deployed, and led. He starts by describing the basic steps in every learning process--acquiring, interpreting, and applying knowledge--then examines the critical challenges facing managers at each of these stages and the various ways the challenges can be met. Drawing on decades of scholarship and a wealth of examples from a wide range of fields, Garvin next introduces three modes of learning--intelligence gathering, experience, and experimentation--and shows how each mode is most effectively deployed. These approaches are brought to life in complete, richly detailed case studies of learning in action at organizations such as Xerox, L. L. Bean, the U. S. Army, and GE. The book concludes with a discussion of the leadership role that senior executives must play to make learning a day-to-day reality in their organizations.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781591391906
ISBN-10: 1591391903
Format: Paperback
(236mm x 155mm x 25mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Harvard Business Review Press
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions


UK Kirkus Review » A practical and accessible exploration of organisational learning as the key to success and survival. Garvin offers concrete advice to managers who want to improve their organisation's performance by increasing the breadth, depth and speed of learning. There are examples from companies such as LL Bean, the US Army and GE to illustrate both success and failure, explaining the underlying principles and tasks that are essential for effective implementation. The book draws on fields as diverse as management, organisation theory, cognitive science, psychology, sociology, political science, philosophy and education, and presents the implications for managers in non-technical language. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - David A. Garvin

David Garvin is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Books By Author David A. Garvin

Rethinking the MBA by David A. Garvin

Rethinking the MBA

Hardback, April 2010