Middle level managers
You have been invited to a management discussion forum with an invited audience of middle level managers. The theme is ‘Creating a learning organizational culture’ your role is to present the case that HR systems can a make a difference to the creation of such a culture. Prepare a case for this that also addresses problematic areas of human resource development activity. As we know that continuous changes has caused a revolution which is taking place in the management thinking.
With globalization, diversity and competition the nature of managerial work and paths to career advancement are changing. In this new era of the organization the main responsibility of the management is to create learning capability through the organization. And almost all the companies are reinventing themselves towards something called learning organization. In learning organization all the employees of the company take part in problem solving, identifying the problems, it helps the company to experiment, improve the company’s efficiency and increase its productivity.
The learning organization’s focus is mostly on customer satisfaction and quality. The learning organization also emphasizes on teams and systems rather on the hierarchy of the company to improve and maximize the company’s performance. The managers need to go through a certain changes in order to make the learning organization a successful one. It has been stated that there are five disciplines that the manager has to go through and they are as follows:- System thinking Shared vision Challenging metal models Team learning. Personal mastery
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The vision and the culture in the learning organization means that the top management of the company must be the leaders who have the capability to create the vision of the company’s future and the vision is created in such a way that it is completely understood by everyone throughout the company. The managers develop such kinds of ideas, purposes, mission and core culture of the company that it guides the employee’s work behavior and attitude. As we know that the vision actually represents the desired long term outcomes of the company and it also helps the employees to identify and solve their own problems.
Whereas the core cultural values of the company helps to set the guidelines which help the employees to work and also help them with achieving the stated goals and objectives which have been set for them and as well as the long term outcomes. Leadership is also one of the major factors through which a company can convert itself to a learning organization. As we know that the traditional ways of leadership it to set goals and objectives, make decision and direct the employees of the company to the right direction. But when we are talking about a learning organization leadership over here requires something more.
In a learning organization the leaders are considered as designers, teachers and creators etc. leaders actually have the ability to build a shared vision of the company. The leaders also help the employees of the company work together to help create a horizontal structure of the company, start change and help with improving the performance of the company. Once the leaders are ready to take on new role of leadership then the other parts of the learning organization can be put into place (CHAWLA & RENESCH 2006). The learning organization actually breaks down the former vertical structure of the company.
The learning organization uses the most new of ideas to achieve collaboration through work teams, task forces, horizontal linkages and through concepts such as networks etc. teamwork is considered more important in the learning organization rather than individual work. For example the teams are actually given major projects to handle like producing a product or a service. The boss would no longer make the decisions; the members of the team would take the responsibility for innovation, dealing with customers, training, and safety and sometimes also take the responsibility of making decisions about work and pay.
Strategy planning is also consider and important part of the learning organization. Strategy and planning traditionally have been the sole responsibility of the top management and the human resource department but now the top management and the human resource still influence the overall vision and the direction but in the learning organization they do not control the strategy of the company alone, everyone individual of the company helps.
The strategy of the company is created through discussions with the employees of the company; the information is collected by the workers who directly work with the customer of the company, the suppliers and the other organizations. And there are those employees who identify the needs and the solution for those needs and then pass it to the management for discussion. The emerging strategy of the learning organization is based on the experimental mind sets of the employees. The employees are encouraged to try new things and a certain amount of failure is also accepted by the management of the learning organization (Daft 1997).
The empowerment of the employees within the learning organization also plays an important role. The managers who use control the workers no longer works in this world of rapidly changing technology, shifting demographics, global competition and an increased emphasis on quality and flexibility. The empowerment of the employees at all the levels of the hierarchy is an important means of coping with challenges and problems that are being faced by the human resource department of the company. For example companies like Hewlett-Packard, Wal-Mart and Southwest Airlines sustain top performance through their people.
The management of these companies pays attention to their employees and empowers them to certain degrees which in return makes their employees satisfied with their jobs and remain motivated. The learning organization helps the employees to expand their behavior through empowerment whereas the traditional management tries to limit their employees. The empowerment can be reflected in self managing teams, qualities circles, through job enrichment, and through employee participation as well as training, decision making authority and information.