Omm625 Learning Organizations & Effectiveness

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Learning Organization: Characteristics of the Veterans Health Administration

Linda Richart

OMM625 Learning Organizations & Effectiveness

Instructor: Dr. Lisa Smart

March 9, 2013


Organizations struggle to adapt to their environments as a critical survival tactic. Survival involves adapting continuous manner of learning of its members and transforming itself, and therefore referred to as a learning organization. Several characteristics of an ideal learning organization are discussed here, including a shared vision, personal mastery, team learning, mental models, and systems thinking. This process encounters many challenges, which are also explained within the context of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which is under the Department of Veterans Affairs. Strategies of overcoming the barriers are also covered, which comprise efforts to help individuals change their attitude through corrected mental models, among other methods.

Learning Organization: Characteristics of the Veterans Health Administration

All organizations must be dedicated enough to adapt easily to their environments, and ensure their products are of value to the environment. This implies that they need to be learning organizations, which goes hand in hand with organizational change. This is critical to the survival of any organization. A learning organization can therefore be defined as a company engaged in facilitation of learning of its members, and transforms itself in a continuous manner. In addition, “A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge, and modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights” (Garvin, 1993). There are many challenges in business environment today and modern organizations are therefore expected to remain fully competitive. It involves an effort to promote a more interconnected way of thinking where employees feel full commitment as part of the whole and therefore motivate...