Knowledge management and the learning organisation in the new economy

De Wet, Ben (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the literature on organisational learning and specifically the concept of a learning organisation, an integrated approach towards the learning organisation appears to be lacking. The thesis is an effort to correct this by integrating the organisational aspects namely strategy, structure and processes into a coherent model of the learning organisation. For this purpose, the thesis is divided into two parts. The first part is a theoretical evaluation of Peter Senge’s concept of the learning organisation, and Nonaka and Takeuchi’s model of the Knowledge Creating Company. These models were evaluated to determine the degree to which these models incorporate strategy, structure and processes. In an effort to make sense of the learning organisation concept within the framework of the knowledge era, other influences such as Peter Drucker on the Post-Capitalist Society and Thomas A Stewart on how to manage Intellectual Capital in the new economy, were incorporated. In addition, the basic building blocks of existing theories of the learning organisation were considered in order to develop appreciation for their contribution and influence towards a model of the learning organisation. The second part of this thesis endeavoured to build a notional model for the learning organisation. This notional model is considered necessary in order to develop an appreciation for how matters such as structure, strategy and processes can interact and cooperate towards an integrated model of the learning organisation. In conclusion, a number of factors of organisation were identified as probable principles of organisation in the knowledge economy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die literatuur rondom organisasie leer, en meer spesifiek die konsep van die lerende organisasie, blyk daar ‘n behoefte aan ‘n geïntegreerde benadering tot die lerende organisasie te wees. Die tesis is ‘n poging om die invloede van strategie, struktuur en prosesse te integreer in ‘n geïntegreerde model van die lerende organisasie konsep te verkry. Vir hierdie doel is die tesis in twee dele verdeel. Die eerste deel sentreer rondom Peter Senge se siening van die lerende organisasie, asook Nonaka & Takeuchi se model van kennisskepping. Die evaluasie bepaal tot watter mate die implikasies van struktuur, strategie en prosesse in hierdie modelle geïnkorporeer is. In 'n poging om sin te maak van die begrip van die lerende organisasie in die konteks van die kennis era, is Peter Drucker se teorie van die post-kapitalistiese era, asook Thomas Stewart rondom die bestuur van intellektuele kapitaal in die kennis ekonomie, in ag geneem. Vervolgens is die basiese boublokke van die bestaande teorieë van die lerende organisasie besoek om waardering te ontwikkel vir hul bydrae en invloede op ‘n model van die lerende organisasie. Die tweede helfte van die tesis is gebasseer op kennis en insigte ontwikkel in die eerste helfte en stel ‘n spekulatiewe model van die lerende organisasie. Hierdie spekulatiewe model is nodig om waardering te kry vir die verwantskap tussen organisasie struktuur, strategie en prosesse, en wyses waarop hierdie komponente geïntegreer kan word ter wille van ‘n geïntegreerde model van die lerende organisasie. Ter afsluiting word ‘n aantal aspekte van organisering geïdentifiseer as waarskynlike beginsels van organisering in die kennis ekonomie.

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