S4E1: Learning Organizations

Doug McKenna |
May 17, 2021
  • For the Record
  • Organizational Structure
  • Professional Development

Learning Organizations

What is a learning organization and how do I know if I’m in one? In this episode of For the Record we talk with Erin Mason of UConn (and soon to be Ball State) aabout the characteristics of learning organizations and how you can implement them in your own institution. Is your office devoted to transparency, the creation of shared meaning-making, the values of learning, amassing knowledge and co-creating knowledge? If yes, you’re well on your way to having a learning organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learning: acquiring knowledge and skills and having them readily available from memory so you can use them to solve future problems or engage with opportunities;
  • It’s possible to create a learning organization within your local unit or even your local team; place that’s psychologically safe, comfortable, creative, collaborative, truly inclusive, willing to take risks, and reflects on what went right/wrong and use that to guide to future design
  • There is a self-assessment tool available in Marsick & Watkins’ work (linked below) to help you get started

Erin Mason
Associate Registrar
University of Connecticut

References and Additional Information:

  • Brown, P. C. (2014). Make it stick: The science of successful learning. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  • Kline, P., & Saunders, B. (1993). Ten steps to a learning organization. Great Ocean Publishers.
  • Marsick, Victoria J, & Watkins, Karen E. (2003). Demonstrating the value of an organization's learning culture: The dimensions of the learning organization questionnaire. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 5(2), 132–151. https://doi.org/10.1177/1523422303005002002
  • Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organization (Rev. and updated.). Doubleday/Currency.
  • AACRAO Core Competency: Holistic and System Thinking
  • AACRAO Core Competency: Leadership and Management