Impact of Organizational Culture on Achieving Competitive Organizational Learning
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The case company works in a complex environment, with a high level of professionalism and strong management support to learning. These factors in the organizational surroundings makes organizational learning feasible and efficient. Every effort to organizational learning is therefore likely to benefit the company in the future. Our literature review revealed that a proper organizational culture for learning lessons needs supportive management, good communication and trust. Furthermore, tolerance for errors needs to be in place, and support for innovation. An organization with diverse cultural resources is more likely to be able to handle different challenges in turbulent environments, as this diversity is a resource for learning and innovation. Next we investigated if these factors, were in place at the case company and how they impact organizational learning. In addition, we looked for other factors that impact learning positively or negatively existent at the case company that are not covered in the literature. For our investigation we chose phenomenology is the appropriate methodology. We used semi-structured interviews with 8 open-ended questions for data collection and thematic coding approach for the data analysis. Our findings gave similar results as the literature review, but not identical. We found the main categories to be management, communication, people, and lastly structure and processes. Topics such as error tolerance and cultural diversity were not among the ones mostly discussed by our respondents. Related to each of these four categories we found barriers and enablers to organizational learning. These categories, along with related enablers and barriers, are mapped in Figure 4 1 where we show how these factors impact the three levels of organizational learning.Our findings give the impression of an organization that has good demographics of highly competent people, which are both willing to share and willing to learn. The management supports learning on all levels, whether it be with internal or external courses or something informal as discussions between employees. Furthermore, it focuses on team building and has tolerance for mistakes which in turn creates trust within the organization. This trust and the small size of the company with open office spaces has facilitated open good communication. However, structure and processes appears to be the weakest category for organizational culture, and the organization should therefore focus their improvement efforts on barriers related to that category. The main barriers related to structure and processes category are lack of procedures or guidelines, the lessons learned repository and lack of a lessons learned staff officer. In addition to that, one of the most significant barriers was found in the management category and is lack of time. Recommendations for improvements are introducing guidelines that make it obligatory to have regular lessons learned workshops, improve the user interface of the lessons learned repository, assign a lessons learn champion to the lessons learned process and keep on emphasizing the importance of learning activities.If the case company wants to take the next step in being best in class in lessons learned it is necessary to resolve these barriers. We compared all our findings to current literature to see if our findings are according to the existing literature or if we have contributed to the existing research on organizational culture. We found similar literature for each and every barrier and enabler. In addition to that, we found that our findings are in line with other studies on companies of similar size as the case company. Therefore we argue that our findings reaffirm the current literature.