1. Chapter 1: Why is shared information so important in a learning organization in comparison to an efficient performance organization? Discuss how an organization’s approach to sharing information may be related to other elements of organization design such as structure, tasks, strategy, and culture.
One can agree that sharing information across a company’s department is a very imperative tool for current and future success. Shared information is essential in a learning organization as compared to an efficient performance organization because sharing information endorses and encourages communications and partnership enabling people to be involved in ascertaining and solving various problems. This allows an organization to unceasingly advance and expand its capability. The three characteristics of a learning organization as follows:
- “It develops both individual and collective knowledge;
- It uses learning to improve performance and boost competitive advantage; and
- It continuously enhances its capacity, through reflexive praxis, to adapt to its external environment. “(Lyle, E. R. 2012)
Furthermore, within the learning organization, shared information keeps the organization operational at an ideal level, instead of using the information to take hold of the employees; a fundamental part of the manager’s day-to-day operations is to find efficient and effective ways to open up channels of communication so that ideas can flow in every direction. Shared information maintains open lines of communication with customers, suppliers and at times even competitors to enhance the structure, learning, culture and strategy capabilities. There’s a correlation between information sharing and structure; during 1776 in the time of Adam Smith, organization information was only kept between top executives and the design of the organizations were very vertical. The hierarchy provided the mechanism for total supervision and control, the strategy was constructed by the top management and executed on the organization. Over time, most organizations have gone away of the traditional vertical structures and implemented horizontal structures such as the learning organization. The new structures dispersed the boundaries between top management and the workers.
Then, new and update structures changed the task performances from monotonous tasks to empowered roles. For the task were broken into specialized separate parts as a machine, and now a task is assigned to one worker. This also allowed for the empowered employees to have the strategy change in such a way that employees are now in with identifying needs and finding solutions, thus participating in the strategy making. Furthermore, the new collaboration strategy has changed the culture in which organizations do business from the old rigid culture into a more adaptive culture. Contrarily, in an efficient performance organization, there is no need for sharing information for the flow of production is linear. A great example of an efficient performance organization is a manufacturing company, where parts are made in order and each department is different from the other.