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Building learning organizations Bridging the Gap Between Training and Learning Introduction What is a learning organization Watkins and Marsick 1994 define a learning organization as one that continuously learns and transforms itself Garvin 1993 defines a learning organization as one that is skilled at creating acquiring and transferring knowledge modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights Bencivenga 1995 states that a learning organization is developing shared vision challenging assumptions and devising a system for new ideas The Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Garvin 1993 sums up a learning organization as a process in which every employee is dedicated to constant learning learning that advances the individual career as well as the organizations business goals Obviously there are no clear definitions what make up a learning organization only a description for what is desired in an organization Although the above definitions are diverse and often appear elusive they underscore the fact that learning is the critical competency of the 21st Century On this note HR professionals must realize that they alone cannot create a learning organization they can only become a climatic force to intensify the emphasis organizations place on learning While the private sector is adapting different variations to different management philosophies the public sector has been slow and resistant to the changes occurring in the workforce In spite of this resistance there is an acceptance that help is needed in identifying alternatives for agencies and programs Correspondingly there is a new mission for HR professionals one that is vastly different and with a greater scope In their new role HR professionals must help organizations create a continuous learning environment by linking training and learning Some contemporary demands for bridging a gap between training and learning are increased employee enrichment training more management development training more sequential training increased technical and procedural training expansion of basic skills training and retraining increased leadership-skill training for all
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