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Human Resource Development Strategy and Tactics CHAPTER 2 : Contribution of HRD at Strategic and Operational Levels . BUS 314 Spring 2011 Semester 321 Instructor: DR NAILAH AYUB. Contribution of HRD at Strategic and Operational Levels . ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING

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Human Resource Development Strategy and TacticsCHAPTER 2: Contribution of HRD at Strategic and Operational Levels

BUS 314

Spring 2011 Semester 321

Instructor: DR NAILAH AYUB

contribution of hrd at strategic and operational levels
Contribution of HRD at Strategic and Operational Levels


  • Focus of organizational survival
  • is the Core organizational competence
  • For effectiveness: organizations must be capable of applying existing knowledge but also create new knowledge at a rapid rate
theoretical frameworks for definition of ol
Theoretical Frameworks for Definition of OL
  • Attempts to develop a framework for integration
  • Focus on cognition and behavior
        • Before attempting to define OL, current perspectives need to be understood
  • Suggestions:
    • OL encompasses both cognition and behavior
    • Includes individual, group, and organizatinal levels of aggregation
    • Applies to various disciplines, needs to be entertained and the ambiguity accepted
current perspectives on ol
Current Perspectives on OL
  • Level(s) of aggregation – Can an organization learn?
  • Orientation – Is OL a behavioral or a cognitive process
  • Learning outcome – What is the outcome of the OL process
can an organizational learn
Can an Organizational Learn?
  • Researchers tend to view organizations as entities with qualities that promote and enable learning
    • Organization can be seen as a vehicle of learning
    • Intricate learning processes can be seen as located within the organization fiber – organizational memory, routines, systems of belief, and patterns of behavior
  • Organizations learn when they encode inferences from history into the routines that guide their behavior
  • Organizations learn when any of its components have acquired information, either by other components or itself, on behalf of the organization
can an organization learn
Can an Organization Learn?
  • One view: Individual cognitive aspect emphasized - Organizations are made up of individuals, therefore, organizations learn when these individuals learn
    • Organizations are product of thought and action of their members. Learning, in this view, takes place when thought structure changes
    • Problem: Organizations may know more or less than individual members (organizational memory)
can an organization learn1
Can an Organization Learn?
  • Second View: The ‘communities of practice’ approach - Clusters of individual members are the agents who learn and act on behalf of the organization.
  • The communities of practice can be defined as a ‘naturally occurring and evolving collection of people who engage in particular kinds of activity together, and come to develop and share ways of doing things – ways of talking, beliefs, values, and practices – as a result of their joint involvement in that activity’
  • Problem: The learning outcomes of these clusters may not be diffused through the larger organization
can an organization learn2
Can an Organization Learn?
  • View 3: Organizations are living organisms with personalities, histories, and memories. These organizations are characterized by channels of communication, information systems, procedures and routines, systems of incentives, and common patterns of behavior
ol and aim of hrd
OL and Aim of HRD
  • Understand the wider organizational challenges and the capabilities needed to compete in the future
  • Establish organization-wide processes to enable the organization, as well as its members, to learn
deciding upon the ol perspective
Deciding upon the OL Perspective

Most definitions of OL combine aspects of cognitive and behavioral changes

  • Cognition: knowledge, understanding and insights
  • Behavior: potential (lessons learned) and actual (observable changed behavior)
cognition vs behavior learning
Cognition vs Behavior Learning

Some researchers separate behavior from cognitive learning

ol defined comprehensively
OL defined comprehensively

OL is a process through which an entity is capable of creating permanent change within a system. This change must be evident in the organizational memory

ol outcome indication of learning
OL outcome – indication of learning

OL outcome may differ according to:

  • Level of outcome
    • Individual, group, organizational, inter-organizational, or inclusive
  • Behavioral change -
    • Potential and visible behavioral changes
  • Change in cognitive structure
    • Changed knowledge, understandings, and insights
  • Type of learning
    • Single-loop (error detection & correction)
    • Double-loop (transformational, rationalizing)
      • Deuterolearning (learning how to learn)
  • Continuity/discontinuity of learning
    • Clear start and finish- measure after a learning intervention
learning organization
Learning Organization
  • Committed to the achievement of a desirable end state
  • Eclectic in evaluating ideas according to teir applicability
  • Derive from an action research agenda, where there is a close link between generating change and studying the nature of that change
  • More prescriptive stance and teaches the managers how to learn (but that is deuterolearning?)
  • Garvin: A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights
    • The process of knowledge creation is the foundation upon which a learning organization is built
skills of a learning organization
Skills of a Learning Organization
  • Systemic Problem Solving
    • Controlled testing with accuracy and precision
    • Understand the dynamic linkages between separate subsections of a larger system – balance scientific problem-solving with a more creative and holistic approach to seeing a problem
  • Experimentation with approaches
    • Systematic searching and testing of new knowledge – knowledge creation
  • Learning from own Experience and History
    • Notice and reflect upon mistakes (vs skilled incompeence)
skills of a learning organization1
Skills of a Learning Organization
  • Learning from Experience and Best practice of others
    • Belong to knowledge networks and share
    • Need open and attentive managers
  • Transferring knowledge throughout the organization
    • Transfer quickly and efficiently (important strategic concern) – avoid redundancies in experimentation and errors
hrd contribution at strategic operational level
HRD contribution at Strategic & Operational level
  • Organizational Learning
  • Learning Organization
  • Knowledge and Knowledge Management
  • Knowledge is central to the OL process
  • Significant input as well as output of the learning organization
  • Key Capital of the Learning Organization
    • Drucker: only key to sustainable competitive advantage
  • Unique resource that cannot be copied

Knowledge as Output

Intellectual Capital

That adds value to

Firm and individual


Knowledge as Input

Individual skills and

Organizational memory

Knowledge as Process

Experimentation and

Problem Solving

knowledge management
Knowledge Management
  • Conscious strategy of getting the right knowledge to the right people at the right time
  • Helping to share and put information into action in ways that strive to improve organizational performance
    • Conversion process: converting information into action
    • Element of efficiency: making sure that knowledge is timely and relevant
defining knowledge
Defining Knowledge
  • Knowledge is fluid and personal and cannot be forced, structured, or managed willfully. Knowledge management is, therefore, an odd couple
  • For KM: knowledge is made up of ‘separate units’ that can be added to an extant heap of knowledge and transformed from one type of knowledge to another
  • Data: Information system that may or may not contribute to a wider understanding . Often in the form of structured records
  • Information: Data that have been contextualized and categorized
defining knowledge1
Defining Knowledge
  • Knowledge is derived from data and information. It is subjective in nature, and is intimately linked to individuals generating it.
    • Experience-based and personal in nature
    • When the information is compared and contrasted, further searching strengthens particular understandings and these understandings are then acted upon
knowledge defined
  • A fluid mix of framed experiences, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers. In organizations, it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practies, and norms
categorization of knowledge
Categorization of Knowledge
  • Tacit Knowledge: We always know more than we can tell
    • Embodied skills: Highly personal and diffuclt to formalize and communicate
      • Subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches
      • Key to sustainable competitive advantage

Tacit Knowledge (Subjective) Explicit Knowledge (Objective)

Knowledge of experience


Element of a system

Simultaneous knowledge (here and now)


Analogue knowledge (Practice)

No observable

Knowledge of rationality



Sequential knowledge (there and then)


Digital knowledge (theory)


modes of knowledge conversion
Modes of Knowledge Conversion


tacit knowledge




tacit knowledge


explicit knowledge




explicit knowledge

These four modes integrate via certain processes to form the spiral of knowledge creation

spiral of knowledge
Spiral of Knowledge

Characteristics of knowledge spiral:

  • Discussion will be generated
  • All participants will be viewed as equal
  • Knowledge0creating discussions will generate new meaning
  • Many alternatives in a particular situation will be generated
  • The need for the sharing and collection of facts will be discussed
  • Subjective experiences will be shard to create organizational meaning
          • Team work and interactive learning is important in the process of knowledge creation
channels of knowledge creation
Channels of Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Creation: process that adds to the knowledge network (or memory) of the organization through the knowledge created by individuals

Channels of knowledge creation may include:

  • Language and signs
    • Must be aware of the knowledge and capable of expressing it
  • Tools
    • For problem solving
  • Marks
    • Results of acts established by the actor
              • Combine knowledge and knowing to create knowledge (tacit and explicit knowledge)
learning and knowledge
Learning and Knowledge
  • Experience-based learning will enable both knowledge and knowing to combine in the overarching learning experience
    • There is no knowledge other than the tacit knowledge
    • Explicit knowledge and knowing is learning and not knowledge (Polyani)
model of tacit knowing three intertwined strands
Model of Tacit Knowing: Three intertwined strands
  • Representation
    • Mental pictures and embedded patterns of how the system will work
  • Reflection and Dialogue
    • Review our mental pictures: questiontion and revise
  • Practice and Participation
    • The picture and the reflection will guide and inform: collective action or dialogue
knowledge types
Knowledge Types

Reason & Heron

  • Experiential Knowledge: through direct encounter
  • Practical Knowledge: knowing how to do something (skills or competence)
  • Propositional Knowledge: knowledge expressed in theory – grounded in experiential and practical knowledge
  • Presentational Knowledge: Order our tacit experiential knowledge into spatiotemporal patterns of imagery
knowledge types1
Knowledge Types

Blackler: Knowledge is an active process that is mediated, stiuated, provisional, pragmatic, and contested

  • Forms of Knowledge:
    • Embrained Knowledge: depends upon conceptual skills and cognitive abilities
    • Embodied Knowledge: action-oriented and partially explicit
    • Encultured Knowledge: shared understandings
    • Embedded Knowledge: in systemic routines
    • Encoded Knowledge: information conveyed in signs and symbols
          • Oblique distinctions
knowledge and hrd
Knowledge and HRD
  • Knowledge is a complex, fluid, and situational construct that cannot be managed in the strict sense of the word.
  • Creation and retention of knowledge can be facilitated through HRD processes and practices
knowledge management enablers
Knowledge Management Enablers
  • Establish a fit between the informal processes across the formal organization and knowledge requirements
    • Culture of the Organization:
      • Culture is the combination of shared history, unwritten rules and social norms that affect the behavior of everyone in the organization from top to bottom
      • Set of underlying beliefs to guide perceptions and communications
        • Cultural barriers: fragmentation, time-is-money, lack of incentive
    • Structure of the Organization
      • 3 levels of knowledge infrastructure:
        • self-directed transfer
        • knowledge services and networks
        • Facilitated transfer structure (boundary spanners)
    • Technology
knowledge management strategies
Knowledge Management Strategies

Two main categories of KM Strategies

  • Personalization Strategies
    • Applicable when individuals work with novel complex problems – who innovate to compete. This is knowledge creation rather than knowledge re-use
    • Key practices:
      • Interpersonal, cross-boundary and cross-organization networks
      • multidisciplinary teams
      • Open plan working spaces
      • Culture
  • Codification Strategies
    • Suitable for Knowledge reuse and explicit knowledge use
    • Key practices:
      • Company databases
      • Specification records, procedure manuals
      • Error detection, and correction records
      • Standardized formats for communication
      • Post project reports