D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2011.
The genesis and evolution of dynamic organizational learning capabilities within the strategic product management process
211 pages. UMI #: AAT 3477400
Bibliographic Record in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
Researchers suggest that a new type of global enterprise will thrive in the new millennium. Organizations will build new competitive advantages by discovering, accessing, mobilizing, and leveraging knowledge. However, these new ideals and models appear to lack practical methodologies that transform knowledge-based concepts into dynamic capabilities that can be leveraged to create and sustain wealth. There is a lack of academic research on how organizations can effectively operationalize organizational learning (OL) concepts in strategic planning, a vital process for creating competitive advantage. In this study, OL dynamic capability, its resultant learning mechanism, organizational learning, and firm performance were studied by applying a mixed-model approach to an experimental and control group of junior and senior college students. The study was conducted in an industrial business environment simulated via a computer-generated decision-making exercise. The experimental model used the Global Business Game World Edition, a large-scale business simulation that requires strategic planning and efficient implementations on the part of management teams. Both perceptual and financial data were used to triangulate the effects among organizational learning, firm performance, and strategic management skill. Despite inconsistencies in implementation, this study suggests that operationalized OL mechanisms yield improvements in organizational learning and firm performance and that a fundamental order and structure process will yield an operational framework for a dynamic and fluid system such as organizational learning. Further, the results suggest that accelerated learning rates were positively influenced by increased activity in systems thinking, action learning, spatial interrelationships, and knowledge transfer iterations. Finally, results suggest that embedding and enhancing traditional strategic planning methods with specific OL attributes related positively to increases in learning and firm performance. The study will add to the management body of knowledge by illustrating the capabilities firms use in learning to learn, identified as a need for future research. The operationalization of learning capabilities can help managers understand how organizational learning can be integrated into strategy development, execution, and evaluation.