Organizational Learning and Crisis

(i)Module of Work Accomplished

I have completed all the module assignments and reports to date. I feel that all these assignments and reports will help me as I interact with my fellow employees and clients. Although I found it difficult to understand how to apply the concepts proposed by Haunschild and Sulivan in daily management of routines, I understood these concepts after interacting with my classmates.

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(ii)Learning from readings and Fellow Set Members

I learnt several things in this module and as I interacted with my fellow members. The article by Christianson, Frakas, Sutchiffe and Weick (2009) on learning through rare events made me realize that overreliance on routines may lead to the organization’s failure. From this article I was also able to learn the three organization routines that include relating, restructuring and interpreting. From this article I learnt the importance of management viewing a crisis as a temporary setback and not as a threat, which causes an end to its organization’s life. This is because if it takes this approach, employees will be able to learn through crisis as they may gain new skills of preventing potential organizational failure.

The article by Smith and Elliot (2007) helped me in learning the possible barriers that may face an organization as it tries to learn from crisis by facing it. I learnt that main barriers that faced the organization’s learning were rigid core beliefs and ineffective communication. This made me visualize on how I would help to change our organization’s beliefs in order to promote our learning process. I also learnt that in order to promote effective communication in our firm, I had to encourage brainstorming from our employees. From the article by Haunschild and Sulivan (2002) I came to learn several factors that caused accidents and incidents in the airline industry. These factors had heterogeneous and homogeneous causes. From their studies and researches, it became clear to me that organizations learn better from heterogeneous causes compared to homogeneous causes. From the article of Crossan, Lane and White (1999) I learnt on the steps that employees have to pass through before they learn effectively from a crisis. These steps are intuiting, interpreting, integrating and institutionalizing. Moreover, I learnt the three level process of learning from the Simon and Pauchant’s article (2000). After revisiting this article with my classmates, I learnt that our organization was on the second level of learning. As I interacted with my fellow members, I learnt on different routines they had applied in their organizations. This motivated me to suggest strategies that  our organization could adopt in order to avoid external pressures due to rigid and ineffective routines.

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(iii)Application of concepts from classroom

From the concept of learning from rare events proposed by March, Sproull and Tamuz, I learnt on how to formulate rare events that may face our organization. I discovered that our company could face liquidity problems that could threaten our going concern. From this rare event I proposed to the management of our firm on how to ensure that the cash liquidity ratio of our firm was favorable in order to avoid bankruptcy risks. I also changed my routine on the time that I arrived to the organization since I learnt external pressures which could threaten the way I handle my daily clients.

(iv)Additional Reflections

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My position in the real picture is that of a regional portfolio director. I am seeking to look for new investments that will improve our overall portfolio and bring more returns to our company and thus this will increase our client base. This is because our clients will be earning more income if they purchase our private equity investment products. Other employees will support this change since it will improve our brand and make us to be a market leader in private equity investment industry. The understanding and knowledge that I am generating will provide a resource for leadership. This is because I have learnt on benefits of the teamwork in change and thus I will be encouraging the participatory management. This will help the employees to come up with diverse opinions on how we can become the market leaders.

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