Universities as learning organizations: Implications and challenges
Wambua, Kyalo Benjamin
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The learning organization is a concept that is becoming an increasingly widespread philosophy in modern organizations, from largest multinationals to the smallest ventures. As initially conceived by Senge (1990), the learning organization has a strongly humanist orientation, being a place where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together. In order to implement learning organization techniques, public universities should tackle the five disciplines essential to a learning organization - team learning, shared vision, mental models, personal mastery and systems thinking. This paper poses the following questions: how are public universities committed to the following: creating continuous learning opportunities; promoting inquiry and dialogue; encouraging collaboration and team learning; establishing systems to capture and share learning; empowering people towards a collective vision, and connecting the organization to its environment? The paper proposes the need for radical re¬thinking and re-engineering of the core functions of public universities in developing countries.