An examination of leadership assumptions, interactions, and experiences concerning organizational learning in professional services firms

by Taylor, James E., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 128 pages; 3609627


This investigation of leadership's influence on the process of organizational learning answers the question: What must leadership do to ensure the success of organizational learning? The research was conducted as a qualitative inquiry, which utilized the responses to 10 open-ended interview questions collected from 20 research participants. All of the participants were either leaders or followers working in professional service organizations within the southeastern United States. The participating professional service organizations were representative of a cross-section of the 14 different professional service sectors. A mix of small, medium, and large professional service firms were represented in the study. The results of the research indicated that leaders should act as a motivator and encourager of learning, a provider of tools and opportunities, and be an active goal-setter and visionary for their organizations regarding organizational learning. Each of these leadership influences should be focused on a particular level within the organization. On an individual level, a leader should act as a motivator and encourager of learning by presenting organizational learning as an important part of the organization and an avenue to attain individual and organizational goals. From a larger organizational perspective, a leader should focus their influence on providing the tools and opportunities needed for the organization to learn. Lastly, a leader needs to be strategic and utilize learning as a tool to achieve positive outcomes and shape the organization. By focusing on these three influences, a leader can play a significant role in the removal of organization learning barriers. The removal of such barriers can make significant strides in the development of a competitive advantage through well-defined and strategically-viable organizational learning processes.

AdviserClifford Butler
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3609627

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