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Birgonul, M T, Ozdogan, I D and Ataoglu, T (2002) Organizational learning as a performance driver in construction companies. In: Greenwood, D (Ed.), Proceedings 18th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2-4 September 2002, Northumbria, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 2, 647–56.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: learning mechanisms; organizational learning; performance drivers
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0 9534161 7 8
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2002-647-656_Birgonul_Dikmen_and_Ataoglu.pdf
  • Abstract:
    A learning organization is an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, transferring knowledge and modifying its behaviour to reflect new knowledge and insights (Garvin, 1993). Major competency of a learning organization is its flexibility and adaptability. Therefore, it is expected that as the learning ability of an organization increases, its performance should also increase in the long run. The objective of this paper is to present preliminary findings of an ongoing research about the importance of organizational learning as a performance driver in the Turkish construction industry. In this study, two indicators have been defined for measuring learning potential and performance in construction companies. In order to measure the ability of an organization to learn, a model that simulates linkages between the sources, mechanisms, values and policies that support learning has been constructed. Each item, defined as an enabler of organizational learning within the model, is listed in a questionnaire. Respondents are asked to denote the importance of these items for organizational learning as well as how frequently/effectively they are used within the organization. Following are the major headings of the questionnaire: Sources for individual learning, mechanisms/systems used to convert individual knowledge into corporate knowledge (team learning, sharing/storage of information, use of IT for handling information etc.), learning from other parties and existence of an organizational setting that supports learning. An index that takes into an account the utilization of learning sources and mechanisms as well as existence of a suitable organizational culture is calculated for each respondent company. Performance is also measured by a subjective reporting approach using volume of contract awards and profitability as performance indicators. In this paper, the model used to simulate organizational learning will be presented and how it can be used to increase learning in construction companies will be discussed.