June 12, 2016

Organisational Learning and knowledge management. Same or different?

Organizational learning and knowledge management are often considered to be similar and are used as per convenience in business context but there is a small difference between the two term concepts. Organizational learning focuses on individuals, teams, and organizations becoming smarter, that is, the goal is to make individuals in the organization smarter. Knowledge management, on the other hand, stresses on the knowledge that resides in the brains of employees, how to manage it and do something with it so as to enable them in performing their job better so as to achieve organizational objectives better. The basic difference between organizational learning and knowledge management is where one starts and how one gets the results. Successful KM and organizational learning programs probably will end up at the same place in the end - making individuals in the organization smarter and better learners who then use the available knowledge in the best possible way.

The major difference may exist in acedmaic world where researchers trying to study and undersand the relationship of both topics. OL focuses on the process, and KM focuses on the content, of the knowledge that an organization acquires, creates, processes and eventually uses. Another way to conceptualize the relationship between the two areas is to view OL as the goal of KM. By motivating the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, KM initiatives pay off by helping the knowledge into organizational processes so that it can continuously improve its practices and behaviors and pursue the achievement of its goals. From this perspective, organizational learning is one of the important ways in which the organization can sustainably improve its utilization of knowledge.

For me, knowledge management is, not one of the only way but one of the vital paths, to create a learning organization, which is more than great significance in today's changing world.

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