Making Organizational Learning Work: Lessons from a High Reliability Organization

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This paper reports findings from an ongoing study to understand the dynamics of operational reliability. Previously, the study identified weaknesses in organizational settings that inhibited learning opportunities, specifically the ability to learn from failure (Sullivan et al., 2008). Effective organizational learning strategies are critical in promoting operational reliability, specifically recovering from operational failures or preventing them altogether (Sullivan, 2007). There is considerable debate over the effectiveness of organizational learning and there is evidence that shows that it can, and in some cases must, work. The U.S. Navy demonstrates exceptional learning capabilities, learning from failure and even learning without failure. Further, the Navy’s knowledge management practices have proven effective over time as generations of military personnel, civil servants, and contractors learn from the experiences of their predecessors (Sullivan, 2007).

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International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, v. 3, issue 3, art. 5, p. 54-61