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Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Second Edition by MARJORIE A. LYLES, MARK EASTERBY-SMITH

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Discussion

As work becomes more decentralized and more informally coordinated, members of organizations increasingly span the boundaries of multiple work teams and organizational units. Building a knowledge base about learning in these arrangements of teams and smaller work units is thus critical, as they constitute the basis for learning throughout the organization. Here, we have highlighted three different perspectives on conceptualizing and measuring team learning. Although these three streams of research involve different theoretical orientations, research methods, and samples, it would be shortsighted to say they represent the full taxonomy of learning teams.

Learning teams are concerned with improving outcomes, coordinating knowledge, and developing effective processes to one degree or another. Further, a team’s focus may shift from one goal to another as the team’s work evolves, integrating mechanisms that have traditionally been the focus of different lines of research. Similarly, team-learning researchers have begun to consider more than one stream in their research. For example, some research in the learning curve stream focused on improving efficiency by building effective group processes (Bunderson and Boumgarden, 2011). Another study combines the group process and task mastery streams by investigating the association between team learning behaviors (and its antecedents) and mutually shared cognition on team effectiveness (Van den Bossche, Gijselaers, Segers, and Kirshner, ...

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