O'Reilly logo

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

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Organizational Learning and Social Identity

A manufacturing or service value chain relies on the ability to combine and recombine the distinct competencies provided by different groups (Teece et al., 1997). These groups provide the knowledge and skills that enable organizations both to perform effectively in the present and to learn in preparation for the future. Thus, scientific professionals contribute knowledge essential to innovation, and foreign partners can provide invaluable knowledge for operating in new territories. However, while the source of their value resides in the differentiated competencies held separately by such groups, its realization for effective organizational learning requires a degree of reconciliation and integration between them. Here social identity can present obstacles.

The social identity of organizational groups is vested in the systems and bodies of knowledge that they perceive they own. Their members attribute symbolic value to that knowledge and regard themselves as having a right to arbitrate over this value. The implications for the management of organizational learning are very significant. First, the identity of the groups party to an organization will be attached to, and manifest in, their existing practices, thus legitimizing such practices as acceptable conventions. Changes to practice implicit in a policy of promoting organizational learning may therefore be perceived as a threat to social identity, with the result that the people concerned ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required