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Creative tension in learning organizations and the role of leadership

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ING Group Greece - Sidma SA - Telesis Securities

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  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Defining the learning organization
  4. The principles of a learning organization
  5. Learning as a means to reach organizational goals
  6. Effective leadership
  7. Creative tension in a learning organization
  8. How creative tension occurs
  9. Creative tension and organizational achievement
  10. Organizational commitment
  11. The role of effective leadership
  12. Conclusions
  13. References

Learning organizations develop and sustain an environment, which stimulates the power of learning in all organizational members, allowing organizational flexibility and adaptability. Successful organizations use the power of learning in order to produce the maximum benefit for the organization, but also to communicate to the workforce that the key element for organizational success is not cumulative knowledge, but the ability to exploit new learning opportunities at a fast pace.
Moreover, increasing market rivalry necessitates organizational flexibility. Modern organizations need to be incessantly ready to adapt to new market realities, mainly because the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers defines the market conditions, requiring from the organizations flexible organizational structures. Within this context, leadership needs to build adequate structures and to provide to all organizational members new learning opportunities. During the transformation process, the mental models of how organizational members perceive organizational culture need to shift towards a new perspective.

[...] Creative Tension and Organizational Achievement Any organizational member has the capacity to learn and to share knowledge, transforming learning into a valuable and incessant tool of organizational development and advancement, when shared (Kerka, 1995). However, while all people have the capacity to learn, the structures in which they function may not encourage commitment. Also, organizational members may lack the tools and/or the guiding ideas to transform their experiences into knowledge. The degree to which creative tension could lead to organizational achievement, as a result of conflicting objectives and the need for organizational change, depends on the degree of creativity and discipline applied during the transformation process. [...]

[...] References Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (1998). The myth of the learning society. Inside the Learning Society, London: Cassell. Kerka, S. (1995). The learning organization: myths and realities. Eric Clearinghouse Kolb. D. A., Fry, R. (1975.) Toward an applied theory of experiential learning. In C. Cooper (ed.) Theories of [...]

[...] Within the context of organizational transformation, creative tension is the primary source of energy for leaders, who cause intellectual stimulation and know how to exploit the creative energy in order to identify complex cause-and-effect relationships and offer incentives to the workforce. Yet, the degree to which creative tension could lead to organizational achievement depends on organizational creativity and discipline as reflected in a consistent and mutually supportive organizational vision, which generates creative tension consciously and not as a random outcome of ill-defined processes. [...]

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