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Organizational Learning in Bangladesh



As organizations grow, they tend to improve through experiences. Theseexperiences create knowledge which is broad and covers any aspect of the business that can augment the performance of the business such as ways to increase production efficiency or to buildingadvantageous investor relations. This process of acquiring knowledge through experience over time is known as organizational learning. Formally, organizational learning is defined as a process that creates, retains, and transfers knowledge within an organization. The knowledge creation takes place at four different levels within the organization, namely individual, group, organizational, and inter-organizational. The learning process involves interaction at each of these levels to produce higher levels of experience and knowledge to enhance the performance of the organization in their pursuit of achieving organizational goals (Popova-Nowak, Csesh, 2015).

a) Critically analyse and critique the major theories of organisational learning.

c) Critically review and evaluate the reasons for different approaches to change, and demonstrate an ability to apply this understanding to volatile or novel organisational contexts.

d) Critically analyse and critique common perspectives on the role of, and relationship between, individuals, teams and leaders in the change processes.

e) Integrate biblical frameworks into a contemporary understanding of organisational learning and change.

f) Integrate the concepts of organisational learning, strategic and innovative change management with leadership theory and practice Criteria for Assessment.

The Country

Bangladesh came into existence in the year 1971 when they separated themselves from Pakistan in a battle for freedom. Despite being a small country with a heavy density of population of 167 million (World Population Review, 2018), the Bangladeshi economy is the 32nd largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity. According to the United Nation's report, Bangladesh is the third fastest growing economy in the world so far asattaining high Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 is concerned(Ahasan, 2019).

Over the last few decades, the country has grown at an average rate of 6.5%, led by the textile industry which witnessed a surge in exports together with emerging Pharmaceutical, IT industry and Defence.The United Nations has projected a growth rate of 7.4% for the year 2019.The agricultural sector of Bangladesh is also growing with its most fertile landsproducing primary cash crops like jute, rice, tea, cotton, wheat, and sugarcane.

Recently, Bangladesh went through a radical improvement in its energy infrastructure along with rapid growth in the telecommunication industry supported by high investment from foreign companies. With substantial reserves of natural gas and coal, the country has a great potential inproduction and exploration of energy in the Bay of Bengal.

Discuss any five key barriers to organisational learning in organisations in your home country.

Key Barriers to Organizational Learning In Firms Of Bangladesh

There can be several barriers to organizational learning including resistance to change, ignoring the sensitive issues, lack of direct leadership, disregard for team success, lack of value for learning and knowledge transfer, short-term focus and too much control (Schilling and Kluge, 2009). However, there can be many other barriers depending on the socio-economic status of an economy. Bangladesh is a growing economy with rather primitive organizational practices. Ideas like organizational learning are yet to take root there because of many barriers. Here, five such barriers to organizational learningare discussed which are most relevant for Bangladesh.

One of the biggest barriers to organizational learning in Bangladesh is trust as has been identified by Hasan, Tushar and Ahmed (2016) in their research. Trust is the core of team dynamics, and it ensures how well a team can perform and learn from their experiences. If the team members cannot trust each other, then the functioning of the team becomes difficult, and there will be limited organizational learning.As a result of the lack of trust, team success is never given any recognition. It is always an individual success that is rewarded. Individuals learn from their experiences, but due to lack of trust they never share those experiences with others.Consequently, whatever organizational learning is generated is never percolated to different levels of the organization causing the organization to losevaluable learnings from experiences.

Another problem that organizations in Bangladesh face, which hamper their organizational learning, is a lack of commitment to learning. The managers in the companies are not interested in acting in a fashion that would influence member learning. They mainly focus on getting the job done by the people. They seldom exhibit any symbolic behaviour that may remotely stimulate staffs to commit to learning.Most organizations do not have a culture of encouraging learning (Taylor, Templeton and Baker, 2010).

Organizations in Bangladesh have less tolerance for failure. They tend to punish errors. This constitutes another barrier to organizational learnings. They also do not support employees committing errors to identify their lacuna and cover them up with knowledge and learning. Majority of the companies do not see failures as something to be analyzed. Rather, they believe in reprimanding those who commit errors or get rid of them.As a result, the organization misses the opportunity of learning from the experience of failure and improve their performance in the future (Singteantrakul, 2008).

The leadership of the organizations in Bangladesh are yet to realize the importance or organizational learning. They mostly emphasis on the economic and financial aspects of the business failing to understand the fine aspects like organizational learning. These concepts have not reached to the priority list of leadership. The reasons may be that businesses in the country are in their nascent stage. The economy has started growing and show improvements. It is economic aspects that matter more for the leaders than sophisticated concepts like organizational learning which many think to be a luxury at their stage of existence (Vicharn, 2007).

Organizations in Bangladesh are still operating on a strict hierarchy and control mechanism. There is rarely any openness or space for discussion or dissemination of experiences and gather some learning thereof. Too much control of the functioning of the organizations from the leadership until the managerial level makes the environment rather claustrophobic. And an oppressive environment cannot encourage organizational learning. There is less freedom for people to apply their mind. They mostly carry out orders and are expected to do that with efficiency (Zhu and Sun, 2010).


Explain in detail, any four (4) strategies that that can be implemented to improve organisational learning.

Strategies to Improve Organizational Learning

Some strategies can be used to develop a culture of organizational learning within the organizations. The first strategy is to modify the culture of the organization to encourage learning, which is easier said than done. The leadership plays the most crucial role here in altering the culture. There must be a higher degree of openness, free flow of communication and easy access to data. Learning must be a part of day-to-day practice and not through classroom sessions or lecturing. The leaders must support the cause of workplace learning by making data-driven decisions. They must encourage employees to go for trainings andlearning new skills to keep themselves updated. Those newly recruited will also be made aware of learning through experience and sharing them with others (Winkler and Fyffe, 2016).

Secondly, an environment of trust and integrity needs to be established so that people feel safe to share their opinion, experience, and understanding. Here also, the role of the leadership and them angers are key in this process. Through their conducts and policies,they can instil the sense of trust among people working for them.There must be transparency in data and knowledge sharing with due credit going to the right person. The managers must encourage these practicesto develop trust among the employees. Linking performance of teams with learning can be a way to serve this purpose. This will encourage members of teams to exchangeknowledge and learnings to enhance the performance of their teams. There must be a reward system for learning leaders and their teams who have developed organizational learning and contributed to the progress of the company (Majumder, 2017).

Third,leaders need to develop a reflective culture in the companies to inculcate organizational learning. Failures are rich sources of learning. Instead of punishing errors, these companies should analyse the errors and learn from them. Those involved in committing errors should be given ample scope to learn to from their mistakes. The causes of mistakes must be detected, and if any skill gap is found, necessary training should be given so that in future such issues do not arise.Managers can also conduct an analysis of core capability gap to remove the barrier to organizational learning (Wang and Ahmed,2002).

Fourth, less control and more autonomy also help the organization learning process. Thus, companies need to restructure the skeleton of their organizations to allow for more freedom and autonomy. The employees must be encouraged to participate and apply their knowledge and understandings in their work so that others can learn from them. The manager should be more democratic in their approach andgive the employees adequate space for operating independently.A higher level of autonomy infused with a sense of trust will develop an organizational culture of learning and sharing that will benefit the organization in the long run.

Support your discussion on the barriers with examples drawn from your home country.


The businesses in Bangladesh gradually realize the importance of organizational learning as an integral part of their regular operation. This has led to different studies investigating the barriers to organizational learning in the companies based in the country. The significant areas of concern have been issues with trust, lack of leadership and managerial initiative to encourage learning within the organizations, and less tolerance for failures. Several strategies are there to deal with these issues some of which have been discussed in the easy as an initiative from the leadership, encouraging reflective thinking, taking various trust-building measures, providing more freedom and autonomy.


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