A Complex Systems Paradox of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management
Many organizations are striving to survive and remain competitive in the current uncertain and rapidly changing economic environment. Businesses must innovate to face this volatility and maintain their competitiveness. Organizational learning is a complex process with many interrelated elements linking knowledge management with organizational innovation. In this paper we use several theories (i.e., organizational learning, knowledge management, organizational innovation, complexity theory, and systems theory) to discover and study the interrelationships among the organizational learning elements. The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) We identify organizational learning as a mediating variable between knowledge management and organizational innovation; (2) We further present a paradox where decisions that are expected to improve organizational learning, surprisingly do not work; and (3) We show this paradox is not the result of overlooking organizational learning elements, but rather, caused by neglecting to consider the complex interrelationships and interdependencies among them.
Ghili, Soheil; Nazarian, Serima; Tavana, Madjid; Keyvanshokouhi, Sepehr; and Isaai, Mohammad Taghi, "A Complex Systems Paradox of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management" (2013). Business Systems and Analytics Faculty Work. 239.