Learning from Work: Designing Organizations for Learning and Communication

Learning from Work: Designing Organizations for Learning and Communication

by Anne Beamish
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804757151

ISBN-13: 9780804757157

Pub. Date: 01/28/2008

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Gaining a thorough understanding of today's complex workplace is of vital importance to both business professionals and academics-not only because it leads to a deeper understanding of individual motivation in the work context, but also because it reveals ways in which work practices can be improved. This requirement for both understanding and action is especially

Overview

Gaining a thorough understanding of today's complex workplace is of vital importance to both business professionals and academics-not only because it leads to a deeper understanding of individual motivation in the work context, but also because it reveals ways in which work practices can be improved. This requirement for both understanding and action is especially pressing in the area of "learning in organizations" as businesses have become ever more "knowledge-based." There is now an urgent need to comprehend how people and organizations learn, and then to store and transfer the resulting new knowledge to facilitate the design of work environments and practices.

Learning from Work directly addresses this growing workplace need by examining how people communicate and learn in one of the most complex of industry structures: the automobile industry. It is the very nature of this industry's complexity that makes this study so valuable. The combination of global scale, plus the nature of the relationships between the manufacturers and the dealerships (the dealerships are independent businesses that are only loosely coupled to the manufacturers) make the barriers to communication and learning quite high, and the solutions to overcoming them applicable in many different work environments.

Anne Beamish suggests that the only way to increase learning and improve collaboration and communication in complex organizations is to apply design thinking. This is the only comprehensive method, she claims, that can unleash the kind of innovative and effective solutions required to overcome the inherent structural, procedural, and political barriers.

About the Author:
Anne Beamishis the Research Director of ArchNet-a research group within the Design Laboratory in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT concerned with the application of design principles in a range of contexts

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804757157
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Background     2
The Problem     5
Design     7
Identifying Obstacles     12
Automobile Dealerships-Past and Present     16
History of Automobile Dealerships     16
Automobile Dealerships Today     23
Work Practice     31
Service Department     31
Sales Department     37
The Work of Dealership Employees     42
Obstacles to Learning and Communication     50
The Physical Environment     50
The Medium     54
Content: Learning and Communication     64
The Individual     90
Cultural and Social Environment     96
Economic and Work Environment     105
Synthesis and Evaluation     110
Obstacles to Learning and Communication     111
Designing Solutions     127
Conclusion     141
Notes     147
References     155
Index     163

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