Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Importance of Shared Information

Shared information is important in a learning organization as compared to an efficient performance organization because, sharing information promotes communications and collaboration so that every one is involved in identifying and solving various problems, thus enabling the organization to continuously experiment, improve, and increase its capability. Moreover, in the learning organization sharing information keeps the organization functioning at an optimum level, rather than using information to control employees, a significant part of the managers’ job is to find ways to open up channels of communication so that ideas flow in all directions. Further more, learning organizations maintain open lines of communication with customers, suppliers and even competitor to enhance learning capabilities. In addition when an Information Technology process is implemented properly it plays a great role of keeping people across the organization connected.
Organization approach to information sharing might be related to other elements of organization design such as structure, task, strategy and culture. First let’s check on the correlation between information sharing and the structures. Since the time of Adam Smith (1776) organizations information was kept by the top executives and the design of the organizations were structured vertically for the purpose of efficient productions and in-depth skill development. The hierarchy of authority provided sensible mechanism for supervision and total control in large organizations, and strategy was formulated by top management and imposed on the organization. Major decisions such as, how the organization can best respond to competition, efficiently use of resources and environmental changes were made by the executive. How ever, with rapid changes with unpredictable environment most organizations are changing from the traditional vertical structures in to horizontal structures such as learning organization. The new structures disband the boundaries between the top management and the workers in the technical core dramatically flattening the vertical structures.
The change of the structures engineers changes in tasks performances from routine tasks to empowered roles. The vertical structures advocated precisely defining each job and how it should be performed. For example, tasks were broken down into specialized separate parts as in a machine, and then a task was assigned to a worker. How ever, the new structure calls upon the empowering of the workforce and role playing is mandatory. Moreover, the role has discretion and responsibility, allowing the person to use his/ her discretion and ability to achieve an outcome or meet certain goals.
The empowered employees changes the strategy of doing business, For example in a learning organization since all employees are in touch with customers, suppliers and interconnected with technology, they help in identifying needs and find solutions thus participating in strategy making. Moreover, strategy emerges from partnerships with suppliers, customers, and even competitors experimenting to find the best way to learn and adapt. This diffuses the boundaries and competition is reduced to collaboration among organizations. However, this alteration of the old rigid culture into a more adaptive culture is necessary.
The new collaboration strategy forces organizations to move from the rigid to adaptive cultures in order to remain economically sound, the new culture encourages adaptation to the external environment. In learning organizations the culture encourages openness, equality, continuous improvement and change. Status symbols like dining rooms are discarded car parking’s are regulated, but most importantly people in the organization are a ware of the whole system, how everything fits together and how various parts of the organization interacts with one another and the environment. Each worker becomes a valued contributor and the organization becomes a place for creating a web of relationships that enables people to horn their talents and exploit full potential.
The greatest glory is rising-up whenever I fall.

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