Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Measuring Organizational Learning. Model Testing in Two Romanian Universities

Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Measuring Organizational Learning. Model Testing in Two Romanian Universities

Article excerpt


The knowledge that is accumulated through organizational learning is associated with superior performances for organizations (Senge, 2006; Garvin, 1998 in Curado, 2006). It can also be associated with a higher flexibility in strategic thinking and action and with a faster reaction to the changes that appear in the environment (Volberda, 1996 in Curado, 2006). Suciu (2006) mentions that competitive advantages are mainly derived from intangible assets and the notion of "intangible assets" is interchangeable with that of "intellectual capital" (Jianu and Brätianu, 2007).

Intellectual capital is composed of human capital, structural (or organizational) capital and customer or relational capital (Brätianu, 2014 after Stewart, 1999; Andriessen, 2004; Roos et al., 2005). These components are assigned to the canonical model or the standard model of intellectual capital (see Bratianu, 2014). However, these components can be seen in many models that are part of the static or the dynamic intellectual capital paradigm (Bratianu, 2014). The static intellectual capital paradigm views intellectual capital as a stock (Brätianu, 2004 after Chatzkel, 2000), while the dynamic intellectual capital paradigm refers to stocks and flows (Bratianu, 2014 after Edvinsson, 2002; Andriessen 2004; Roos et al., 2005; Nissen, 2006), thus the change from the first paradigm to the second implies seeing knowledge as a flow.

A newer paradigm, the entropie intellectual capital paradigm, sees intellectual capital as being composed of a potential field of intangibles and an operational field of intangibles (Bratianu, 2014). In regard to this paradigm, integrators gain a high significance. Integrators are considered to be powerful fields of forces that can combine elements into a new entity, taking into consideration the interdependence and the synergy (Bratianu 2007a, 2007b). This model is based on cognitive, emotional and spiritual capital, and not on human, structural and relational capital like traditional frameworks (Brätianu, 2014).

Considering the importance of knowledge and other intangible assets in the present business environment, we can argue that organizational learning is highly significant. Bratianu and Orzea (2010) appreciate that organizational learning is necessary for the survival of a business. We appreciate that this is true not only in the case of profit-based organizations, but also in the case of higher education institutions. We appreciate that the academic environment can develop and can reach better performances and master sustainable competitive advantages primarily by changing from the inside, not at the request coming from the outside. For universities, in particular, learning is part of the daily activities, but, according to Bratianu (2007b), they might be faced with a paradox: "although a university is an organization based on learning processes, it is not necessarily a learning organization" (p. 375) in any organization: there are two types of processes the production process and the management process (Bratianu, 2007b after Bratianu et al., 2006). In the case of universities, the production process is a learning process, but, in order for a university to be a learning organization, the management process needs to be a learning process too (Brätianu, 2007b).

Learning organizations are considered by Senge (2006, p. 3): "organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together". Brätianu (2007b) states that universities have the possibility to become learning organizations "if and only if there is at least a strong integrator to assure the transition from individual learning to team and organizational learning" (p. 385). Integrators play a significant role in transforming members' individual contributions, such as individual knowledge, individual intelligence or individual values into organizational knowledge, organizational intelligence or organizational values. …

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