Our online diagnostic tool is designed to help you answer two questions about the organizational unit that you lead or in which you work: “To what extent is your unit functioning as a learning organization?” and “What are the relationships among the factors that affect learning in your unit?” People who complete the survey rate how accurately a series of brief, descriptive sentences in each of the three building blocks of learning describe their organization and its learning culture. For the list of statements in the complete survey, information about where to find it online, and details about how it works, see the exhibit “Assess the Depth of Learning in Your Organization.”
With this set of moves we can see how Chris Argyris and Donald Schön connect up the individual world of the worker and practitioner with the world of organization. Their focus is much more strongly on individual and group interactions and defenses than upon systems and structures (we could contrast their position with that of Peter Senge 1990, for example). By looking at the way that people jointly construct maps it is then possible to talk about organizational learning (involving the detection and correction of error) and organizational theory-in-use. For organizational learning to occur, ‘learning agents’, discoveries, inventions, and evaluations must be embedded in organizational memory’ (Argyris and Schön 1978: 19). If it is not encoded in the images that individuals have, and the maps they construct with others, then ‘the individual will have learned but the organization will not have done so’ ( op. cit. ).