Espacios. Espacios. Vol. 31 (1) 2010. Pág. 26

The organizational learning in Colombia, Dominican Republic and Brazil

El aprendizaje organizacional en Colombia, República Dominicana y Brasil

Manuel Alfonso Garzón Castrillon* y André Luís Fischer **

Recibido: 10-10-09 - Aprobado: 02-11-09


This paper comprises a research developed in organizational learning in the management of knowledge research area. The design required a theoretical model, and it was applied to test 537 executives, from large, medium and small companies of Colombia Dominican Republic and Brazil. The general objective of the study is to characterize organizational learning and to determine how it influences the results of organizations. Observing the levels of significance it is possible to conclude that all considered hypotheses, were valid, finding that the capacity of organizational learning is directly influenced by the sources, the conditions and the culture of organizational learning.
Keywords: Capacity of learning, culture, sources and conditions for the learning organizational.

Este trabajo comprende una investigación desarrollada en el aprendizaje organizacional en la gestión del área de conocimiento de la investigación. El diseño requirió un modelo teórico y se aplicó la prueba a 537 ejecutivos de empresas grandes, medianas y pequeñas de Colombia, República Dominicana y Brasil.
El objetivo general del estudio es caracterizar el aprendizaje organizacional y para determinar cómo influye en los resultados de las organizaciones. Luego de bservados los niveles de significado es posible concluir que todas las hipótesis consideradas eran válidas, por considerar que la capacidad de aprendizaje de la organización está directamente influido por las fuentes, las condiciones y la cultura del aprendizaje organizacional.
Palabras claves: Capacidad de aprendizaje, cultura, aprendizaje organizacional.


Organizational learning is a field of academic research and professional practice with a relatively recent development. The omnipresence of knowledge in the diverse dimensions of organizations becomes an inter-phase and this depends fundamentally on the people.

Therefore the need to achieve an explicit answer for several questions coming from this postulate still persists. Learning in the organization is associated with a superior yield. The questions are: Which are the most feasible conditions to make this happen? ; Which are the more feasible subjects to make this happen? What are the sources that make it more feasible to happen? In which organizational culture is it more feasible for this to happen?

Organizational learning leads to the achievement of benefits or other results that reinforce the positioning and maintain competitiveness. The final question: Is organizational learning capability a great possibility to make contributions for the decision making process oriented to the company’s sustainability?

1. Problem

Are the learning capability of sources, subjects, culture and conditions for the learning process determinant for organizational results?

2. General objetive

To characterize the capacity of organizational learning and to determine how it influences the Colombian, Dominican and Brazilian organizations.

3. State of the art and identification of the speculative arguments

Literature on organizational learning has grown lately, not only in volume, but also in disorganizing the dimensions of the subject. The discipline is located in the confluence of different research fields of interdisciplinary forms as Dogs on (1993) states: psychology (cognition theory), sociology (culture), the economy (theory of the company/enterprise based on resources and the economy based on knowledge) finally, the administration has an important role on innovation, strategy, productivity, the decision making process and the organizational change. All these extend the complexity and the diversity of this issue.

4. Proposal of a theoretical model for organizational


Figure No 1
theoretical model for organizational learning

Source: Elaborated by the authors based on: Argyris (1999) ; Argyris & Schon( 1978); Beazly (2003); Blau & Scott (1962);Bandura (1991,2001): Cangeloisi &Dill(1965); Cyert&March (1963). ; Castañeda (2002); Choo (1999);Dixon (2001): Dogson (1993); Davenport et al (2001);Drucker (2000); Etkin (2003); Fiol y Liles (1985); Follet et al. (1960); Garvin (1992);Gore (1998); González de Rivera, (1997); Gold (1994); Hurbin (1996); López (2003); Krogh et al (2001); March (1991);March y Olsen (1976); Meister (1999);Muñoz-Seca (2003) ; Morgan(1996) Níkeles (1997); Nonaka y Takeuchi (1999); Polanyi, M.(1966);Peluffo et al (2002); Quintero et al (2003); Ruggles et al (1999); Schein, (1993); Senge (1992, 2000, 2002,2003); Tarín, (1997); Thurbin (1994); Tsoukas, (1994).

In the model of organizational learning of Garzón et al (2007), the dominant variables are "sources of organizational learning, subjects of organizational learning, culture for organizational learning and conditions for organizational learning".

Definition of organizational learning: It is the capacity of the organizations to create, organize and process information from its sources to generate new individual, equipment, organizational and Inter-organizational knowledge, generating a culture that facilitates and allows the conditions to develop new capacities, to design new products and services, to increase the existing supply and to improve processes, oriented to sustainability. : Elaborated by the authors based on: Krogh, et al, (2001); Etkin J (1999); Nonaka &Takeuchi (1999); Polanyi, (1966); Dixón (2001); Cutcher-Gershenfeld (2000).

Knowledge Typologies: The explicit knowledge which is the knowledge I specify, implicit knowledge and virtual knowledge. The conversion of knowledge is based on Nonaka et al (1999); Choo: (2003) who consider it as the socialization and transmission of the explicit knowledge between two or more people. The exteriorization is necessary so that the explicit knowledge has an effect in the organization. The combination, to reshape unequal bodies of knowledge I specify and the internalization, the transformation of the recently created knowledge through socialization, its exteriorization and combination.

5. Methodology

Sources of information

Primary source: Survey Likert Type.

Second Source: Documents, books, thesis, cases made on the research object, analyses of content of selected writings made by the best authors, without distinction of country or language that allowed a critical and reflective understanding of the phenomenon. We made an integral reading based on the content analysis. Software Atlas allowed the processing of the qualitative data, characterizing the contributions based on units of analyses whose descriptive contribution allowed an explanation of the problem.


For the sources of organizational learning, Conditions of organizational learning, the Culture for organizational learning and the capacity of organizational learning, in relation with the size of the company, the experience and the hierarchic level occupied in the organization:

Figure No 2
Methodological model

Source: Elaborated by the authors (2009)

The survey was the instrument used for the research. It was developed by means of methodology pictures, to structure an instrument composed of 138 items, with which to measure the creation and impulse of the organizational factor, which depends to a large extent, on its formulation and the knowledge and experience of the investigator.

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* Universidad del Norte. E-mail

Vol. 31 (1) 2010