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Organizational Learning and Performance


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About the Author

Ryan E. Smerek is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Academic Affairs in the Master's of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in higher education and organizational behavior and management. His dissertation on the simultaneous "being and learning" of new college and university presidents won the Best Dissertation Award from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. He also received an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College in economics. He has researched and published in the areas of learning and new executives, decision-making, job satisfaction, and organizational culture. He has worked at Dove Consulting in Boston, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and Denison Consulting - a culture and leadership assessment firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


"Building a culture of learning is crucial for organizational performance. Simply put, those who fail to learn will be left behind. Ryan E. Smerek's new book draws upon our best knowledge to help organizations develop a robust learning culture." --Michael Bastedo, Professor and Director, School of Education, University of Michigan

"Organizational Learning and Performance is an excellent and well-written introduction to factors that drive people's ability to learn and the things organizations can do to promote the acquisition of knowledge. This book will benefit anyone who wants to truly understand the factors that can turn any firm into a learning organization." --Arthur B. Markman, Professor of Psychology and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas and author of Smart Thinking
"Organizations function in various ways. Some value the bottom line; others value their employees such that they choose to create learning cultures within the organizations. Smerek presents concepts about the value of supporting employees by focusing on ways in which companies foster learning. The first part focuses on the ways some individuals make the move to become learners and find ways to foster learning within their organizations. The recognition of the value of employees within an organization is the product of who they are and the culture in which they work.
In the second section, the ways corporations choose to develop learning cultures focuses on the leaders of organizations who worked to empower employees. Recognizing that leaders often understand their own ability to access power, the concept presented offers a more thoughtful approach, one that good leaders use to promote rather than suppress learning among their employees. The idea of developing social norms to promote learning encourages the potential to achieve positive aspirations. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty." --CHOICE

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