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Organisational Learning and Design

duration Duration: 1 Teaching Period

unit code Unit Code: ORG30001

contact hours Contact Hours: Recommended 8 hours of study per week

About this unit

This unit is designed to enable students to develop an understanding of the key factors that influence organisational design. Traditional, contemporary, and emerging organisational designs will be considered as responses to environmental conditions and to change. Particular consideration will be given to how different organisational designs reflect management attitudes to the creation, control, and dissemination of knowledge in organisations to facilitate effective problem solving and decision making. Another focus will be how new organisational designs are emerging to enable organisations to deal with rapid change, a more global focus, external stakeholder needs, and knowledge requirements which characterise the business environment of the 21st century. The role of the HRM and Organisational Development functions in facilitating the creation of learning communities will also be explored.


  • Introduce the concept of a learning organisation
  • Identify traditional, contemporary, and emerging organisational designs, and evaluate them in terms of management concepts and environmental considerations
  • Distinguish explicit and tacit knowledge and how each is shared, particularly considering how electronic communication technologies can foster and support the development of learning communities within the organisation
  • Explore the role of Human Resource Management and Organisational Development functions to enhance organisational learning
  • Consider how organisation design can enhance Training and Development practices to create and support learning organisations
  • Explore the usefulness of electronic technologies in creating and disseminating the explicit and tacit knowledge held in the organisation