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Invited speech @ Global HR Forum 2009, Korea August 26, 2009

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in change management, conferences, invited lectures, organizational culture.
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I am honoured to announce my invited talk at the Global HR Forum 2009, November 3-5, Seoul, Korea.  This is the major South Korean HR conference, with expected 4,ooo decision-makers from global corporations, educational institutions and government. In prevoius years, it hosted renowed speakers such as Bill Clinton (Former President of USA), Lee Myung-Bak (President of the Republic of Korea), Bill Gates (Chairman  of Microsoft), Jack Welch (Former CEO, General Electric) … to name just a few of them. Indeed, a privilige, honour and great responsibility. My speech will be on The role of innovative and learning-oriented culture for managing organizational change. logo GHRF Korea 2009Here is the abstract:

General introduction:

Organizational change is a ubiquitous phenomenon in business environments. It is part of (human) nature and can be managed. Changes however differ in terms of amplitude, frequency, level, and scope at which they occur. Within the context of current economic downturn, managing high-amplitude, frequent, organizational changes is crucial for survival and future growth of practically any kind of organization. I argue that the most effective approach to manage omnipresent organizational changes is to develop a strong and adaptive organizational culture that values learning and innovation.

Theoretical background:

The array of available change management theories and models is wide and goes back to classical ‘unfreeze-change-freeze’ model (Lewin, 1951), ‘formula for changes’ (Beckhardt & Gleicher, 1969), famous model ‘8S’ (Koter, 1995), theory ‘E&O’ (Beer & Nohria, 2000), metaphorical and practical model of ‘wind, sailboat, captain & the crew’ and ‘orchestrating vs. improvising change’ (Kassarjian, 1997), and learning organization (Senge, 1990). Their common denominator is that they all seek the best way to adapt, respond, or maybe even to induce organizational changes. In doing so, most of the authors mentioned either directly or indirectly stresses the importance of appropriate set of values organizational members share. Recent empirical research shows that organizational learning culture (Škerlavaj et al., 2007) and innovative culture (Škerlavaj, Song, & Lee, In press) improve organizational performance of modern enterprises.

Practical impact, applications and expected outcomes:

Hence, if we know that organizational culture that values learning and innovation leads to improved organizational performance by better managing change, question for modern managers is how to develop and/or reinforce such culture. This session will: (1) show managers several examples of best practices in developing learning-oriented and innovative organizational cultures (contingent upon industry, size etc.); and (2) provide them with a toolbox of metaphors, stories, innovation contests, leadership approaches, row models, mottos, etc. in order to overcome resistance to change, introduce and reinforce innovative and learning-oriented set of values among organizational members.

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Book chapter published with Springer August 12, 2009

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in book chapter, organizational learning.
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152260_AOIS_King_SoftcoverFresh from the oven, a book chapter Škerlavaj, M., Dimovski, V. (2009): Organizational Learning and Performance in Two National Cultures: A Multi-group Structural Equation Modeling Approach was published in a book King, W. (2009): Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Annals of Information Systems Series, Springer.

This chapter examines the impact of organizational learning on organizational performance in two countries. Using a multi-group structural equation modeling approach on data from 203 Slovenian and 202 Croatian companies, it tests the impact of the organizational learning process on financial and non-financial performance (NFP). The results show consistent findings between both countries under investigation (which vary only in terms of effect strength). First, the organizational learning process connects information processing with behavioral and cognitive changes. Second, organizational learning has a very strong direct impact on NFP (reflecting performance from employee, supplier, and customer points of view). Third, the effect of organizational learning on financial performance (measured in terms of return on assets and value added per employee) is also positive and strong, but indirect and exhibited through NFP. Finally, no direct effect on financial performance has been observed in any of the two cases. This paper advances the theory and practice of organizational learning by uncovering one specific aspect of the context in which organizational learning processes occur. It is the first of its kind to control for the contextual variables of national culture and economic development regarding the organizational learning – performance link.

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