MWM3KOL-Knowledge and Organisational Learning

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Christine Van Winkelen


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This elective provides a strategic framework for developing an appropriate context-specific approach to managing knowledge and organisational learning in an organisation.  The business case for investments in knowledge and learning initiatives in relation to different business models is examined, considering amongst other opportunities efficiency gains, developing innovation capability, reducing risk, and increasing business agility and resilience.  Alongside this strategic perspective, the elective develops a better understanding of the practices (people, process and technological) that improve knowledge management and organisational learning in an organisation.  A change management approach to implementation is adopted. 


The module is designed for practising managers to enable them to:

  • Explore the connection between knowledge, organisational learning and sustainable organisational performance.

  • Evaluate an organisation’s capability to resolve essential dilemmas affecting knowledge creation, sharing and use.

  • Critically evaluate appropriate processes and tools suitable for supporting knowledge management and organisational learning in various organisational contexts. 

  • Explore the impact of leadership and various people management practices in shaping the context for knowledge and learning activities that facilitate change and the development of a learning organisation.

  • Develop and monitor an effective knowledge strategy that reflects the features of a selected organisational context.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Analyse the current status of an organisation’s knowledge management and organisational learning capability.

  • Identify priorities for action to translate knowledge and learning into strategic advantage.

  • Select and evaluate suitable tools, processes and practices to improve the climate for knowledge creation, sharing and use.

  • Formulate a suitable strategy for an organisation to improve conditions for organisational learning and the flow of knowledge in key areas of strategic importance, together with consideration of the factors critical to successful implementation.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Knowledge strategy and organisational learning principles:

The foundations for strategic thinking and action in relation to knowledge and organisational learning.

Knowledge strategy and organisational performance:

Five core dilemmas associated with managing a knowledge-based enterprise.   

External knowledge:

The flows of knowledge across the external boundary of the organisation in the context of issues facing organisations in a changing world.

Focus on implementation: tools, processes and practices

Practical aspects of implementing knowledge and organisational learning improvements to achieve strategic objectives. 

Focus on implementation: shaping the environment for knowledge and learning activities

The changes needed to create a collaborative climate.

Shaping an integrated knowledge and organisational learning strategy:

Activities to help plan the assignment and identify further reading needed for completion.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is based on a structured programme of self-study, incorporating specially written material, directed reading, independent research and activities to structure analysis and reflection.

Students will each receive an e-copy of the purpose-written course text book “Understanding the Knowledgeable Organization: Nurturing Knowledge Competence”, by McKenzie and van Winkelen, published by Cengage (2004).  Extensive use will also be made of the Henley Academic Resource Centre and other online resources. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Guided independent study 100
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A single 3500 word assignment based on the student’s own organisation (or specified part of the organisation), or one with which they are familiar, outlining and justifying a knowledge and organisational learning strategy for this organisation.  The report should include evidence of the following (further details provided in the assignment brief):

Contextual awareness (10% of the marks)

Analysis (40% of the marks)

Strategy (25% of the marks)

Implementation considerations (15% of the marks)

Reflection (10% of the marks)

Formative assessment methods:

Practice activities throughout the module allow self-reflection and assessment.  No tutor feedback is available

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the standard University policy. 

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Assignments: 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by individual assignment (capped at 50%).  Date of resubmission to be advised by Programme Admin.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 28 June 2018


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