The Business Book

(Joyce) #1


The five disciplines
defined by Peter Senge
enable organizations to
change and develop
through both individual
and collective learning.

to help them get there. In this way,
employees will work toward a goal
because they want to, not because
they are told to. Team learning is
the process of employees learning
together through discussion and
dialogue so that they become more
effective as a team than they would
be individually.
The fifth discipline is the ability
to see the organization as a whole,
with its own behavior patterns.
This capability is crucial in order
for people to recognize potentially
counterproductive behaviors that
have come about simply through
repetition and have remained
unchallenged over the years.

Employee turnover
It is pertinent that Senge’s proposal
appeared against a backdrop of
corporate brain drain. According to
a 2004 paper by Arie C. Glebbeek
and Erik H. Bax from Groningen
University, the Netherlands,
published in the Academy of
Management Journal, when the
labor market tightened and labor
scarcity grew during the 1990s,
businesses became concerned with
the detrimental effects of turnover.
Turnover of personnel is one
of the great blights of modern
corporations and nations alike.
A desire for further learning and
development motivates talented

individuals to move in search of
a better environment with more
opportunity for advancement. It is
estimated that the cost of replacing
an employee is between 10 percent
and 175 percent of the departing
employee’s salary, depending on
the field of skill. Data from the
OECD (Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development)
showed an increase in skilled labor
migration around the world starting
in the early 1990s. Much of this
drain was from developing
countries, and became gain for
host countries in North America,
Australasia, and Europe. But even
in advanced economies, brain drain
was a feature of corporate life.
During the 1990s, the highest
voluntary staff turnover rates in
Asia were in Singapore. The
Singapore hotel industry, for
example, had an average annual
turnover rate of 57.6 percent in
1997, while average annual turnover
rates in the retail industry ranged
from 74.4 percent to 80.4 percent
between 1995 and 1997. One
study by Singapore’s Nanyang
Business School in conjunction
with the UK’s Cardiff Business ❯❯

See also: The value of teams 70–71 ■ Creativity and invention 72–73 ■ Effective leadership 78–79 ■ Organizing teams and
talent 80–85 ■ Make the most of your talent 86–87 ■ Organizational culture 104–09 ■ Develop emotional intelligence 110–11

working with a vision

The learning






Productivity ... comes from
challenged, empowered,
rewarded teams of people.
Jack Welch
US former CEO, General Electric
(1935 –)
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