The process view of organizational learning in this study

Based on the preceding review, this study holds the view that in terms of the stage of learning process, there are four psychological and social interaction processes (mainly the interaction process among people): acquisition and generation, interpreting, integrating and institutionalizing, of which acquisition and creation (new knowledge or behavior) refers to individuals acquiring some knowledge or new behaviors from the external world or their own experience, or creating some new knowledge through intuition; interpreting is the process of explaining an insight or idea to one's self and to others through words or deeds; integrating is the process of developing shared understanding amongst individuals and the taking of coordinated action through mutual adjustment; institutionalizing is the process of embedding learning that has occurred by individuals and groups into the institutions of the organization so as to ensure that routinized actions occur. Among them, the process of interpreting can refer to both individual self-interpretation and mutual interpretation among group members; the integrating process can occur at both the group level and the organizational level (Crossan et ah, 1999). In this way, the three levels of learning are coimected as a whole.

This study holds that, at the inter-organizational level, there are two psychological and social interaction processes (Holmqvist, 2003), namely extension and internalization. Extension is a process of increasing transparency of organizational experience and knowledge; and internalization is a process of an organization receiving knowledge or experience from other organizations. According to Lindholm (1997), the process of inter-organizational knowledge flow includes acquisition, generation and application of knowledge. The knowledge here includes technical-level knowledge, system-level knowledge and strategic-level knowledge (Child, 2001). Technical-level knowledge refers to the acquisition of skills, corresponding to single-loop learning; system-level knowledge refers to the knowledge about organizational characteristics such as organization system and organizational procedure, corresponding to double-loop learning; and strategic-level knowledge refers to the thoughts, concepts and ways of thinking of senior managers, and it requires a process of reflection. It can be seen that inter-organizational learning involves three levels: individual, group and organizational. Any of these levels can be engaged in inter-organizational learning. Therefore, extension and internalization can integrate intra-organizational learning and inter-organizational learning into a whole.

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