Achieving Learning Organizations in the EPC Industry

RT-201 Topic Summary
RT 201


A learning organization is skilled at creating, acquiring, sharing, and applying knowledge, and embracing change and innovation at all levels, resulting in optimum performance and maximum competitive advantage. 

The EPC industry has a definite need for knowledge-based services to help it modernize and to take advantage of current technology. For the construction industry to adopt a learning organization, continuous learning and personal advancement must become fundamental within organizations at every level and throughout every project and business process. Adopting this concept requires the engineering and construction industry to focus on a long-term outlook for learning.

A successful learning organization will combine experience-based improvement with expanding knowledge. Experience-based improvement will allow the organization to build upon past successes by permitting personnel to store, access, and expand upon project experiences gained throughout the organization. Understanding the integration of the knowledge capture technology with the cultural shift to a learning organization is the underlying requirement for the future of construction learning organizations. 

The research team suggests that EPC companies focus on leadership, champions, direction, technology balance, and resource allocation. In doing so, they will make themselves more adaptable to becoming a learning organization. 

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Focused Attention on Knowledge Retention

The industry needs to retain knowledge within the organization and focus on continuous human resource development throughout all levels of the organization. It is imperative that learning organizations become the norm, where continuous knowledge enhancement and improvement of processes becomes a fundamental element of the EPC business. (RS201-1, p. 1)
Reference: (RS201-1)

2 : Key Factors

Additional drivers for developing learning organizations include (RS201-1, p. 4):

  • Performance 
  • Aging work force
  • Distributed work force/globalization
  • Better solutions
  • Evolution of the organization
Reference: (RS201-1)

3 : Organization Matrix

It would benefit EPC organizations to have a framework that identifies a path forward for companies seeking to establish a learning organization culture. (RS201-1, p. 12)
Reference: (RS201-1)

4 : Characteristics of a Learning Organization

The following characteristics are found in learning organizations (RS201-1, p. 13):

  • Leadership
  • Processes and infrastructure
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Culture
Reference: (RS201-1)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved performance/achieved success

Research Publications

Leadership in a Knowledge Era: Achieving the Learning Organization - RR201-11

Publication Date: 07/2006 Type: Research Report Pages: 110 Status: Reference

Leadership in a Knowledge Era: Achieving the Learning Organization - RS201-1

Publication Date: 01/2006 Type: Research Summary Pages: 27 Status: Supporting Product

Presentations from CII Events

Session - Leadership in a Knowledge Era

Publication Date: 06/2005 Presenter: Number of Slides: 30 Event Code: AC05