Learning organisation : relevance and resultant benefits for the auditor-general of South Africa.
This dissertation explores the concept of the Learning Organisation and its relevance to the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA). In evaluating the relevance of the Learning Organisation concept, the AGSA?s problems will be highlighted and how the concept may possibly assist the AGSA in dealing with its problems. For example, one of the major problems facing the AGSA is the attraction and retention of appropriately qualified and experienced personnel. There is a scarcity of auditing personnel in South Africa. The adoption of the Learning Organisation concept may enable the AGSA to attract and retain the desired personnel, as inherent in the concept are characteristics such as employees being encouraged to learn, that appeal to progressive personnel. The dissertation will also explore the concept of the Learning Organisation as an enabler that may assist the AGSA to cope with change that pervades the AGSA's internal and external environment, which include the high incidence of fraud and corruption that is often found in public sector organisations in South Africa. The dissertation also seeks to explore whether the Learning Organisation concept will enable the AGSA to deal with complexity, which is created by an ever changing, dynamic world and stay relevant and cost efficient. All of these objectives can be collectively termed possible benefits that may flow to the AGSA should the AGSA adopt the Learning Organisation concept at a mature level. The purpose of this dissertation is not to develop a model of the Learning Organisation for the AGSA, but rather to obtain a sense of how the concept could possibly assist the AGSA in overcoming the challenges it faces. The dissertation will give an initial perspective of the theory (and some theoretical developments), introduce the reader to the AGSA, identify the major problems that the AGSA is facing, estimate the level of maturity that the AGSA is as a Learning Organisation and understand how the Learning Organisation concept may assist the AGSA in overcoming its problems if adopted at a mature level. The dissertation will be conducted based on research of academic literature, research of AGSA literature, observations, semi-structured interviews and structured questionnaires. Key disciplines that may enable the AGSA to grow into a mature Learning Organisation will be highlighted. Some possible disciplines that may be relevant are as follows: Systems thinking, Groups and teams, Shared vision, Leadership style, Communication. The dissertation will highlight some practical difficulties and obstacles that may impact on the Learning Organisation concept being adopted by the AGSA and areas for further research. Initial research has highlighted two important fundamental principles, which will be referred to later, as follows: 1. It is very difficult to change people?s minds, and therefore adoption and implementation of the Learning Organisation concept will be challenging 2. Organisational Learning is never a finite process; it is on-going and never completed. Bearing these two fundamental principles in mind, the dissertation will be approached with the intention that it will add value to the AGSA and other organisations.