HCBE Faculty Articles

Management and Organizational Learning: An Unintended Benefit from a Recruiting Strategy

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Business Studies Journal





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This research effort began as a qualitative study to assist in developing a broad frame for a system wide study of Target Corporation. The particular focus here was Target’s new, innovative staffing strategy, the Target Case Program for use with university partners. The researchers asked: How was the original Target recruitment strategy successful for the organisation? How did the recruitment strategy result in unintended benefits for the organisation? How did Target disseminate the new learning throughout the organisation? How does Target demonstrate the hallmarks of a learning organisation? Based on in depth semi-structured interviews with Target executives who participated in the case study project and a brief review of the characteristics of the case study method and the learning organisation, the research questions were answered The Case Study program did yield more favourable student awareness of Target as an employer and the university partnership was enhanced. Also, solutions to corporate problems were presented by student teams to Target executives. In the process, Target executives experienced unintended learning and, through knowledge transfer at Target, organisational learning took place. The individual and organisation learning behaviours that resulted are hallmarks of a learning organisation, thus indicating that Target is a learning organisation.

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