Dai, Lin (2016) Case Study on Gaining Competitive Advantage through Building Learning Organization in Small Businesses of Service Sector in China. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.
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As seeking and keeping competitive advantage is the priority of any organization to survive and grow in the rapidly changing world, the research is aimed to explore utilizing the strategy of building learning organization to gain and sustain competitive advantage. The vigor and dynamics of small businesses in service sector in the context of China where the market is full of diversity and potential become the perfect research subjective to probe into whether and how learning organization can be a source of competitive advantage. Meanwhile, there is also a literature gap on small service-sector businesses in China in this sphere where the research can fill in.
Case study has been adopted as methodology to fulfill the research objective and sub-objectives. In order to acquire solid data and information, the researcher conducted eight interviews in a small company based in south of China. The case company is operating in edible bird nest sales and services. The eight interviews were semi-structured and implemented online. The interviewees included four people from the management and four employees.
The research has found that learning organization as a concept has been understood and harnessed by the Chinese entrepreneurs as a way to stay competitive in the market. The position and function of leadership has been emphasized in building learning organization. Among all the measures adopted by the case company, the online learning group is believed as the effective, as it integrates branding with learning through inviting customers to join the learning group. The point is important for the small businesses which are trying to occupy a market place and obtain more market shares.
The research suggests that companies should tailor the learning organization strategy for their specific situations, foster the learning climate by emphasizing leader learning effect, cultivate the potential of online learning group to promote learning and branding, and strategically implement the human resource activities and schemes to source and develop the talents who are willing to learn and capable to transfer knowledge into practices.
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