Group learning strategies increase productivity

May 10, 2011 By Alexandra Berriman

( -- Large businesses could improve their productivity by implementing a peer group learning strategy according to the results of a recent UTS study in Indonesia.

The study implemented workplace learning groups into the Indonesian Taxation Office to support tax officers during a period of organisational change.

The groups were designed to help personnel together to improve the skills and communication required by a modernising organization.

Research coordinator Dr. Kate Collier said the implementation of workplace learning groups saw a positive change in the attitude of personnel, this self-directed group approach helping to break down the hierarchical nature of the organisation that had limited progress.

"My Indonesian research colleague Dr. Rokhman and I were conscious of implementing western models of learning into , so we embedded the traditional Indonesian concepts of 'gotong royong' meaning to do something as a team, as opposed to doing it yourself, and 'musyawarah' referring to building consensus through , to make the change more accessible and culturally appropriate," Dr. Collier said.

"By making these concepts part of the group work and aligning them to the workplace we saw a greater respect and appreciation for shared knowledge in the workplace."

"The taxation office needed to modernise to survive in the 21st century."

Fellow researcher and UTS Senior Lecturer Dr. Tony Holland said that if organisations in Australia face the challenge of organisational change, they may benefit from the implementation of this kind of group learning model.

"This won't work for all organizations, but if morale is low and people blame workers for low productivity then anything that encourages will make a more productive ," Dr. Holland said.

"It is important for people to be happy at work – this can have an impact of a 30 to 40 per cent increase in productivity."

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