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    Is Mattel a Learning Organization?

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    Please describe the extent to which Mattel is a "Learning Organization." How does Mattel "learn"? What has Mattel "learned," and through what mechanism(s)?

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    Is Mattel a Learning Organization?

    Let's start with an acceptable definition of what a "learning organization" is.

    A. In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, a learning organization is one which has three main elements, "a supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes and practices, and leadership behavior that provides reinforcement," (Garvin, Edmondson, & Gino, 2008).

    B. It might be informative to examine a little of Mattel's company history.
    1. The foundation for what would become the Mattel Company began in a rented garage with a new material called Lucite.
    2. In 1945, "Ruth and Elliot Handler and Harold "Matt" Matson launched the new company call Mattel," (Mattel History, 2005).
    3. The iconic Barbie Doll was introduced in 1959 (Mattel History, 2005).
    4. In 1960, Mattel became a publicly traded company (Mattel History, 2005).
    5. In 1977, Mattel jumped into the electronic games business (Mattel History, 2005).
    6. In 2003, Hot Wheels became 35 years old (Mattel History, 2005).
    7. You can read the entire history in the Mattel history web site I referenced.

    C. I will describe my viewpoint on the extent to which Mattel is a learning organization at the end of my ...

    Solution Summary

    This article examines the many different ways in which the Mattel Corporation fits the definition of a learning organization. Some brief historical notes are included, along with references to some of the challenges the company has faced throughout its history. Mattel has become a major multi-national corporation, which creates an entirely new set of issues that the company must work its way through, thus causing the company to be on a continual learning journey.