Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Human Resource Development



First Supervisor

Taylor Brown

Second Supervisor

Marilynn Butler

Third Supervisor

Jason Berman


Gillespie Associates, a Rochester-based training and development consulting firm, is interested in developing an off-the-shelf package of instruction to address the current interest in transformation toward becoming a learning organization. Once the concept of the learning organization is explored, it is important to be able to transfer that into a product development opportunity for Gillespie Associates. Beyond the need to understand " the look of the learning organization in the 1990's," however, comes the need to understand how such a concept can be developed into a marketable product. In order to gain a better understanding about the steps companies take when they are in the early stages of product development, a brief literature review and a survey was conducted to examine this topic. The results of the survey, accompanied by several recent articles written about steps in product development, are contained in this report. Key findings of the literature review include several models Gillespie Associates can review to determine how adaptable they may be to their organization. The literature reveals that many companies do not pay enough attention to what Cooper ( 1997) refers to as "the fuzzy front end"those activities which precede the actual product development process. Key findings of the survey reveal that companies similar in size and scope to Gillespie Associates generally do not have individual research divisions or formal team structures to support the product development process. Additionally. the survey revealed that surveys and interviews are the most commonly used methods for conducting market research. The overall purpose of this report is to support Gillespie Associates in their product development activities by providing them with background research consisting of a sampling of recent periodical literature about learning organizations in the '90s, and projections for future directions of the learning organization concept for the new millennium.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Education Commons