Organizational Learning and Its Inter-Linkages: Determining the Impact on Employee Behavior

By Sathyapriya, P.; Prabhakaran, Asha et al. | South Asian Journal of Management, July-September 2012 | Go to article overview

Organizational Learning and Its Inter-Linkages: Determining the Impact on Employee Behavior


Sathyapriya, P., Prabhakaran, Asha, Gopinath, Mohan, Abraham, Dolphy M., South Asian Journal of Management


Employee behavior with motivation/innovation and their inter-linkages with organizational learning were examined to study its impact on employee behavior. The purpose was to discern how the linkages between these paradigms change as employees move higher in the organizational hierarchy. A framework was developed and the relationship between the motivators within the individual and the organization was identified. The variables and their inter-linkages to influence employee behavior were established. The findings were based on the study of 50 employees from the cities of Chennai and Bangalore, which are the industrial hubs in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka in India. The discriminant model established to help and predict an employee's organizational learning based on the motivators identified at various levels. This study helps the organizations to understand their employees' behavior and foster their strategies to enhance organizational learning and effectiveness.

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INTRODUCTION

Organizational Learning (OL) is a topic that has been attracting the attention of academicians and management thinkers, particularly in the present context of a complex and highly competitive business environment. Concept of OL is researched and discussed and the need for its presence in an organization is felt to survive and succeed. The equally significant topic of Organizational Innovation is also central in management thinking, due to the fact that it indicates the manner in which organizations respond to external changes. Employee behavior also plays an important part in an organization and the question is whether there are any linkages between learning, and the type of employee behavior, which will ideally promote innovation in an organization. It is argued with the three ideas, OL is most important as it leads to an environment congenial for appropriate employee behavior that can promote the capacity to innovate. However it is believed that of the three concepts, innovation exerts a direct and stronger impact on profitability which is the driving force of 21st century organizations. It has been held that creative vigor is precisely what firms require if they want to improve continuously (Kanter, 1984). Under today's conditions of dynamic global competition, the leading innovative organizations are those that show a higher level of adaptability and survival capability (Robbins, 2003). Hamel and Skarzynski (2001) proposed a First Law of the Innovation Economy: if firms cannot maintain a constant level of innovation, then they will be defeated by the economic environment. An innovative strategy is the only way to cope up with the problem caused by intermittent changes. Slater and Narver (1995) further proposed that innovation of the core activities must be correlated with the orientation and performance of the lead market. It can therefore be concluded that one of the primary concerns of Boards of Directors and Chief Executives is to ensure organizational sustainability through the continuing encouragement of innovation in their companies. Investigating these three organizational paradigms, this paper can provide insights, which will help the firms to make efficient use of their accumulated organizational knowledge. This is of particular importance when facing the new era of economic knowledge.

A novel concept of linking employee behavior with motivation/innovation is attempted in this paper. The paper explores the differences in OL as perceived by different levels or stages in the organizations and their inter-linkages with employee behavior, organizational environment and innovation. …

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