Academic journal article Journal of Economics & Management

Relationship between Individual and Organizational Learning: Mediating Role of Team Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Economics & Management

Relationship between Individual and Organizational Learning: Mediating Role of Team Learning

Article excerpt

Introduction

Organizational learning is still a widely researched area in the field of management. For many years the issue of organizational learning has been a major point of interest for researchers who have been searching for sources of competitive advantage [Argyris & Schön 1978; Lipshitz, Friedman & Popper 2007; Tam & Gray 2016]. Despite a wide variety of both theoretical and experimental research papers. The aforementioned subject matter is still popular.

In the context of global economical crisis, development of new competencies and abilities takes on a distinctive meaning. This fact makes it necessary to make learning a central goal of organizations [King (ed.) 2009; Travica 2013]. Nowadays, they operate in changeable and complex environments [Vecchiato 2015; Jyoti, Utpal & Debasis 2015]. For that reason, constant learning is becoming their main driving force in acquiring adaptational skills and gaining flexibility [Haynie & Shepherd 2009; Hatch & Dyer 2004]. Organizational learning is a means to facilitate adaptability towards constant changes [Rijal 2010]. It helps organizations survive and compete successfully [Gutiérrez, Bustinza & Barrales 2012]. It is one of the most important sources of competitive advantage [Manuj, Omar & Yazdanparast 2013].

Some researchers agree that organizational learning links its three distinctive levels: individual, team and organizational one [Aragón, Jiménez & Valle 2014]. Each of those levels can be improved independently by means of various learning mechanisms [Senaratne & Malewana 2011]. In spite of this, there are specific kinds of relationships that connect these levels. Theoretical [Crossan, Lane & White 1999] as well as empirical [Murray & Moses 2005] attempts are made to define these relationships. Some serious attempts at combining individual, team and organizational learning are noticeable, [Senaratne & Malewana 2011; Chadwick & Raver 2015] despite qualitative and quantitative research relating to mutual relationships among those variables varies in terms of presentable results [e.g. Nonaka & Takeuchi 1995; Chan 2003; Yang et al. 2004; Senaratne & Malewana 2011; Taniyaovalaksna & Li 2013]. Thus, there is strong need to look further into the relationships among individual, team and organizational learning.

Research activity within the subject has contributed greatly to strategic management literature. In spite of that a research gap is noticeable in the sense that the mediating role was attributed to team learning. Considering relationships between individual and team learning with the use of mediative effects is the first and foremost research initiative in this field. It contributes to knowledge complementation within the range of overall learning of organizations.

Considering this, the analysis of relationships between individual and organizational learning levels will be carried out in the conditions of outcome variable occurrence of the assumed relationship, that is of learning at the team level. Thus, the aim of this research paper is the identification of the correlation be- tween individual and organizational learning with team learning as a mediator of the aforementioned relationship. Researching this relationship will make it possible to understand the process of overall organizational learning better.

This paper has been divided into several sections. The first section focuses on the introduction followed by a individual, team and organizational learning literature review. The further part of the paper presents research methodology, results as well as a discussion and conclusions.

1.Literature overview

1.1.Individual and organizational learning

The thread of organizational learning has been present in scientific research since the 1960s and 1970s. Articles describing it started to be published at the beginning of the 1980s [Olejniczak 2012, p. …

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