The relationship between organizational learning and SME performance in Poland

Anna Michna (Faculty of Organization and Management, Silesian University of Technology, Roosevelta, Poland)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Publication date: 8 May 2009



The purpose of this paper is to identify and define dimensions of organizational learning and the way it affects small‐ or medium‐size enterprise (SME) performance.


The empirical research is carried out in Polish SMEs (the sample size is 211 enterprises). In order to test the constructed hypotheses we use factor analysis with varimax rotation, correlation analysis and cluster analysis. The sales and employment growth figures and synthetic McKenzie index are used to evaluate SME performance.


In the empirical study, 11 empirical dimensions of organizational learning are identified and defined. The empirical research shows that sales and employment growth is most dependent on the following dimensions: dialogue and empowerment of the employees, collaboration, team learning, leaders' attitudes. In this research, it is suggested that there is an empirical relationship between organizational learning and organizational performance. In practice it means that organizations reaching a higher level of organizational learning probably achieve higher performance.

Research limitations/implications

This research uses a single‐respondent questionnaire. Further research could include analysis of other SME members and take into consideration subjective measures of SME development.

Practical implications

The research results in some important recommendations for SME leaders, who should make every effort to inspire the employees' confidence in each other and create an atmosphere of honest and frank exchange of information and ideas.


The results of the research fill a gap in the current knowledge of strategic management and can be used by managers, specialists, independent experts.



Michna, A. (2009), "The relationship between organizational learning and SME performance in Poland", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 356-370.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.