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The impact of the learning organization environment on the organizational learning process in the Korean business context

Ji Hoon Song (Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
Chang‐Wook Jeung (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA)
Sei Hyoung Cho (The Korea Labor Foundation, Seoul, South Korea)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 20 September 2011




The primary purposes of the current paper are to: provide theoretically clear concepts of the learning organization (LO) and organizational learning (OL) process; and empirically test the relationships among research constructs – environmental aspects of the LO and three types of OL processes at the levels of individual, group/team, and organization – by using structural equation modeling.


A total of 200 cases were collected from 50 small‐medium size for‐profit organizations in the central region of Korea. Structural relationships were examined by using structural equation modeling (SEM), while integrative literature review was conducted to distinguish the concepts of LO and OL.


The results showed that while the LO is composed of the system‐related environmental aspects, the OL has the process‐oriented aspects; and the LO has a significant influence on all three types of OL processes, while it has the strongest impact on individual learning process, followed by group/team‐level learning and the organization‐level learning process. In addition, the individual learning process has a significant impact on group/team‐level learning process; in turn, group/team‐level learning process influences the overall organization‐level learning process sequentially.

Research limitations/implications

The generalization issue still remains one of the research limitations because all data sets were collected from Korean business organizations. More sample diversity needs to be considered for further research in terms of cross‐cultural comparison research, which could strengthen the validity of the current developed measurement.


This research provides clear and theoretical understanding of both LO and OL, which shed light onto future research as a theoretical foundation. In addition, dynamic and systematic relationships among environmental factors and learning processes were examined, which give more theoretical and practical foundations for building learning organizations.



Hoon Song, J., Jeung, C. and Hyoung Cho, S. (2011), "The impact of the learning organization environment on the organizational learning process in the Korean business context", The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 468-485.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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