Creating a learning climate: a South African study

Nasima Mohamed Hoosen Carrim (Human Resource Management Department, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
Johan Schutte Basson (Formerly Human Resource Management Department at the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 4 January 2013



The purpose of this study is to ascertain whether there were differences in how one public and two private South African organizations created a learning climate.


This article is based on a survey and comparative analysis of specific departments in a chemical and gas company, an insurance company, and a semi‐private state‐owned organization (SPSOO) to establish dimensions that foster the creation of a learning climate.


The findings indicated that management support, autonomy and responsibility, time, the opportunity to develop, and guidelines to access information were pivotal in the creation of a learning climate and varied across organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicated that variations across departments within each of these three organizations relating to employees' perceptions of a learning climate were not considered.

Practical implications

The study revealed that a learning climate can be created in different types of organizations through organizational, group and individual drivers. It further revealed that the strategy in creating a climate of learning should be aligned with the organization's structure, culture and goals.


This article makes a contribution to the literature on talent development in organizations as it indicates that different strategies can be utilized in successfully creating a learning climate in different types of organizations.



Mohamed Hoosen Carrim, N. and Schutte Basson, J. (2013), "Creating a learning climate: a South African study", The Learning Organization, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 6-19.

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