Managing knowledge: the link between culture and organizational learning

Susana Pérez López (Assistant Professor of Strategic Management (, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
José Manuel Montes Peón (Associate Professor of Strategic Management (, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Camilo José Vázquez Ordás (Professor of Strategic Management (, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Publication date: 1 December 2004


Aims to analyze how the organizational culture impacts knowledge management, organizational learning and ultimately the performance of the firm. The degree to which collaborative culture influences organizational learning and performance is investigated for 195 Spanish firms. The technique used was structural equation modeling (SEM). The results show, first of all, that collaborative culture encourages the development of organizational learning, which at the same time, has a significant effect on business performance. And, second, it is highlighted that collaborative culture does not constitute in itself a source of competitive advantages. Collaborative culture must modify, through learning, the organization’s guidelines and attitudes in order to improve competitive performance. Perhaps the most significant limitation of the study is associated with the use of cross‐sectional data. While we presented and tested models in which we assumed a causal flow from collaborative culture to organizational learning to organizational performance, there is the possibility that these relationships may occur in reverse order. In future researches it would be interesting to analyze the influence that other variables, such organizational structure, leadership and corporate strategy have on learning. The establishment of a knowledge strategy can be determined by a global approach, which affects all fields in organization. For knowledge management initiatives to be truly effective must take into account the social contexts in which learning take place. Culture need to be re‐examined in light of its role in managing the overall organizational learning infrastructure. This study provides empirical evidence for the hypothesis that collaborative culture influences organizational learning which in turn influences business performance. The current study provides some understanding of the manner in which collaborative culture influence organizational outcomes.



Pérez López, S., Manuel Montes Peón, J. and José Vázquez Ordás, C. (2004), "Managing knowledge: the link between culture and organizational learning", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 8 No. 6, pp. 93-104.

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