The effects of altruism and relationship conflict on organizational learning

Jacob Guinot (Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
Ricardo Chiva (Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
Fermín Mallén (Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to, prompted by a recent paradigm shift in the organizational sciences, to explore some antecedents of organizational learning capability, focusing on altruism and relationship conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the hypotheses, the structural equation technique was applied to data from a survey of Spanish firms with recognized excellence in human resource management.

Findings

The results of this research show that, in these firms, altruism facilitates learning capacity both directly and indirectly (through relationship conflict). Relationship conflict is posited as a mediating variable that explains how altruism improves organizational learning.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study include excessive heterogeneity of the sample size and industrial sector and the type of firm included in the sample. Due to the potential benefits that altruism seems to have for organizations, future research could continue to investigate the consequences of altruism in organizations.

Practical implications

Altruism provides organizations with a value that can facilitate organizational learning capability not only directly, but also by reducing relationship conflict. Altruism may offer organizations a tool they can use to improve their success in dealing with the challenges of today’s uncertain and constantly changing economic environment.

Originality/value

This study proposes a common altruistic approach that is far removed from traditional self-interested models in organizational literature. This study identifies altruism and relationship conflict as antecedents of organizational learning capability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the University Jaume I (Ref. P11B2008-13) and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Ref. ECO2011-26780) for its financial support for this research.

Citation

Guinot, J., Chiva, R. and Mallén, F. (2015), "The effects of altruism and relationship conflict on organizational learning", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 85-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-12-2013-0100

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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