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Potentials facilitators of workplace learning in a TPS based company

Sandra Jönsson (Department of Urban Studies/Centre for Work Life Studies, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden)
Tobias Schölin (Centre for Work Life Studies, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden and Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Lund, Sweden)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 7 October 2014




In line with the growing emphasis on workplace learning, there has been a tendency to abandon traditional Tayloristic models of work organization in favor of more humanistic, flexible and integrated work systems. This study focusses on facilitators of learning in a company that is based on the principles of Toyota production system (TPS). In this paper, the authors are focussing on one central aspect of the TPS, that is, workplace learning. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of empowering leadership, teamwork, innovative climate as facilitators of learning in this specific context.


Questionnaires (focussing on workplace learning, empowering leadership, teamwork and innovative climate) were distributed to 643 factory workers in the company Scania in Sweden. A total of 487 persons answered the questionnaire, which amounted to a response rate of 76 percent.


The result indicates that empowering leadership was the best predictor, followed by teamwork and innovative climate.


From this study, the authors can conclude that the already known predictors of learning can also be applied in a TPS setting. The key features in the TPS company constitute a foundation for learning.



The study was funded by VINNOVA – the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems. As researchers the authors are independent to both the funder and to the studied organization.


Jönsson, S. and Schölin, T. (2014), "Potentials facilitators of workplace learning in a TPS based company", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 33 No. 10, pp. 1004-1018.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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