Managing team learning in a Spanish commercial bank

Erik Døving (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway)
Irene Martín‐Rubio (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to analyze how team management affects team‐learning activities.


The authors empirically study 68 teams as they operate in the natural business context of a major Spanish bank. Quantitative research utilizing multiple regression analyses is used to test hypotheses.


The leadership behaviour (consideration, initiation of structure) displayed by the team leader plays a key role in facilitating team learning. Team leader behaviour characterised by consideration and in particular by initiation of structure are both positively related to team‐learning activities. Cross‐training of team members also contributes to team‐learning behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

A specific setting may limit the generalizability of findings. Further research may accordingly investigate to what extent these results can be generalized to other settings or other aspects of team learning.

Practical implications

The leadership style adopted by the team leader, as well as cross‐training of members, affect team‐learning activities. These results link leadership theory to collective learning in teams and organizations, and suggest ways leaders can contribute to improved learning.


The study provides new insight into how management of teams facilitates team‐learning activities. While consideration is somewhat related to team learning, initiation of structure as well as cross‐training appear as key variables.



Døving, E. and Martín‐Rubio, I. (2013), "Managing team learning in a Spanish commercial bank", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 281-295.

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