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Exploring the relationships between the learning organization and organizational performance

Mohan P. Pokharel (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Concord University, Athens, West Virginia, USA)
Sang Ok Choi (Department of Public Administration, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 16 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the Dimensions Of Learning Organization Questionnaire (DLOQ) framework from the perspective of public sector organizations. We have used performance indicator data after organizational learning inspired intervention in a semi-autonomous network of public sector organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used original administrative data to track the learning progress, as measured by a ratio of access to funding sources. The study also collected survey data using tailored DLOQ instruments and then determined the efficacy of DLOQ framework for public sector organizations. Several data analysis techniques were used to specify a final set for the learning organization instrument with construct validity and instrument reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis was selected to test the construct validity for the measurement of the dimensions of the learning organization and to verify the adequacy of the item to factor associations and the number of dimensions underlying the construct.

Findings

We found evidence that confirms that the organizational level (particularly the system connection) has a positive impact on organizational performance and a mediating effect on the relationships between the individual/group levels of learning organization characteristics and organizational performance. This study extends the Watkins and Marsick’s (1993, 1996) learning–organization framework that helped to produce case-specific outcomes such as the extent of error reduction. This framework provides a useful structure for other researchers to study learning dimensions and their relationships with other organizational performance variables. The results also show evidence of internal consistency and the construct reliability of the dimensions of the learning organization.

Research limitations/implications

Care should be taken in generalizing the structural equation model identified in this study. Because of the multidimensional and complex nature of the learning organization, the research setting for this study might be only one of the possible settings that specify the relationships among different levels of the learning organization and performance outcomes. There are rather complicated interactions among these dimensions and in each attribute of a learning organization.

Originality/value

This study theoretically confirms that the organizational level (particularly the system connection) has a positive impact on organizational performance and a mediating effect on the relationships between the individual/group levels of learning organization characteristics and organizational performance. This study also methodologically shows evidence of internal consistency and the construct reliability of the learning organization measures along with significant efficiency gain in theory.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The first author would like to thankfully acknowledge Concord University’s summer research grant. The authors thank Nabin Baral and Karen M. Hult for reviewing the earlier draft of the manuscript. The second author gratefully acknowledges research support by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2012-2012S1A3A2033282).

Citation

Pokharel, M.P. and Ok Choi, S. (2015), "Exploring the relationships between the learning organization and organizational performance", Management Research Review, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 126-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-02-2013-0033

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited