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Rethinking training transfer: a practice theory perspective

Ibticem Ben Zammel (Higher Institute of Accountancy and Business Administration, RIGUEUR Laboratory, University of Manouba, Manouba, Tunisia)
Rim Hachana (Pole Business Development-Unité de Recherche Confluence Sciences and Humanités, ESDES Lyon Business School – UCLy, Lyon, France)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 22 December 2022

Issue publication date: 27 April 2023




By positioning this study within the theoretical lenses of Bourdieu’s practice theory, this paper aims to provide a more contextual understanding of training transfer (TT) with a particular focus on the duality between objectivity and subjectivity that characterize social structures within two different fields (a public post office company and a multinational evolving in the ICT high-tech sector).


Multiple case study.


The findings demonstrate that TT cannot be dissociated from social interaction dynamics in the workplace, where objective and subjective structures play a strategic role. In fact, capital dispatching, power disparities and cultural imperatives influence TT practice in both cases. However, this influence differs from one field to another.

Practical implications

Top management team should pay more attention to power and particularly to symbolic power as it can influence TT intentions and effectiveness. They must be aware that not only the economic capital is sought after but also the cultural and the symbolic capital.


This study aims at lessening the gap between theory and practice on the TT problem, in an effort to increase comprehension of the social roots of the transferring process. This research deepens the analysis of the complexity of socialization structuring TT practice in two different fields.



Ben Zammel, I. and Hachana, R. (2023), "Rethinking training transfer: a practice theory perspective", The Learning Organization, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 162-180.



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