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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Marlieke Van Grinsven and Max Visser

Research on antecedents of organizational learning generally ignores the fact that organizational learning is at least a two‐dimensional construct and that its dimensions…

3615

Abstract

Purpose

Research on antecedents of organizational learning generally ignores the fact that organizational learning is at least a two‐dimensional construct and that its dimensions may be conflicting. This research often fails to investigate the simultaneous effects of antecedents on these dimensions. To address this gap in the literature, this paper aims to discuss the effects of empowerment and knowledge conversion, two factors often considered to be important antecedents of organizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach adopted involves a review of and reflection on the pertinent literature on learning organizations, organizational learning, empowerment and knowledge conversion.

Findings

It is found that both antecedents have contradictory effects on two dimensions of organizational learning. Empowerment affects second‐order learning in a positive sense, but first‐order learning in a negative sense. Knowledge conversion is positively related to first‐order learning, but negatively to second‐order learning. Thus, it appears that efforts to improve organizational learning on one dimension may have (unintended) effects on the other, unmeasured dimension.

Originality/value

The paper connects disjointed streams of theory and research in a novel way that is of interest and importance to both the academic literature and to organizational practitioners.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Henk Eijkman

357

Abstract

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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