قابلیت یادگیری سازمانی: پیشنهاد اندازه گیری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3949||2005||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 58, Issue 6, June 2005, Pages 715–725
This paper develops a measurement scale for organizational learning capability, supported by the results of a validation study covering a sample of 111 Spanish firms from the chemical industry. From a strategic viewpoint, the measurement scale identifies the elements that form learning capability, highlighting its complex and multidimensional nature. The evidence that the results provide regarding the scale's validity suggests that we may use this tool in future research work requiring a measurement of learning capability. Likewise, the scale provides information that could be of use to those managers wishing to improve learning capability in their firms.
The analysis of organizational learning has become an increasingly important study area over recent years. Various works have dealt with the analysis of this construct from differing viewpoints. There are studies that focus on this construct using a psychological approach Cyert and March, 1963 and Daft and Weick, 1984, a sociological approach Nelson and Winter, 1982 and Levitt and March, 1988, or from the point of view of Organizational Theory Cangelosi and Dill, 1965, Senge, 1990 and Huber, 1991. More recently, learning has been considered, from a strategic perspective, as a source of heterogeneity among organizations, as well as a basis for a possible competitive advantage Grant, 1996, Lei et al., 1996 and Lei et al., 1999. From this latter approach arises the concept of learning organization, which implies a change in the traditional way of dealing with business management. Although research into organizational learning has provided some relevant insights, there are still certain aspects that have not been sufficiently analyzed. On one hand, the widely accepted idea that organizational learning is an essential element to successfully compete in a global marketplace (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990) comes up against the lack of empirical research that has been carried out to this respect (Garvin, 1993). Although various case studies have taken an in-depth look at the inherent complexity of the organizational learning construct (e.g., Leonard-Barton, 1992), measuring and empirically testing an organizational learning scale may contribute towards the field of study, making generalizable conclusions more easily drawn. Thus, we need to take into account the multidimensional nature of the construct, recognized in various studies (e.g., Senge, 1990 and Lei et al., 1999). Our objective is to contribute towards the level of knowledge regarding organizational learning, developing a measurement tool that is adapted to its multidimensional nature. We test its validity and reliability in a sample of 111 Spanish manufacturing firms from the chemical industry. Designing this measurement scale may be relevant for various reasons. First, to facilitate work that allows the antecedents and the learning effects on organizations to be evaluated. Second, to identify the different dimensions from which it is formed and hence the underlying relationships. This would allow the evaluation of tools that are adequate for the provision of organizational learning. We first establish the concept of organizational learning, concentrating on its complex nature. We then develop a measurement scale according to this complex nature, paying particular attention to checking its validity. Finally, we set out the main conclusions and implications of the study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper represents an initial testing and validation of the organizational learning capability scale, within one industry and nation. The creation of this scale responds to the need expressed in the literature to progress in the field of learning measurement by developing an instrument that allows an organization's level of learning to be evaluated (Garvin, 1993). In the validation process, both the principal components and the confirmatory factor analyses clearly corroborate the existence of the four dimensions mentioned in the theoretical work. The second-order factor analysis provides an empirical backing to the proposed organizational learning structure model, in which learning is considered to be a latent construct that lies under four dimensions, which are also latent and which are measured using different observable variables. The scale has behaved well in the statistical analyses carried out to check for the presence of internal consistency and convergent and discriminant validity. The empirical analysis carried out, however, has revealed certain limitations to this study. First, our questionnaire investigates the degree to which certain learning processes are developed within the firm. Inasmuch as responses to these questions are subject to the respondent's perception, there is a potential danger that the answers are not in line with what is actually done. During the scale development process, we attempted to minimize this potential danger in various ways. Thus, during the pretest phase, in-depth interviews were carried out with different managers so as to check that the different items would actually reveal the firm's actions and not what the manager believed ought to be done. In addition to this, the aim of the reliability and validity analyses is to check that the scale measures just what it is designed for. This potential problem is common to all those studies that use perception-based variables. Second, although centering the study on a single industry allows the context to be examined in greater detail and minimizes possible external influences on the performance, it can also limit its external validity (Rajagopolan, 1996). Due to the fact that most of the relationships evaluated have not been analyzed or considered previously, it would be worthwhile employing the organizational learning capability scale for testing in other national and industrial contexts, to establish its ultimate reliability and validity. Third, the size of the sample used for the empirical analysis could suppose certain limitations when extending the conclusions reached to the whole of the industry that was studied. Lastly, the exploratory nature of the organizational learning measurement scale proposed has its limitations in that this scale has not been used before. Although some of the items originally belonged to one of the two scales mentioned previously in this study—those of Goh and Richards (1997), and Hult and Ferrell (1997)—duly modified and adapted to our case in particular, most of them have been developed here for the first time, based on the review of the literature. This means that we could not benefit from the experience of already-validated scales. This study considers trust to be an antecedent that lies beneath the different dimensions of organizational learning capability. It could be argued that, in reality, trust is a further learning dimension related to but different from the other four. This is an empirical question that should be examined in future studies. The study also highlights the important role played by organizational learning in the current context of competitiveness, in which knowledge is considered a key resource. An important implication for business can be established from this. In spite of the general consensus in the literature with regard to the efficient management of constant learning and knowledge as powerful instruments for the maintenance and improvement of a firm's competitiveness Pettigrew and Whipp, 1991 and Hamel and Prahalad, 1994, there is not such a wide consensus in terms of how managers can contribute towards a more efficient development of a superior learning capability. Establishing a measurement scale helps reveal the different areas of organizational learning in which managers can act to develop this capability. A relevant implication, therefore, is the approach taken in the activities and relations that need to be present for a firm to be considered a learning organization (Hult and Ferrell, 1997). The scale designed is useful for evaluating more complex models in which the effect of different antecedents on organizational learning can be analyzed. For example, human resource practices can be a fundamental tool in developing the organization's learning capability McGill et al., 1992, Mohrman and Mohrman, 1993 and Snell et al., 1996, which means that analyzing their possible influence opens a new field of study that has rarely been dealt with. The scale may also be useful for analyzing the influence of learning on the firm's performance, in a search for empirical evidence that supports learning potential as a source of a sustainable competitive advantage (Lei et al., 1999).