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Is there a global model of learning organizations? An empirical, cross-nation study

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2013
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2013
Issue number12
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)2278
Early online date20/05/13
Original languageEnglish


This paper develops and tests a learning organization model derived from HRM and dynamic capability literatures in order to ascertain the model’s applicability across divergent global contexts. We define a learning organization as one capable of achieving on-going strategic renewal, arguing based on dynamic capability theory that the model has three necessary antecedents: HRM focus, developmental orientation and customer-facing remit. Drawing on a sample comprising nearly six thousand organizations across fifteen countries, we show that learning organizations exhibit higher performance than their less learning-inclined counterparts. We also demonstrate that innovation fully mediates the relationship between our conceptualisation of the learning organization and organizational performance in eleven of the fifteen countries we examined. It is the first time to our knowledge that these questions have been tested in a major, cross global study and our work contributes to both HRM and dynamic capability literatures, especially where the focus is the applicability of best practice parameters across national boundaries.

    Research areas

  • dynamics capabilities, HRM, INNOVATION, learning organisatons

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