Skip navigation

Organisational learning and the organisational life cycle: the differential aspects of an integrated relationship in SMEs

Organisational learning and the organisational life cycle: the differential aspects of an integrated relationship in SMEs

Tam, Steven and Gray, David E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3881-5083 (2016) Organisational learning and the organisational life cycle: the differential aspects of an integrated relationship in SMEs. European Journal of Training and Development, 40 (1). pp. 2-20. ISSN 2046-9012 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-07-2015-0052)

[img]
Preview
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript)
16331 GRAY_Organisational_Learning_2016.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (705kB) | Preview

Abstract

Purpose: This study seeks to relate the practice of organisational learning (OL) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the organisational life cycle (OLC), contextualising the differential aspects of an integrated relationship between them.

Design/methodology/approach: It is a mixed method study with two consecutive phases. In Phase I, 30 Hong Kong SMEs identified through theoretical sampling were classified into three life-cycle stages – inception, high-growth, and maturity. In Phase II, their employees’ learning practices (grouped by learning levels) were statistically compared using the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and then followed up for confirmation with qualitative semi-structured interviews.

Findings: This study uniquely suggests the nature of a relationship between SME organisational learning and the OLC. Empirical results show that three out of the four learning levels (individual, group, organisational, and inter-organisational) practised in SMEs are varied in importance between life-cycle stages.

Research limitations/implications: Comparative studies are encouraged in other parts of the world to strengthen the findings – with either SMEs or large organisations.

Practical implications: The study informs SME owner/managers about what is important for employee learning at different business stages so that appropriate learning strategies or human resource development (HRD) policies can be formulated in a timely fashion to promote competitiveness.

Originality/value: It is among the first studies to connect SME learning with organisational growth. The relationships found serve as a sound foundation for further empirical investigations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank Editor Thomas Garavan and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning levels; Organisational learning; Organisational life cycle; SMEs.
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 13:44
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16331

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics