How do employees contribute to the development of learning organisation

How do employees contribute to the development of learning organisation?

By Dr. Song CHANG

How do employees contribute to the development of learning organisation?

A firm’s capability of identifying, assimilating, and exploiting knowledge from the environment is crucial for its survival. This capability is so called firm absorptive capacity. To increase a firm’s absorptive capacity, HR practitioners should focus on recruiting employees who have strong motivation to learn. From past academic research, we know that employees who have strong learning goal orientation (i.e., the tendency to seek improvements in their own competence and to understand or master new things) are more likely to achieve greater learning and knowledge outcomes at the individual and team level, yet we know little about whether such employees could help firms to achieve high absorptive capacity. Dr. Chang’s recent study surveyed 139 high-technology firms and their 871 employees to understand whether and when employees’ learning goal orientation could emerge and contribute to the development of firm absorptive capacity. Dr. Chang’s study shows that simply recruiting employees with high learning orientation is not enough to boost a firm’s absorptive capacity. HR practitioners should develop a strong culture of civic virtue – employees’ proactive involvement in company issues. Dr. Chang’ research suggests that firms can realise the full potential of their employees with strong learning orientation only when they can motivate these employees to contribute extra effort to the organisation.

Yao, F. K., & Chang, S. (2017). Do individual employees' learning goal orientation and civic virtue matter? A micro‐foundations perspective on firm absorptive capacity. Strategic Management Journal. doi:10.1002/smj.2636.