This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Emerald Article: The relationship between organizational learning and SME performance in Poland Anna Michna
To cite this document: Anna Michna, (2009),"The relationship between organizational learning and SME performance in Poland", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 33 Iss: 4 pp. 356 - 370 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03090590910959308 Downloaded on: 05-11-2012 References: This document contains references to 45 other documents Citations: This document has been cited by 1 other documents To copy this document: email@example.com This document has been downloaded 1298 times since 2009. *
Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by UNIVERSITY OF THE PUNJAB For Authors: If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors service. Information about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Please visit www.emeraldinsight.com/authors for more information. About Emerald www.emeraldinsight.com With over forty years' experience, Emerald Group Publishing is a leading independent publisher of global research with impact in business, society, public policy and education. In total, Emerald publishes over 275 journals and more than 130 book series, as well as an extensive range of online products and services. Emerald is both COUNTER 3 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation.
*Related content and download information correct at time of download.
356-370 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0309-0590 DOI 10. Roosevelta. Poland Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and deﬁne dimensions of organizational learning and the way it affects small. correlation analysis and cluster analysis. 33 No. Practical implications – The research results in some important recommendations for SME leaders.emeraldinsight.or medium-size enterprise (SME) performance. Surprisingly. very few authors approach this issue and there is no theory of organizational learning which would take into account the speciﬁcity of small. Research limitations/implications – This research uses a single-respondent questionnaire. Further research could include analysis of other SME members and take into consideration subjective measures of SME development. in an intensive and coordinated way.com/0309-0590. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical research is carried out in Polish SMEs (the sample size is 211 enterprises).1108/03090590910959308 1.or medium-size enterprise (SME) management in connection with the corporate performance. Introduction Since organizational learning will be a crucial factor in the future for corporate survival. That is why the subject concerning the inﬂuence of organizational learning on business performance is now an important topic. Silesian University of Technology. Small to medium-sized enterprises. the question how organizational learning proceeds in SMEs and how it affects their performance is . The sales and employment growth ﬁgures and synthetic McKenzie index are used to evaluate SME performance. who should make every effort to inspire the employees’ conﬁdence in each other and create an atmosphere of honest and frank exchange of information and ideas. Originality/value – The results of the research ﬁll a gap in the current knowledge of strategic management and can be used by managers. Findings – In the empirical study. independent experts. Leaders. leaders’ attitudes. it is suggested that there is an empirical relationship between organizational learning and organizational performance. organizations will have to manage this process more proactively. Business performance.The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www. Because not enough attention has been given to the speciﬁc character of these processes in SMEs and the relationship between the processes and SMEs performance so far. Keywords Learning organizations.htm JEIT 33. Poland Paper type Research paper 356 Received 27 July 2008 Revised 18 January 2009 Accepted 20 February 2009 Journal of European Industrial Training Vol.4 The relationship between organizational learning and SME performance in Poland Anna Michna Faculty of Organization and Management. specialists. team learning. In practice it means that organizations reaching a higher level of organizational learning probably achieve higher performance. collaboration. 2009 pp. The empirical research shows that sales and employment growth is most dependent on the following dimensions: dialogue and empowerment of the employees. 11 empirical dimensions of organizational learning are identiﬁed and deﬁned. 4. In order to test the constructed hypotheses we use factor analysis with varimax rotation. In this research.
Analyzing the styles of organizational learning the researchers started by dividing them into two basic categories: passive orientation: lower level. 1993. 2001) analyzed the relationship between the learning style. 118) says that “organizational learning occurs when the organization’s members revise their beliefs in ways that. Senge. and active orientation: higher level. The analysis covered the correlation between innovation and organizational learning. The research did not include organizational learning but the variables that were selected for small business analysis are relevant. 1990. 2. McElroy. 2004). The research was conducted in three countries (China. 1996). Other research was conducted in Denmark (Lund. Cross-sector research (Sadler-Smith et al. hierarchical. Steward. 2001). 2001. The behavioral dimension of organizational learning and its relationship with the effectiveness of human resource practices were the subject of research carried out by Perez Lopez et al. The subject of cross-sectional research (Berthoin et al. when beliefs are acted upon. It is interesting that in the presented deﬁnition the author refers to the organization’s performance.. 2003. Other authors also emphasize that judging organizational learning (Miner and Mezias. (1999). 1996) with reference to the organization’s performance is very important (Lahteenmaki et al. (2000) developed and implemented a model of collaborative learning in small ﬁrms. Sadler-Smith et al. (2001) focused on the analysis of organizational learning styles and their correlation with the entrepreneurial style and job complexity as well as SME performance. Garvin. DiBella et al.. Argyris ¨ and Schon. Pak Tee. 1996.. Senge. We can only ﬁnd single publications which reveal a low level of formalization (Tsang. Organizational learning The literature on the subject does not develop speciﬁc problems of organizational learning in SMEs. Some research concerning organizational learning in the structural context can be found in the studies by Kim (1993) and by Berthoin et al. double loop. improve the organization’s performance”. Wiklund and Shepherd (2005) studied the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance. and decentralized structures. adaptive. 2004) and involved ﬁve manufacturing ﬁrms. 1978). Gardiner and Whiting.. who studied Spanish companies with more than 200 employees. 1989). generative. single loop (cf.. Bukowitz and Williams. 2003.. 1990). 1999) was long-term effectiveness of organizational learning processes in both centralized. 2003) but this research did not cover learning. Israel. 1997) of these processes in SMEs in contrast with large organizations. and transformational (cf. The knowledge of organizational processes is also essential when it comes to management innovation (Stata. 1997. 2001) did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the style of organizational learning and the performance.relevant and very important. p. Their key ﬁndings show that high performance human resource practices have a positive effect on organizational learning (which in turn has a positive inﬂuence on business performance). Huber (2004. and Germany) SME performance in Poland 357 . and incremental (cf. (2005). Although Sadler-Smith et al.. 1999. Authors researching these issues present a number of deﬁnitions of organizational learning (Maier et al. DiBella et al. Other research (Chaston et al. competence and learning system. With regard to performance the inﬂuence of the managers’ behavior and the inﬂuence of the entrepreneurial style on small business performance were also studied (Sadler-Smith et al..
To specify the dynamics and multidimensionality of organizational learning a versatile perspective was used describing organizational learning in the following basic dimensions: structural. there is no theory of organizational learning which also takes the management speciﬁcity of SMEs in connection with their performance into consideration. After creating the questionnaire the tools applied in the empirical research conducted in the years 2001-2006 were analyzed. The study had the following objectives.4 358 and did not prove the hypothesis that hierarchical structures posed a threat to organizational learning. . The results of this research indicate that these ﬁrms have the potential to be learning organisations. the question how organizational learning takes place in SMEs and how it affects their performance is both highly topical and very important. The authors identiﬁed seven separate but correlated dimensions of a learning organization. Organizational learning in SMEs is a multidimensional construct. which was the research tool. in the sense of adequacy check in Polish conditions. which makes the picture of the studied phenomenon more complete. H2. the arguments which resulted from the empirical research led to a change in the list of the organizational learning dimensions. Since not enough attention has been paid to the speciﬁcity of these processes in SMEs in connection with their performance. The research hypotheses were veriﬁed by statistical analysis of the empirical data obtained through direct study – the research technique was a survey conducted with the use of a questionnaire. First. it might have resulted in standardization. the literature on the subject made it possible to determine the dimensions of organizational learning – but this was contrasted with the opinions of practitioners. the research being done by Davis and Daley (2006) in 2000 American companies whose revenues were no less than 100 million US dollars. The conducted analysis of the literature on the subject had led to putting forward the following research hypotheses: H1. The development of research in this ﬁeld makes it worth giving some thought to the present state of knowledge about organizational learning and trying to critically integrate achievements to date. There is a relationship between organizational learning and SME business performance. Birdthistle (2006) studied family SMEs in Ireland as learning organisations. which portrays the strategic dimension of the studied phenomenon. The understanding of the nature of organizational learning and the way it affects SME performance. The identiﬁcation of the dimensions of organizational learning in SMEs. This tool was later applied by a number of researchers. . and behavioral. Although the amount of research on organizational learning is signiﬁcant. The research makes an original contribution to strategic management science in two aspects. It was also used to study the impact of organizational learning on corporate performance.JEIT 33. 2003). strategic. Second. The following three scales used in the empirical research deserve special attention: . The creation of a tool to diagnose organizational learning with regard to SME performance. for example to analyze non-proﬁt organizations (McHargue. Marsick and Watkins (2003) proposed the dimensions of the learning organization questionnaire. which also reﬂect the research procedure: .
2005).15 percent. Manufacturing companies accounted for the majority of respondents and constituted almost one-third of the respondents. the criterion introduced by Bantel (1998) was applied and the following sample structure was obtained: companies operating in the market for up to ﬁve years – 15.21 percent. 2003) – the structural dimension.. ﬁnancial brokerage companies – 6. construction companies – 11. 2003). 28. 51-100 people. To divide the sample according to the length of time the ﬁrm had been in the market. The sample size was 211 enterprises.35 percent. The research did not cover the micro-enterprises. The scales mentioned above complement each other. Regrettably. 302-307) – the research involved companies that were members of the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Katowice (RIG). (2000) was applied and the following sample structure was obtained: companies employing 10-50 people. This sample was divided into certain categories according to the number of employees. 3.15 percent. Eventually. 101-250 people. To divide the sample according to the number of employees. The majority of those companies were in the ﬁrst category of enterprises. 107 completed survey questionnaires were received (the valid response rate was 50. (2) The dimensions of the learning organization questionnaire (Marsick and Watkins. Next were the sales companies – 16. RIG is one of the biggest economic organizations in the local government in Poland and gathers about 400 member enterprises. so it was assumed that there was additive synthesis between them. the total feedback (after the third reminder) was about 1 percent (only three survey questionnaires) so this method was abandoned. small. Research design and sample In the study a deliberate selection was made (Freedman et al.89 percent.04 percent. with the length of time in the market of 6-13 years – this group constituted almost 50 percent of all the ﬁrms..48 percent. the length of time the company had been in the market.71 percent). The deﬁnition of SMEs was adopted in accordance with the guidelines of the Commission of the European Communities concerning micro-. In the course of the proper research. the company’s line of business. At the beginning an attempt was made to carry out the research by e-mail. circulating the survey questionnaire in this form.71 percent. real estate companies – 9. companies employing 1-9 people are the subject of separate research (Van Gelderen et al.and medium-sized enterprises (Ofﬁcial Journal of the European Union. 32.23 percent.73 percent. The sample was also divided according to the ﬁrm’s line of business. 2001) – the strategic dimension.(1) The learning orientation questionnaire (Sadler-Smith et al. The most companies were in the second category of enterprises. and the other companies – not more than 5 percent. 2005) – the behavioral dimension. (3) The scale of organizational learning (Perez Lopez et al. with up to 50 employees. 1978. pp. a decision was made to do the research at the companies’ premises or in the RIG headquarters – the forms were delivered and collected personally. The proper research was preceded by a pilot study. other service companies – 12. 39.82 percent. the criterion introduced by Weir et al. The target group was the top managers of these companies. SME performance in Poland 359 ... transport companies – 7. companies operating in the market for 14-21 years – 25. companies operating in the market for 6-13 years – 46. companies operating in the market for 22 or more years – 12.25 percent.54 percent. The research covered the small and medium enterprises.
for dimension D1. Marsick and Watkins. and D6 (Table II). D5. 2003. 2001. D3. (3) D3 – creating individual learning opportunities for the employees. (10) D10 – hiring and compensation. In the subsequent research. The identiﬁed and deﬁned dimensions did not coincide with the original dimensions (Sadler-Smith et al. A reliability coefﬁcient was established for the scales measuring separate dimensions – for each scale this coefﬁcient was higher than 0. the length of time the ﬁrm had been in the market. the ﬁrm’s line of business. The relationship between organizational learning and organizational performance of SMEs At the ﬁrst stage of the research a factor analysis was carried out. depending on the number of employees. nonparametric analysis of variance for independent samples was applied: the Kruskal-Wallis test (Ferguson and Takane. Then the relationships were studied between the identiﬁed and deﬁned dimensions of organizational learning in SMEs. the proﬁtability index. The Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA on ranks showed that there were statistically relevant differences ( p .7 which conﬁrmed their high reliability. namely the Ward method (1963).4 360 4. for dimension D4. It was shown that there were statistically relevant differences.JEIT 33. It was also shown that there were statistically relevant differences between the lines of business. The analysis showed no relationship between dimension D1 and the majority of other dimensions. 0. depending on the control variables such as the number of employees. (4) D4 – dialogue and empowerment of the employees. and calculated as the quotient of two variables: gross proﬁt and net sales revenue. D4. (8) D8 – knowledge acquisition. to classify the factors a taxonomic method was applied. (5) D5 – collaboration and team learning. D4. (7) D7 – connecting the organization to its environment. also called the McKenzie index (McKenzie. It was also analyzed whether the differences between the dimensions of organizational learning. 2005) which had been assumed on the basis of relevant literature. between the following dimensions of organizational learning: D3. D4.05). (6) D6 – leaders’ attitudes. (11) D11 – key results. To assess the performance of the studied SMEs. between the studied categories of enterprises. 463-465).. The cluster analysis of 105 items (all items were measured using a seven-point Likert scale) allowed to identify the following eleven dimensions of organizational learning: (1) D1 – strategy stability. were statistically relevant. Perez Lopez et al. which were correlated negatively with D1 (at a low but statistically relevant level). and D5 (Table I). pp. In the conducted empirical research the dependent variable was organizational performance. was applied. The strongest relationship existed between dimension D11 and the following dimensions: D6. depending on the length of time the ﬁrm had been in the market. . and D8. (2) D2 – approach to risk and experimentation. except for dimensions D2.. 1996). 1989. (9) D9 – organizational memory.
51 * * * 0.64 * * * 0.66 * * * 0.89 * * * 1.16 0.79 * * * 20.11 20.89 * * * 0.57 * * * 0.77 * * * 0.57 * * * 0.D1 20.84 * * * 0.64 * * * 0.77 * * * 0.84 * * * 0.80 * * * 0.58 * * * 0.20 * 20.56 * * * 0.54 * * * 0.66 * * * 20.53 * * * Notes: *p . 0.00 20.63 * * * 0.001 SME performance in Poland 361 Table I.70 * * * 0.58 * * * 0.00 0.29 * * 0.60 * * * 0.26 * * 1. 0.71 * * * 20.60 * * * 0.16 20.77 * * * 0.14 20.78 * * * 1.61 * * * 1.06 0.87 * * * 0.53 * * * 0.57 * * * 0.76 * * * 0.00 2 0.70 * * * 0.67 * * * 0.73 * * * 0.66 2 0.66 * * * 0.13 1.00 0.63 * * * 20.61 * * * D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11 2 0.75 * * * 1.61 * * * 0.00 0.68 * * * 0.74 * * * 1.50 * * * 0.68 * * * 0.66 * * * 0.14 0.72 * * * 0.67 * * * 0.77 * * * 0.79 * * * 2 0.13 0.79 * * * 0.68 * * * 0.00 0.50 * * * 0.00 0.67 * * * 0.79 * * * 0.29 * * 20.70 * * * 0.80 * * * 0.57 * * * 0.14 20.82 * * * 0.53 * * * 0.00 0.00 0.11 0.00 0.74 * * * 0.66 1.09 20.57 * * * 0.20 * 0.78 * * * 0.77 * * * 0. 0.67 * * * 0.68 * * * 0.87 * * * 0.67 * * * 0.77 * * * 0.78 * * * 0.05.54 * * * 1.51 * * * 0.06 20. * *p .63 * * * 0.85 * * * 0.26 * * 20.61 * * * 0. Correlations between the dimensions of organizational learning . * * *p .14 0.75 * * * 0.71 * * * 0.67 * * * 0.85 * * * 1.73 * * * 0.78 * * * 0.09 0.53 * * * 0.00 0.70 * * * 20.76 * * * 0.63 * * * 0.82 * * * 0.57 * * * 0.01.72 * * * 1.56 * * * 0.
161 0.468 * * 0.900 0.539 * * 0.900 362 Table II. Results of the analysis of the correlation between dimensions D1 to D11 of organizational learning and the income.066 0.070 0.128 0.019 * 0.331 0.143 0.204 0.092 0. Wiklund and Shepherd. ANOVA – analysis of variance Notes: *p .559 * * 0.427 0.938 0.538 0.052 0. particularly new activity assessment.360 * * 0.020 0.533 * * 0.553 * * 0.056 0.130 0.067 0.677 0.609 * * 0. 0.JEIT 33.429 ANOVA – enterprises categorized by the line of business p 0. Sadler-Smith et al. It was demonstrated that there were very clear and strong positive correlations between the D1 – D10 of organizational learning D1 – strategy stability D2 – approach to risk and experimentation D3 – creating individual learning opportunities for the employees D4 – dialogue and empowerment of the employees D5 – collaboration and team learning D6 – leaders’ attitudes D7 – connecting the organization to its environment D8 – knowledge acquisition D9 – organizational memory D10 – hiring and compensation D11 – key results Notes: *p .058 ANOVA – enterprises categorized by the length of time they had been in the market p 0.542 * * 0.556 * * 0.136 Employment growth 20. McKenzie index and employment growths .438 0.667 0.331 * 0.001 * * 0.005 * * 0.444 * * 0.499 * * 0.361 0.193 0.044 * 0.. * *p .252 0. 2001. 2005. 0.649 * * 0.01 It was also decided to use the sales growth index as the key index of performance considered a category of organizational activity assessment (Zahra et al.05.123 0.001 Income growth 2 0. Furthermore.038 * 0.067 0.554 * * 0. 0.519 * * 0.337 * * 0.. from D1 to D11 (Table III). to assess the performance of the studied SMEs. * *p .423 0.678 * * McKenzie index growth 20.122 0.247 0.044 0.036 * 0.071 0. The analysis was commenced with statistical variable analysis – the ﬁrms above the 95th percentile and below the ﬁfth percentile were removed as they were atypical observations.954 0.473 * * Table III.107 0. the income growth rate (Wolff and Pett.589 0.667 0.593 0. 2005) was employed. 0. 2000).895 0.4 ANOVA – enterprises categorized by the number of employees p D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 D8 D9 D10 D11 0.01.631 * * 0.440 * * 0. The Pearson correlation was calculated between the income growth rate and the dimensions of organizational learning.
all the correlations reaching a high level of statistical signiﬁcance. Special attention should be paid to the differences in organizational learning within manufacturing companies – their speciﬁcity in this regard can be the subject of further research. A reliability analysis of the above mentioned dimensions was conducted. the created research tool was appropriate but the dimensions of organizational learning resulting from it did not prove it to be correct because they interpenetrate as the empirical research showed. in order to assess the dimensions of organizational learning in SMEs. D6 – leaders’ attitudes. To sum up. in Polish conditions. which aim was conceptualization of the idea of organizational learning. The research tools used in Polish conditions were veriﬁed and the dimensions of organizational learning were identiﬁed and deﬁned. The research proved that organizational performance. D4 – dialogue and empowerment of the employees. The research suggested that there were signiﬁcant differences in organizational learning depending on the number of employees. with the use of Cronbach’s a coefﬁcient. limitations A broad study of the literature on the subject was conducted. they are complementary. D6 – leaders’ attitudes. high accuracy of the scales serving as tools to assess the dimensions of organizational learning was proved. Generally. it is also visible in the scatter graph. It is also interesting that a stronger relationship existed between the dimensions of organizational learning and sales growth than between the dimensions of organizational learning and growth in number of employees. which show the various aspects of this complex and multifaceted phenomenon. Dimension D11 (key results). . D5 – collaboration and team learning. Thus.income growth and dimensions D2-D10. It is worth mentioning that the research indicated the same dimensions but in a slightly different order. Discussion. Dimension D1 (strategy stability) was negatively correlated with the dependent variable but it was a statistically irrelevant relationship. . Dimension D1 showed no relationship to sales growth as well as to growth in number of employees. the age of the company and the line of business. With regards to the performance measured by income growth the most important factors of organizational learning were the following dimensions: D4 – dialogue and empowerment of the employees. on the contrary. SME performance in Poland 363 . it does not mean they exclude each other. The study showed that sales and employment growth were most dependent on the following dimensions (out of the eleven ones): . implications. Various approaches to organizational learning. Eleven empirical dimensions of organizational learning were identiﬁed and deﬁned. as well as the identiﬁed dimensions. their elaboration and modiﬁcation were presented and an attempt to systematize them was made. out of all the dimensions of organizational learning. where the observations form a chaotic cloud. depended on all but one (D1 – strategy stability) of the dimensions of organizational learning. 5. employing the scales created is recommended. Although the discussed perspectives and approaches to organizational learning are different. D5 – collaboration and team learning. had the strongest correlation with the income growth. measured by sales growth and growth in number of employees.
. dimensions: . Thus. openly and frankly express their opinions and share their experience. D5 (collaboration and team learning) – central feature: in my organization the people do not hide their reactions. the index showing the proﬁtability resulting only from operational activities. D3 (creating individual learning opportunities for the employees) – central feature: my organization monitors the results of devoting time and resources to training. .g. In order to better understand the nature of the studied phenomenon some calculations were performed. D6 (leaders’ attitudes) – central feature: in my organization the leaders give advice to their subordinates and train them. An analysis of the relation between the dimensions D1-D10 and the dimension D11 showed a very strong relationship between the results of organizational learning (D11) and all the other dimensions except for D1. However. but statistically relevant. The question of the effect of the dimension D1 (strategy stability) on proﬁtability growth requires further research because the analysis results. The determination of the organizational learning components which are characterized by a low level and the ones which are characterized by a high level can certainly be the basis for setting guidelines by the managers. showed a low.4 364 A separate piece of research was conducted for D11 (key results). The strongest relationships existed for the same dimensions which affected sales growth and employment growth (in a slightly different order). None of the other dimensions from D2 to D11 showed any relationship with the proﬁtability growth of the studied organizations. Additionally. this relationship did not show in the repeated study. . expressed by the McKenzie index. before the removing of atypical observations. D11 (key results) – central feature: the number of new products or services is bigger than in the previous year.7) with sales growth. This tool gives SMEs a practical chance to improve their performance. a very strong relationship was proven between this dimension and the dependent variable. it must be said that a strong relationship was also observed between D3 (creating individual learning opportunities for the employees) and D11 (key results). it can be assumed that for enterprises outside the SME sector these relations may be different. A tool was created to diagnose organizational learning with regard to SME performance. . Further research should also examine other parameters reﬂecting proﬁtability of enterprises. . negative relationship. determined in the previous stage of the research. D4 (dialogue and empowerment of the employees) – central feature: my organization encourages the people to contribute to the organization’s vision. e. Central variables were identiﬁed for the selected dimensions of organizational learning with the use of center of gravity method. The tool can be employed to analyze the level of the dimensions of organizational learning. which was conducted after the removing of atypical observations. which showed the following central features for these. of all the dimensions of organizational learning. Incidentally.JEIT 33. which showed the highest correlation coefﬁcient (almost 0.
On the other hand. On the other hand. since it was shown that the key results of organizational learning process depend on the leaders’ attitudes in the most crucial way. among other things. The research showed that risk acceptance decreases with growth in the number of employees. Strategy stability is strongly negatively correlated with all the dimensions of organizational learning in the case of manufacturing enterprises. If the leaders advise their subordinates. which may cause difﬁculties in obtaining necessary information and discourage the employees from asking questions – people stop asking what the others think and do not want to revise their opinions. These companies are also the best ones with regard to the connecting of the organization to its environment owing to. the organization achieves better results of organizational learning. creating learning SME performance in Poland 365 . which means for example encouraging people to experiment with innovative methods of work. it can be said that in this case strategy stability blocks organizational learning processes. also at the strategic level. Moreover. Managers should be ﬂexibly creative. Generally speaking. The level of dialogue and empowerment of the employees decreases with growth in the employment to a signiﬁcant extent. It is also important to keep open discussions about the mistakes so that the people can learn from them and avoid them in the future. the better opportunities for individual learning for the employees a company creates the better results of organizational learning are achieved and an increased number of new products and services are launched by the company. It is worth underlining here that the research showed that the higher strategy stability of manufacturing enterprises the smaller the number of new products and customer satisfaction. Growing strategy stability worsens the approach to risk and experimentation and makes both the employees and the customers lack motivation to inform the organization that there is room for improvement. It follows from what was said that the leaders’ role also consists in supporting of requests for training and in creating learning opportunities as well as monitoring the training results. two-way communication is also worse. Leaders themselves should constantly seek opportunities to learn and they should also share the current information about the competitors with the employees as well as information about the trends in the market. It was shown that the more stable the strategy of an organization the lower the level of knowledge acquired by it. Thus. the more ﬂexible the strategy of a company the larger the extent to which organizational systems and procedures support innovation. Managers should be leaders advising their subordinates. The management of SMEs should be characterized by a will to accept risk and by a positive approach to experimentation. the fact that the customers’ views are taken into consideration in decision-making processes. Collaboration is better developed in small companies and teams treat their members as peers regardless of their rank. Dialogue and empowerment of the employees decrease together with the strategy stability. train them and inform all the employees about the company’s objectives.The research resulted in the following recommendations for SME managing staff: . . . these directly proportional relationships are best visible in enterprises employing 10-50 people and in new enterprises operating in the market for less than ﬁve years.
The certainty that the organization will use the team’s achievements and the people will be justly rewarded stimulates teamwork. achieved the highest level of organizational learning. 366 . are of particular importance because in the future they will create a way of leading people that will stimulate organizational learning both at the individual level and the team level. The managers of an organization should create an atmosphere encouraging an open and sincere exchange of opinions and experience since the research proved it was crucial for collaboration. The management of the enterprises which have been operating in the market for a longer time should develop speciﬁc dimensions of organizational learning. which are polarized by control variables. So. Enterprises should have and use constantly updated databases to maintain their knowledge and experience. 6. it is possible that the selection of a different set of organizations and in a different cultural environment could give different results. Another limitation to the presented research.7. opportunities for the individual employees is a strong point of enterprises employing more than 100 people. It would increase our knowledge of what is happening in Polish SMEs with regard to organizational learning. allowing managers to guide it efﬁciently. the analysis showed very high reliability – the Cronbach’s a coefﬁcients for each dimension were higher than 0. In practice it means that organizations reaching a higher level of organizational learning probably achieve higher performance. On the other hand. These enterprises obtained the highest average level in nine out of eleven dimensions of organizational learning. it was suggested that there was an empirical relationship between organizational learning and organizational performance. In order to analyze the discussed problem more fully the research should be repeated on the same sample in a few years. as to interpretation of the obtained results. the main one being the attribution of its results to the selected sample. operating in the market for less than ﬁve years.JEIT 33. to underline the existence of certain restrictions on the conducted empirical research. . it is worth considering whether the amount of earned income causes unique . to create an atmosphere of frank and open dialogue and to encourage the employees to contribute to the organizational vision. However. An inherent feature of team learning processes is also the fact that the people treat each other with respect and build mutual conﬁdence. which could be analyzed further. further research is needed to verify the existence of speciﬁc conﬁgurations of explained variables. So. The level and intensity of the dimensions of organizational learning was studied as well as their impact on organizational performance at the given moment of time. The general rules for organizational learning.4 . The level of organizational memory (D9) is also of signiﬁcant importance for SME effectiveness (Table III). Further research In this research. which makes the research a unique picture of those organizations. is its time dimension. also opening a ﬁeld for further analysis. The leaders should do their best to make team conﬁdence grow. It is important. Encouraging the employees to contribute to the organizational vision is particularly important as the research showed that the youngest enterprises.
The limitations described above open a ﬁeld for future research and indicate a need for further analysis in the area of organizational learning and organizational performance. 2004. Future research could also take into consideration subjective measures of SME development (Simpson et al. Creating new models – using the past models.. The contradictions. 1999) can result from the fact that tensions in the organization may become impossible to control if both exploration and exploitation reach their extreme. Dierkes. It should be said that the management ought to concentrate their efforts on continuous. Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. 25 No. Journal of General Management. 3. Self-organizing – mechanistic structure.A. Reijonen. The control variables at the individual level (age. 1. All this reveals complexity and difﬁculty in managing balance between exploration and exploitation. 63-88. “Organizational learning in China. as such a presentation may make us fall into the trap of researching “what others think of what the organization thinks” (Meyer et al. Learning through innovation – acting in accordance with set procedures. MA. Some research on organizational learning and performance could also be done at the individual level. . rational reconciling and blending contradictions of organizational learning since according to a dialectical principle.A. collision of opposites has a creative nature. A.A. . Empowerment of the employees – supervision of work. resulting from the identiﬁed dimensions of organizational learning. Ortenblad. . 205-30. pp. as it was shown that subjective measures of development had a great inﬂuence on entrepreneurs’ decisions and behavior and so on the development of the company. (1978). 2007. affect each other and then lead to different intensity of particular dimensions. Teamwork – individual work. Vol. context and performance”. . not only at the organizational level. L. pp. and yearly income) may make the results different. C. The review of the literature on the subject proves that the dialectical approach to empirical analysis of organizational learning processes has not been applied so far. Vol. and Schon. D. 2002). Hence this is a very promising direction for further research. and Marz. Dixon. Journal of Business Venturing. education. gender. “Technology-based adolescent ﬁrm conﬁgurations: strategy identiﬁcation. M. Exploiting emerging opportunities – implementing the intended strategy. 2002. K. Berthoin. . 2007). SME performance in Poland 367 .. 13 No. Future research could also take into consideration subjective measures of SME development. Reading. References ¨ Argyris. Limitations ¨ of simultaneity of exploration and exploitation (He and Wong. External partners’ participation in problem-solving – seeking development potential inside the organization. Addison-Wesley. Germany and Israel”.variance in the dimensions of organizational learning in different types of organizations or not. (1999). .. can be divided into following: . Bantel. (1998).
(2003). A. T. 481-94. “Success factors in learning organizations: an empirical study”. L.E. (2001). 16-29. 7. (2003). D. Nevis. Ferguson. pp. He. “Training and learning strategies of family businesses: an Irish case”. Toivonen. 4. 71 No. McKenzie. exploitation: an empirical test of the ambidexterity hypothesis”. (2006). (2006). (1999).W. Oxford University Press. J. British Journal of Management. 2. (1996). in Dierkes. Advances in Developing Human Resources. 11. 12 No.L. S. P.. 21 No. 2. Norton & Co. Vol. Journal of European Industrial Training. and Sadler-Smith. Gower Publishing. 25-26 November. Statistics. (2001). 1417-32. “Understanding organizational learning capability”. pp. Vol. Attributes of Survivors in A Changing World. McGraw-Hill. 5 No. competencies and learning systems in small UK manufacturing ﬁrms”. K. 78-91. Sage.J. Vol. and Wong. 29 No. DiBella. New York. (Eds). NY. B. pp. E. J. pp. I. 41-8. (1996). (2004). P. Vol. Y. Vol. London. (2003). CA. D. 4. Organization Science. Sloan Management Review. “The learning organization and its dimensions as key factors in ﬁrm performance”. Maier. pp. pp.. The New Knowledge Management. 5 No. 11 No. and Gould. D. N. New York. 37-50. 113-29. pp. Advances in Developing Human Resources. Pisani. 1. Prange. 30 No. (1993)..R. and Purves.P.L.. Bukowitz. 132-51. 368 . J. Statistical Analysis in Psychology and Education. Ch. Thousand Oaks. Organizational Learning and Knowledge. (1999). 196-204.JEIT 33. 35 No. The Organizational Learning Cycle: How We Can Learn Collectively. NY. NY. Burlington. Z. Berthoin Antal. “Demonstrating the value of an organization’s learning culture: the dimensions of the learning organization questionnaire”. and Daley. London. paper presented at XVIII Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Conference (RENT). 3. pp. Industrial & Commercial Training. P.K.A. and Mattila. A. M. Freedman. (1978). (2004).. NY. Financial Times-Prentice Hall. (2001). R.. D. Journal of Management Studies. Vol. The Necessary Nature of Future Firms. “Building a learning organization”. 1. (2004). “Psychological perspectives of organizational learning”. New York. 33 No.A. R. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. “Critical aspects of organizational learning research and proposals for its measurement”. Garvin. “Exploration vs.4 Birdthistle. Vol. M. Child. Chaston. 2. “Learning for performance in nonproﬁt organizations”. J. 361-79. 51-66.. G. Davis. The Knowledge Management Fieldbook. New York. Harvard Business Review. G.. and Nonaka. and von Rosenstiel. Vol. Paradox – The Next Strategic Dimension: Using Conﬂict to Re-energize Your Business. McElroy. W.H. 2. Vol. R. Dixon. S. “Organizational learning style. Butterworth-Heinemann.. McHargue. Copenhagen. Kim. pp. “The link between individual and organizational learning”. McGraw-Hill. Vol. pp. R. and Watkins. Mangles. G. (1997). Gardiner. Huber. and Williams. and Takane. Marsick. B. (1993). Badger. N. M. “The managed interaction between innovation and learning”. V. Lund. and Whiting. pp. pp. Vol. 550-68. E. Academy of Human Resource Development. MA. Lahteenmaki. 15 No. I. (1989).
H. pp. “Organizational learning – the key to management innovation”.. Ward. (1989). Vol. Vol. Spicer. 3. pp. (Eds). Miner. ¨ Ortenblad. A. L124/36. pp.. Vol. (2004). “Learning orientations and growth in smaller ﬁrms”. Sloan Management Review.A.A. and Sexton. R. (2007). “The entrepreneurship – strategic management interface”. Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-ﬁrst Century Organization. H. Long Range Planning. Vol. 1. 50 No. pp. New York. Strategic Entrepreneurship: Creating a New Mindset. pp. B. N. Currency. Camp.. (2003). “Measuring the performance of small and medium sized enterprises”. P. 1. 34 No. M. 1. Chaston.J. Vol. M. (1997). Simpson. Small Business Economics. M. pp. (2005). 23 No. G. Gardiner. Padmore. 2. The Wealth of Knowledge. 25 No. Vol.and medium-sized enterprises.D. and Frecknall-Hughes. Montes Peron.M. 93-100. J. and Jansen. 19-44. K. Vol. J. 58. LeBeau. Journal of the American Statistical Association. 285-306. I. Badger.A. 33.. B. pp.K.J. “Organizational learning and the learning organization: a dichotomy between descriptive and prescriptive research”.L. Turku. Vol. D. I. and Badger. Sadler-Smith.. pp. Kochhlar. E. A. 2. Steward.M. I. Human Systems Management. 3. S. 97-108. J.H.). 6. (2007). 88-99. “Human resource practices. “Entrepreneurs’ subjective measures of success and their inﬂuence on growth of micro-businesses – a case study among craft and rural tourism entrepreneurs in North Karelia”. 33 No.. Reijonen. Chaston. 2. paper presented at International Council for Small Business 52nd World Conference (ICSB). S. “Using collaborative learning to develop small ﬁrms”.A.. E. and small ﬁrm performance”. E. S. 213-30. NY. pp..D. 7 No. “Managerial behavior. J. Oxford. (2000). A. M. Irel. entrepreneurial style. Senge. (2003). 1. and Meeks. (1963). pp. P. Y.. and Mezias. T. Ofﬁcial Journal of the European Union (n. 30 No.. J. Long Range Planning. (1990). Blackwell Publishing.P.M. 147-64. Perez Lopez. “An empirical study of the alignment between manufacturing and marketing strategies”. Human Relations. in Hitt. pp. 139-58. Journal of Small Business Management. Management Learning. M. Vol. Neck.. Vol. (2000). S. P. 13-15 June. 8 No. organizational learning and business performance”. D.W. Organizational Science. Turku. 41 No.. Hampson. L. “Ugly duckling no more: pasts and futures of organizational learning research”. Tsang. (2005).. and Vazquez Ordas. “A typology of the idea of learning organization”. Vol. (1996).Meyer. and Edgeley. Weir. Stata. van der Sluis. Human Resource Development International. Van Gelderen.. “Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function”. and Chaston. (2002).C. Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003 concerning the deﬁnition of micro-.K. Sadler-Smith.S. 115-29. (2002). and Tubberﬁeld. SME performance in Poland 369 . 47-67. 63-74. Pak Tee. 236-44. Doubleday. paper presented at International Council for Small Business 52nd World Conference (ICSB). The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. Human Resource Development International. S. Vol. pp. “Learning opportunities and learning behaviours of small business starters: relations with goal achievement. Sadler-Smith.G. 13-15 June. 831-46.d. “The learning organizations and the innovative organization”. pp. (2001). skill development and satisfaction”. New York. D. NY. E. 3 No. small.
25 No. Her research includes: organization learning.D. (2005). mode of market entry. J. 925-50. Vol. J. paper presented at Academy of Management Conference. pp. and internationalization: SME performance implications”.G. D. Anna Michna can be contacted at: anna@michna. “The inﬂuence of organizational structure on the utility of an entrepreneurial top management style”. (2000).emeraldinsight. S. Journal of Business Venturing. and enterprise evaluation. Further reading Covin. M.pl To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 370 Wiklund.L.A. Honolulu. Journal of Management Studies. (2005). Ireland. and Shepherd. Zahra.JEIT 33. “Innovation.. Wolff. 20 No. J.com/reprints . and Pett. 1.com Or visit our web site for further details: www. Academy of Management Journal.A. D. particularly methods of intellectual capital assessment in organizations. R. 217-34. and Hitt. 71-91. 3. technological learning and performance”. 43 No. 5-10 August. new product development.A. “Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: a conﬁgurational approach”. “International expansion by New Venture Firms: international diversity. Vol. (1988). Vol. knowledge management. and Slevin. About the author Anna Michna is employed at Faculty of Organization and Management of Silesian University of Technology. pp.P. 5. T. pp.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.