FR-P01-018-interactive - Characteristics of Learning Organizations in an Engineering Academic Unit

Organizational Culture
Interactive Poster Presentation
1 hour 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Organizational Structure, Culture and Climate
Organizational culture
Characteristics of Learning Organizations in an Engineering Academic Unit
J. Weston 1,*, Z. Byrne 1, A. Maciejewski 1
1Colorado State University, Fort Collins, United States
Content: Purpose
Learning organizations are understudied, in particular within the academic community. How characteristics of a learning organization relate to cultural, leadership, and organizational change features is unknown, leaving leaders in the dark on creating their own learning organizations. We apply the lens of a learning organization to examine the culture of an engineering department.
Participants (N = 59) were employed in two engineering departments at a large university in the United States. The departments either recently experienced culture change, or were undergoing a major organizational change intervention.
Analyses indicate characteristics of learning organizations are positively associated with innovative and supportive cultural facets, low levels of organizational change cynicism, high quality leader-member exchange relationships, and high levels of work engagement.
Data are not experimental, prohibiting causal inferences. Sample size is small; however, respondents represent a highly motivated audience to whom organizational change is salient and the samples are representative of their populations in terms of gender, age, job type, and job rank.
Research/Practical Implications
Fostering a culture embodied by learning organizations plays an important role in both engaging employees and mitigating their cynicism during times of change. Moreover, positive leader-member exchange relationships and certain cultural perceptions that embody learning organizations play a critical role in change interventions.
By exploring the characteristics of a learning organization using a sample of working adults experiencing change episodes, we advance science and practice through recommendations for employers, and an expansion and validation of the nomological network of learning organizations.
Disclosure of Interest: J. Weston Conflict with: NSF Funded Research, Z. Byrne Conflict with: NSF Funded Research, A. Maciejewski Conflict with: NSF Funded Research


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