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Organizational and Perceived Learning in the Workplace: A Multilevel Perspective on Employees’ Problem Solving

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Furlan

    (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, 35123 Padova, Italy)

  • Ambra Galeazzo

    (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, 35123 Padova, Italy)

  • Adriano Paggiaro

    (Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Padova, 35123 Padova, Italy)

Abstract

Using a multilevel theoretical framework, we investigate the effects of organizational and perceived learning on employees’ systematic problem solving (SPS) that aims to prevent the recurrence of a problem. At the organizational level, we focus on the deliberate learning mechanisms of knowledge articulation (OKA) and knowledge codification (OKC). At the individual level, we focus on the relative perception of the mechanisms of knowledge articulation (PKA) and knowledge codification (PKC). Drawing on both knowledge management and sensemaking literature, we move from learning only captured through organizational mechanisms, which suppose individuals are passively embedded in the organizational context, to learning captured through perceived mechanisms, which suppose individuals take an active part in the learning processes and interpret them differently. We employ multilevel structural equation modeling to test our theoretical framework using survey data from a sample of 383 shop floor employees in 52 plants. To enhance our results, we perform a set of robustness checks that control different specifications of our model and potential endogeneity issues. Our study indicates that OKC affects SPS, while OKA affects OKC. Moreover, results show that both PKA and PKC have strong positive effects on SPS. Our study draws attention to the multilevel role of organizational learning and expands the understanding of the role of problem solving in routine evolution.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Furlan & Ambra Galeazzo & Adriano Paggiaro, 2019. "Organizational and Perceived Learning in the Workplace: A Multilevel Perspective on Employees’ Problem Solving," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 280-297, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:30:y:2019:i:2:p:280-297
    DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2018.1274
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