How Strong Is the Effect of Learning in the Workplace?

Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Human Resource Management

Year: 2019


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How Strong Is the Effect of Learning in the Workplace?

Kristina Sisyuk



Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity characterize the environment of knowledgeintensive organizations today. The “survival of the fittest” demands those organizations act as living organisms and adapt to environmental changes. It is no longer sufficient for them to think that employees’ competences at the time of recruitment will meet future demands. New technologies are rapidly transforming job landscapes and reshaping the way people work within organizations. Accordingly, organizations are investing in further training of their employees.This investment raises a question: How does learning interact with skills application and operational excellence in the workplace? This research aims to explore the relationship between learning and operational excellence in the workplace by utilizing the mediating role of skills application. The sample data sets of 3,730 employees from a 2015 survey of a multinational knowledge-intensive company were used to perform mediation analysis using regression-based tests and bootstrapping. The findings show that learning affects operational excellence by affecting skills application. The measured effects are positive and significant, however, they are very small. These results suggest that learning and skills applications are only two of many factors which may influence operational excellence. This research is relevant for knowledgeintensive organizations to understand that learning activities in the workplace alone are not enough to boost operational excellence.

Keywords: human capital, in-company training, skills application, operational excellence,knowledge-intensive organizations.