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Organizational learning and employee performance

Organizational Learning And Employee Performance In Telecom Sector

Abstract

Learning is not just something to know or to do some thing or to get a degree or to be good at the job. It is about knowledge that is learned every day, it is a part of every day activities in which an individual is constantly going through different experiences, different observations. Some that he knows and some are so small that he may not even have a clue about them but still he is going through the learning process. Organizations today have changed their working patterns due to advances in technology and partly due to globalization. Now they can stay in the market and thrive only if they are innovative. And to be original they need to have knowledge and they should be open to learning. Organizations need to be open to learning and should encourage their employees to continually learn and cultivate their minds. That is why we have chosen this topic to see the impact of organizational learning on the performance of employees, whether there is a relation between the two or not. We are going to be using questionnaires as part of our data collection tools and we have decided to take up three giants of the telecom industry in Pakistan i.e. TELENOR, UFONE and ZONG.

Introduction

We have done our research on organizational learning and employee performance.

Background Discussion

Organizational Learning

Factors Influencining Organizational Learning:

Sambrook & Stewart, 2000 studies shows some of the most influencing factors that hurdles an organizational learning some of them are lack of motivation, extra work, unclear roles, lack of confidence, perception of role, insufficient learning culture, lack of innovation, lack of time, and lack of resources negatively impacted organizational learning. In order to overcome these factors positive perspective, motivation, enthusiasm, involvement, clarity and understanding of role, increased responsibility, perception as a strategic partner, a developed learning culture, senior management support, organization re-structure, job redesign, and investment in human resources, and the learning environment made a significant difference in organizational culture. (wikibooks.org, 2010)

Employee Performance Management

Employee's plays an important role in the performance of a company for this management is required to involved the employees in the planning of the company. Such an involvement will help the employees to perform at higher level and motivates them. (authenticity consulting, 2010)

1. The Planning Process

In Employee performance management, planning process is the initial step which allows the employees to have input into how the company should structure its policies and procedures in order to get an anticipatory final product or service. Planning process helps us understanding the employee's expectation and his objectives as a team member in producing the final product of the company. (authenticity consulting, 2010)

2. Monitoring Performance

In second step we get to measure the progress of the product or the service at initial level and at different level in the process. Depending on the progress made, the employee is been give a continual feedback on what he is doing well and by taking what steps he can improve the company's product or service. (authenticity consulting, 2010)

3. Developing Employees

The third step is Developing Employees performances and skills. This is very important for a company as this can help in improving the employee's performance and to help in understanding if the employee is in the interest of the company or not; if the employee is worth keeping. It is also important to figure out the areas of improvement in order to get maximum output and to make the employee take advantages of the opportunities available within the company. Training should be given to insure that the employee excels in his current role and expand his future opportunities with the company for promotion. (authenticity consulting, 2010)

4. Rating

Rating is the fourth step in employee performance which goes parallel with the monitoring process. The employee is allowed to make a self assessment on his job and to rate himself as well. Then the assessment is been forwarded to the authorities for further assessment in which the review the ratings provided and address any areas where their ratings are significantly different so the employee can understand his/her mistakes or weak ness's. (authenticity consulting, 2010)

5. Rewards

The final step in the employee performance management cycle is reward. For every hard work there is an incentive and rewarding an employee helps in motivating and to get maximum output, it depends on the goals and objective an employee achieves and how successfully its gained so accordingly the reward will be given it can be a promotion or rise in salary. After the formal rating is done the reward is given but can also be offered at any time during the employee performance management cycle that management feels is appropriate. (authenticity consulting, 2010)

Types Of Employee Performance Evaluation:

1. Top-Down Employee Performance Evaluations:

Top-Down employee performance is evaluated by a direct manager it tends to be the most common and most effective in order to assess employee performance. It's most useful when given by an employee's immediate supervisor; someone who knows his/her strengths and weaknesses. (Performance-appraisal-form, 2010)

2. Peer-To-Peer Employee Performance Evaluations:

Working in team helps in getting the maximum output from the workers, it also helps in rating or assessing each other as it's hard to pin point our own mistakes. Peer-to-Peer employee performance evaluation require employee working at the same level or project to review each other. The objective behind this is that nobody knows a worker's ability better than his own colleagues. (Performance-appraisal-form, 2010)

3. 360-Degree Performance Reviews

In 360-degree performance reviews, different types of people are consulted about and employee's performance. Upward feedback is mostly asked in case of managers that how well they are managing the work. Often by the fear of managers employees never give “true” feedback about their managers. Other then employees outside contact may be simply not a good idea to ask or such contact may be unqualified to rate a specific employee. For a more advanced performance review customer satisfaction survey may also be helpful to gauge this type of feedback. (Performance-appraisal-form, 2010)

4. Self-Assessment Performance Reviews

In this type of performance review employees are asked to take a self assessment form which is the same form that is been used by the managers to fill for the employees. Self-assessment performance helps the employees to show and highlight their active participation in the company and provide a vehicle for them to reflect on their own performance prior to the formal review. (Performance-appraisal-form, 2010)

Objectives Of The Study:

Ø The main motto of our research is to check whether there is a relation between the organizational learning and employee performance or not.

Ø Determine the impact of organizational learning on the employee performance.

Scope And Signifigance Of Study:

We have observed and studied the effect of the organizational learning on employee performance. We basically want to conduct our research in Telecom Sector of Pakistan mostly based in Islamabad. Managers and mostly the educated staff of these organizations will be our focus.

Learning is given its due importance in any field and is significant for the growth of the organization. So organizational learning has its role to play in organizations. Telecom industry in Pakistan is progressing at a very fast pace so we want to see that what is the meaning of learning to these organizations and how do they perceive its effects on employee performance. Our study is significant in the sense that it will give the organizations an idea of what they should do to better equip their workforce, to make themselves more competitive and en edge on the other companies.

Limitation Of The Study:

I. TIME CONSTRAINT: is a very broad area and can be conducted in many organizations but due to time constraint we have limited our study only to three organizations in Telecom Sector in Pakistan.

II. RESOURCE CONSTRAINT: We have done a limited research due to the shortage of financial resources and references.

III. UNAVAILABILITY OF RELATED DATA: The most important and last curb of our research project was unavailability of relevant data.

IV. Company management may try to present themselves as good and encouraging organizations which in reality may not be true.

Problem Statement:

The problem statement of the present research was:

“How organizational learning effect employee performance?”

Key Words:

Organizational learning, Employee performance, Telecom sector

Elaboration Of Each Component Of Conceptual Model

Organizational Learning:

Technological advancements, dynamic customer demands, increasing globalization, the blurring of organizational boundaries, and increasing competition are all combining to produce organizational environments ‘more turbulent and volatile than ever before' (Parry & Proctor-Thompson, 2003). So it is more important for organizations to follow their survival instincts and have a learning culture within their organizations.

Individual Learning:

World is a dynamic place and is changing every second. So individuals need to understand these changes and be a part of it which ultimately helps organizations. So continuous learning for an individual is very essential. Individual training is also affected by the training that is provided to the employees. It affects their learning processes, their behaviors, attitudes and skills.

TRAINING: Training thus is essential because it helps the employees to learn about the company, latest trends introduces in their field, changes that have going on around the world and latest technologies and how to be a part of globalization. They need to have training for personal development, for motivation and to be able to face future challenges.

Higher Efficiency:

Efficiency is due to contentment, satisfaction and higher productivity. If there is High level of efficiency, there will be higher level of performance of employees.

Hypotheses

Ho:

Individual learning is negatively related with organizational learning

Organizational Learning and individual learning are not related to each other and there is no existing affect caused by one variable on other.

H 1:

Individual learning is positively related with organizational

Learning

H 0:

Higher organizational learning has no effect on efficiency and performance of employees

H 1:

Higher organizational learning effects efficiency and performance of employees

· Efficiency is basically to do tasks that are assigned within a minimum time frame and that make it less expensive for the organization and more revenues. So in order to have higher efficiency, management needs to have their employees' motivated and satisfied and only then will they be able to perform well. This hypothesis is developed to find out through accurate means about the connection between these two

Literature Review

Learning is a characteristic of an adaptive organization, i.e., an organization that is able to sense changes in signals from its environment (both internal and external) and adapt accordingly (Wikipedia, 2009)

So we can say that learning in organization is dependent not only on the internal factors but also on the external factors.

Learning within an organization is achieved through training and by providing skills and guidance to the employees. Their experiences both of work and personal lives, their cultures, their social, economical and religious background all contribute to learning within an organization.

The research was conducted on the belief that there is a positive relationship between organizational learning and entrepreneurship. Organizational learning is responsible for knowledge transfer and in turn this knowledge takes the firm towards innovation. The relation between entrepreneurship and learning is that entrepreneurs try to learn new things to bring forth changes, to create new products and thus take the firm to a new level. They learn from internal and external sources, and all the other available ways because they need to create things from unusual ways. So if the management promotes innovativeness and thus entrepreneurship, it means that entrepreneurs are going to take advantage of the open learning system, utilize the opportunity, exploit it for the firms benefit, which in turn will increase the firms performance.

According to the researchers all the organizations are learning, infact all of them are trying to have that competitive edge through learning but the processes, the systems that they adopt to learn differ and that is what these researchers tried to find out; the processes. These researchers believed that learning in organizations occurs through multiple and interrelated cycles of observing, model construction, interpretation, and enactment of change. The essence of multiple learning cycles is that they generate the interrelations between:

Individuals or organizational collectives;

and

the structures, strategies, and processes of the organization.

The learning cycle produces, and is produced by, the organizational learning system in a circular causal relationship. All of these elements are always present in every organization. These ideas provide a foundation for developing high performance learning units, for blending organizational change technologies with the organization's unique knowledge, wisdom, and culture, and creating a framework for organizational transformation. (Robinson, Clemson and Keating, 1997)

This study aims to explore a relationship between the learning organization and transfer of training as strategies for learning and managing knowledge to make performance improvements and gain or maintain a competitive advantage.(Weldy, 2009)

Lot of stress has been given to improve the training programs and their efficiency and effectiveness for the employees. This pre-requisite has been set because it is a means of transferring knowledge and thus improving the performance on both individual and organizational level as these trainees will then try to achieve the results they desire, will think of new ideas and will help the firm stay on the right path of progress. Firm with the learning culture makes an effort to make its embers learn continuously and to adapt to the changes while training is to help the members preserve the knowledge and polish their skills to ultimately improve the performance. It was found that both these variables are important for improving performance and further studies should be conducted on them.

The purpose of this paper is to identify and define dimensions of organizational learning and the way it affects small- or medium-size enterprise (SME) performance. (Michna, 2009)

Although the amount of research on organizational learning is significant, there is no theory of organizational learning which also takes the management specificity of SMEs in connection with their performance into consideration. Since not enough attention has been paid to the specificity of these processes in SMEs in connection with their performance, the question how organizational learning takes place in SMEs and how it affects their performance is both highly topical and very important. 211 enterprises were taken and questionnaires were distributed among the managers. 11 empirical dimensions of organizational learning are identified and defined. The empirical research shows that sales and employment growth is most dependent on the following dimensions: dialogue and empowerment of the employees, collaboration, team learning, leaders' attitudes. In this research, it is suggested that there is an empirical relationship between organizational learning and organizational performance. In practice it means that organizations reaching a higher level of organizational learning probably achieve higher performance. (Michna, 2009

This paper seeks to propose a conceptual structural equation model to investigate the relationships among human resource management (HRM), organizational learning (OL), knowledge management capability (KMC) and organizational performance (OP) and to demonstrate the direct and indirect effect of HRM on OP from the perspectives of KMC and OL. (Lin and Kuo, 2007)

There has been rapid change in the technology that the world is now using; communication has become quiet easy due to internet, intra/extranet, telecommuting etc. Organizations cannot now use their old ways to run business. They need to innovate and learn and adapt to the changes that occur and if they want to be a part of the future they need to mange their knowledge learn and create. Knowledge based worker is the most priceless asset for the organization as they are the only ones who give edge to the firm. And due to knowledge management the firms can be high performers in their respective industry and survive. The researchers studied organizational performance based on the following dimensions: financial, performance, business performance and organization effectiveness. Questionnaires were used to collect data on these four dimensions. The findings of the study suggested that firms need to have a through human resource system that will ensure the use of organizational learning and knowledge management which gradually improves the organizational performance.

This empirical study aims to examine the influence of transformational leadership (TL) on organizational innovation (OI) and performance (OP) depending on the level of organizational learning in technological firms. (Garcı´a-Morales, Matı´as-Reche and Hurtado-Torres, 2008)

There has been much research regarding the subject of organizational learning in the business world but the relation between innovation in pharmaceutical firms and learning and transformational leadership have not yet been fully studied. Innovation is the basis of the pharmaceutical changes that the human kind has been going through. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire, lead the employee in their firms who as a result produces an open management style in which every one is encouraged and this leads to knowledge gain and learning. Sampling method was used for 164 pharmaceutical firms. They found that there is a positive relation between organizational innovativeness, organizational learning and organizational performance. Firms with such leaders and such culture are high performers. Then this relationship is more pronounced in firms with high level of learning than in lower level of learning organizations.

This study was conducted keeping in view that firms with a learning culture and environment are high performers in finance and thus gain a more competitive edge over their competitors. The researchers were interested to find out whether such a relation existed or not and whether these companies were able to maintain this edge over a longer period of time by studying return on assets and return on investments and their was comparison with their competitors and it was found out that the sixteen firms were outstanding, maintained their learning environment and thus there was high financial performance levels. (Goh and Ryan, 2008)

The purpose of this research is to measure Organizational Learning Capability (OLC) perception in the managers of public, private and multinational organizations and establish the link between OLC and firm performance.(Bhatnagar, 2006)

As has already been mentioned in the first study that Indian economy changed from the nineties due to liberalization, they also recognized that innovativeness was the key to survive and be in the black. These researchers used a sample of 612 mangers from across the Indian industry and questionnaires were administered. Organizational capability perception for the managers of the IT sector and of multinational firms was the highest, while it was lowest for the engineering sector. Mixed results were found for the market indicators of firm performance, i.e. firm's financial turnover and firm's profit as predictors of OLC in Indian organizations, where financial turnover was predicting organizational learning capability. (Bhatnagar, 2006)

Purpose for conducting this research by Sharkie (2009) was to find out that. Trust is aimed when there is an environment which encourages communication at all levels. Trust then influences the personalities, the attitudes of the employees. How they interact with their colleagues, co-operation all of these elements are affected. The link between trust and performance is that when there is open communication on and a supporting management automatically there will be new ideas and sharing of knowledge and skills which affects the performance in a positive sense. Trust is in the leadership, and if good will be the pr-requisite of elevated performance.

This paper by Baptiste (2008) seeks to examine the relationship the human resource practices, how the members of the firm are treated and what has the affects of these on performance. The findings constituted that if communication is there, there is trust in management and support from the high -ups then performance moves in the required direction.

Topper (2007) in Supervisor's attitude and employee's performance indicates that the attitude of the supervisor influences the sub-ordinate in a negative or positive way. The employees form their opinions about their supervisor in a few days and thus it is crucial for the supervisors to act in a proper fashion. They should be supportive, encouraging, should lead and inspire along with should be able to motivate the sub-ordinates. This attitude will lead to a high performance level on part of the employees as they will be more productive.

Purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships among goal setting, employee engagement, workplace optimism, and individual performance constructs. (Medlin and Green Jr. 2009)

Goals have an impact on employees in the sense that they can be motivated or de-motivated by it and if the former, employee engagement will be high. Engagement is when the employee wants to be of optimum use for the firm, they want to contribute and if there is optimism on both the sides i.e. management and employee there will be high engagement and thus high performance. Researchers found the exact thing that goal setting affect engagement and which in turn influences performance.

T he purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of employee empowerment on team performance in the context of municipal work teams. Four different dimensions of employee empowerment are identified: autonomy, responsibility, information, and creativity. (Yang and Choi, 2009)

Empowerment is either delegating the powers to employees to be the decision makers or motivating them through fulfilling their basic needs as have been mentioned in Maslow's and Herzberg's theories. The study reveals that autonomy, responsibility, information, and creativity each have positive and significant effects on team performance. (Yang and Choi, 2009)

Mentoring is something in which the mangers or the supervisors provide support to the employee, guidance and assistance. It has been seen that employees/mentees who have mentors are more advantageously placed within the organization. They know the procedures, rules and promote at a faster rate than those who don't have a mentor. This paper by Orpen (1997) examines the relations between formal mentoring and the work motivation, organizational commitment and job performance of mentors in a medium sized manufacturing company. The two mentoring variables (opportunity to interact, closeness of relationship) and the three dependent variables (work motivation, organizational commitment, job performance). Orpen (1997)

It was found that there is a positive relationship between opportunity to interact and closeness of relationship between the mentor and the mentee and also with work motivation, organizational commitment and job performance. Job performance has an affect as when the mentee is guided and assisted he/she will have a better understanding of the overall organizations, are more motivated and self-assured. So this is the main factor for increased performance on individual level

All this material on organizational learning and employee performance shows that both these phenomena are crucial and life blood of any organization. Firms around the world spend millions of dollars on employee training, to introduce different changes within the organization so that their most important asset is capable to move along with the changing world. And all this training and change is brought about by making people learn, having a management that supports learning.

Learning in human civilization has been going since the time of Homo Erectus. So learning is quiet significant. Humans learned so they reached this level. So when organizations adopt the learning culture they will automatically be part of a better world where knowledge is the criteria for success.

It is imperative for the firms that there is individual learning. Individual learning occurs when there is the learning attitude, capability and capacity of the individuals. Only then, the management will see a positive improvement in the employee performance.

The dependent variable, employee performance if also a factor that continually receives attention by the management. Performance is a combination of many things. Employees are influenced by their social background (colleagues, peers, family), their religion, economic system and values, then their own personal characteristics and beliefs. All these things determine the personality, thus attitude and behavior of a person. It is the behavior, attitude, personality which is influenced by learning and personal development occurs and gradually the performance of that person increases or decreases.

All the above mentioned researches either describe organizational learning or organizational performance. They establish links between the variables of their own interest. But all these clearly mention that organizational learning and performance are interrelated. So we decided to analyze the same variables i.e. organizational learning and employee performance in Pakistani environment. We plan to find out that how much importance is given to the learning and knowledge sharing within the firms in Pakistan in Telecom Industry.

Research Methodology

Research Type:

The research is causal/ relational

Sample Type and Size:

In the present study, two companies from the Telecom Industry participated i.e. Telenor, Ufone and Zong. To fulfill the objectives of the study, we planned to approach managers as well as everyone who contributed towards the learning process within the organization or was a part of the process within the firm. These people will contribute their own experiences, what they believe in and what they think was the relation between our variables.

Gender Wise Sampling:

Male

Female

Age:

Data Collection:

Primary and secondary both sources of data collection has been utilized.

Primary source includes questionnaires

Secondary sources include

  • Internet
  • Articles
  • Journals
  • Books

Research Instruments:

To collect our primary data we made use of questionnaires and administered them to the sample.

We adopted the questions from:

  • Self-Assessment Tool for Canadian Organizations (conferenceboard, 2009)
  • National Learner Satisfaction Survey (NLSS) held in United Kingdom (readingroom, 2009)
  • Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire developed by Karen E. Watkins and Victoria J. Marsick (partnersforlearning, 2009)
  • LEAP organizational learning readiness survey (businessballs, 2009)

Sampling type will be generalized

Scale:

We adopted five point Likert Scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree) in our study because it makes it easier for the researcher to apply tests.

Research Design Detail:

Time:

The data that will be gathered through primary resources will be gathered in two months and thus our research will be completed within four months.

Procedure:

All the data will be gathered from both these sources i.e. primary and secondary will be converted into quantitative data which will make it easier for us apply tests on them. Ultimately, we will be able to prove that the hypotheses that were developed whether there exists a relationship between them or not.

All this quantification and converting our data into graphs and charts and percentages also makes it easier for the perceiver to grab things and understand the research. This quantification further augments the validity of the research.

Data Analysis:

Data analysis will be carried out by using SPSS. This software will not only help us in quantifying everything but we will be able to check all our hypotheses and will find the relationship between the independent variable i.e. organizational learning and dependent variable i.e. employee performance.

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Questionnaire

Dear Respondent:

You are requested to kindly respond to following questionnaire.

The questionnaire will be used for a research which we are conducting in BBA studies. The objective of this questionnaire is to find out relationship between HR practices and employee performance in banking sector of Pakistan. It should not take more than 10 minutes to fill the questionnaire as all of them just require you to tick appropriate answer.

Your answer will be kept in strict confidence and will only be used for research purposes. Your name should not be mentioned any where on the document so kindly give an impartial opinion to make research successful.

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