Purpose – This paper aims to, prompted by a recent paradigm shift in the organizational sciences, to explore some antecedents of organizational learning capability, focusing on altruism and relationship conflict. Design/methodology/approach – To test the hypotheses, the structural equation technique was applied to data from a survey of Spanish firms with recognized excellence in human resource management. Findings – The results of this research show that, in these firms, altruism facilitates learning capacity both directly and indirectly (through relationship conflict). Relationship conflict is posited as a mediating variable that explains how altruism improves organizational learning. Research limitations/implications – The limitations of this study include excessive heterogeneity of the sample size and industrial sector and the type of firm included in the sample. Due to the potential benefits that altruism seems to have for organizations, future research could continue to investigate the consequences of altruism in organizations. Practical implications – Altruism provides organizations with a value that can facilitate organizational learning capability not only directly, but also by reducing relationship conflict. Altruism may offer organizations a tool they can use to improve their success in dealing with the challenges of today’s uncertain and constantly changing economic environment. Originality/value – This study proposes a common altruistic approach that is far removed from traditional self-interested models in organizational literature. This study identifies altruism and relationship conflict as antecedents of organizational learning capability.
International Journal of Conflict Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 9, 2015
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