Initially I thought the specific focus of my thesis was clear, but the more I read the more I discover how much insightful research has already been done. With every new article, I gasp at the treasure trove of information out there – available but oddly out of reach in some academic dungeon. I think I can help, because to assist me in digesting and understanding key insights from what I read, I find it useful to share them in succinct summaries. Here is my first highlights package, straight from the library! Title:The Relevance of Organizational Subculture for Motivation to Transfer Learning, by Toby Marshall Egan.
This is for all my colleagues and peers who dedicate their lives to Learning and Development of others.
- In excess of $130 billion is spent each year on employee learning and development in the US alone.
- Unsurprisingly there is a keen interest to understand what influences an employee’s level of motivation to transfer new knowledge and skills from the classroom to relevant workplace application.
- Organisational culture plays a role in this process. The question is how?
- We now know that there are multiple cultures within a single organisation. There is usually a Primary Culture and many Subcultures (which are unique subsets of the primary culture).
- Leaders of teams and functions tend to create subcultures through their unique translation of the larger organizational culture. It’s a natural progression.
- BIG TAKEAWAY 1: These subcultures have a more significant influence on motivation to transfer learning than the primary culture.
- Cultures can be defined. This research focused on 3 different types.
- A Bureaucratic subculture is defined by a leader that focuses on task and task accomplishment, and emphasises structures, technical support, plans, and procedures to support collective goal achievement.
- Innovative and Supportive subcultures are defined by a leader that focuses on the development of mutual trust, team commitment, and effective relationships with followers. These leaders establish this rapport through engagement, encouragement, support, and signalling to followers both an acknowledgment of their individuality and the importance of mutual obligation.
- BIG TAKEAWAY 2: Bureaucratic subcultures inhibit motivation to transfer.
- BIG TAKE AWAY 3: Innovative and Supportive subcultures enhance motivation to transfer.
- BIG TAKE AWAY 4: The Primary culture has a low impact on employee motivation to transfer learning.
The key message: organizations interested in influencing the motivation to transfer learning, must focus their efforts on shaping effective organizational subcultures. The attention and expectation should thus be on the direct line manager and his/her influence on the culture they have created. Intuitive, but here is the research to prove it.