Team learning: The missing construct from a cross-cultural examination of higher education

Abstract

Team learning should be an important construct in organizational management research because team learning can enhance organizational learning and overall performance. However, there is limited understanding of how team learning works in different cultural contexts. Using an international comparative research approach, we developed a framework of antecedents and outcomes in the higher education context and tested it with samples from the UK and Vietnam. The results show that a common framework is applicable in the two different contexts, subject to slight modifications. However, this study does not find that team learning (measured via the proxy of “attitude towards team learning”) exhibits any statistically significant relationship as a predictor of the proposed outcomes. Other findings from this study on educational contexts are important not only to scholars in this field, but also for practicing managers, particularly those who study and operate in the extensive global market.

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Correspondence to Yehuda Baruch.

Appendix: Measurements

Appendix: Measurements

Team learning (Reed, 2001)

  1. 1.

    People on my team work well together.

  2. 2.

    I am encouraged to solve problems with my colleagues before discussing them with a manager.

  3. 3.

    This organization encourages team learning and working.

  4. 4.

    We sometimes form informal groups on our own to solve problems within.

  5. 5.

    I solve most problems with help from people from different departments.

Development & training (Bui & Baruch, 2012)

  1. 1.

    I receive the training I need to perform my current job effectively.

  2. 2.

    I was mentored when I first took up the job here.

  3. 3.

    At this university, staff are encouraged to identify skills they need to adapt to changes.

  4. 4.

    Staff are encouraged to develop team-working skills.

Motivation (Siebold, 1994)

  1. 1.

    I work hard and try to do as good a job as possible.

  2. 2.

    I look forward to coming to work every day.

  3. 3.

    I am very personally involved in my work.

  4. 4.

    I don’t mind taking on extra duties and responsibilities in my work.

Team commitment (West, 2004)

  1. 1.

    At work, I let myself be guided by the goals of my team.

  2. 2.

    I feel at home among my colleagues at work.

  3. 3.

    I try to invest effort into a good atmosphere in my team.

  4. 4.

    When there is social activity with my team, I usually help to organize it.

Knowledge sharing (Bock et al., 2005)

  1. 1.

    My knowledge sharing would help other members solve problems.

  2. 2.

    My knowledge sharing would improve work processes at work.

  3. 3.

    My knowledge sharing would increase knowledge creation within the organization.

  4. 4.

    My knowledge sharing would help this university achieve its performance objectives.

Individual learning (Bui & Baruch, 2012)

  1. 1.

    I like being on a steep learning curve at work.

  2. 2.

    I prefer activities that provide me the opportunity to learn something new.

  3. 3.

    My own learning and development at work are essential to me.

  4. 4.

    I like being on a steep learning curve at work.

Self-efficacy (Tierney & Farmer, 2002)

  1. 1.

    I am confident about my ability to do my job.

  2. 2.

    I am self-assured about my capacity to perform my work activities.

  3. 3.

    I have mastered the skills necessary for my job.

Developmental leadership (Marsick & Watkins, 2003)

  1. 1.

    In our organization leaders/managers continually look for opportunities to learn for their professional development.

  2. 2.

    In our organization leaders/managers generally support requests for training and development opportunities.

  3. 3.

    In our organization leaders/managers empower others to help carry out the organization’s vision.

  4. 4.

    In our organization leaders/managers coach those they lead.

  5. 5.

    In our organization leaders/managers ensure that the organization’s actions are consistent with its values.

  6. 6.

    In our organization leaders/managers share up-to-date information with employees about the university’s directions.

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Bui, H.T.M., Baruch, Y., Chau, V.S. et al. Team learning: The missing construct from a cross-cultural examination of higher education. Asia Pac J Manag 33, 29–51 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-015-9426-z

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Keywords

  • Team learning
  • Organizational culture
  • People management
  • Leadership
  • Vietnam
  • United Kingdom