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Title: The influence of national culture on organisational learning : a comparative study of UK and Indonesian hotels
Author: Suryani, Dewi Y.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 8795
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2012
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Recognising that research examining the dynamics of the organisational learning (OL) concept particularly in the non-western context remains scant, this study aims to examine the applicability of OL theory in different cultural contexts by exploring the influence of national culture on OL in a comparison of UK and Indonesian hotels. In this study, the examination of the application of OL is focused on two components: the organisational learning process and the organisational factors ) influencing learning. This research extends the contemporary trend in OL literature by employing social practice as a conceptual lens to understand the nature of learning in organisations. Adopting a social constructivist approach, the study employs a case study approach, involving four case organisations, one UK hotel and three Indonesian hotels. All hotels are 5 star. The primary data was mainly generated from semi-structured interviews with hotel employees, the HR Representative and the General Manager/Executive Assistant Manager of each hotel. Also, where possible, , observations were made of workplace activities such as training events and job shadowing. Documentary sources, such as organisational records and policies, were also examined to gain insight into HRM and learning policy. With regards to the cultural aspect of the research, an emic-etic approach is applied. Data is analysed through a thematic approach. \,. A cross-case analysis of the !our hotels reveals patterns of similarities and differences in organisational learning practices. The comparison of the OL process across cases reveals some commonality in the nature of learning in these hotels. Some significant differences however are found relating to communications patterns; cross-levels relationships; and empowerment practice, which can be linked to different cultural values. Likewise, the comparison of the organisational factors influencing learning suggest more similarities than contradictions across the case organisations. Yet, meta analysis shows subtle variance which are culture and context specific, e.g., different motivation to improve knowledge and skills, between improving personal effectiveness v maintaining legitimacy, which therefore shapes different characteristics of OL. The overall results of the study show many commonalities of OL practices between the case organisations and the existing literature, but there are distinctive characteristics of OL between the Indonesian and the UK hotels that reflect contrasting deep-seated cultural values of human-nature relationship, power distance, and individual-collectivism. These seem to be the areas when culture exerts influence on OL practice. Thus, fundamentally, the study suggests that culture matters, but it matters more in some areas than in others. The cross-case comparison by and large demonstrates a wider application of OL theory across organisational and national boundaries. However, the cultural diagnosis conducted suggests culturally bounded factors which limit the adoption of many features of OL theory in the Indonesian context. Therefore, it would appear that a contingent approach to understanding OL theory is more effective as compared to a universalistic approach as it recognises the variation of OL practices. The results of the study highlight theoretical contributions to four underdeveloped areas: 1) The role of national culture in influencing learning in organisations; 2) the application of OL theory in different cultural context; 3) OL in the hotel sector; and 4) Indonesian literature on OL.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available