Creating a learning climate : a South African study

20 May 2013

Purpose – The purpose of the study was to ascertain whether there were differences in how one public and two private South African organizations created a learning climate. Design/methodology/approach – This article is based on a survey and comparative analysis of specific departments in a chemical and gas company, an insurance company, and a semi-private state-owned organization (SPSOO) to establish dimensions that foster the creation of a learning climate. Findings –The findings indicated that management support, autonomy and responsibility, time, the opportunity to develop, and guidelines to access information were pivotal in the creation of a learning climate and varied across organizations. Research limitations/implications – The results indicated that variations across departments within each of these three organizations relating to employees’ perceptions of a learning climate were not considered. Practical implications – The study revealed that a learning climate can be created in different types of organizations through organizational, group and individual drivers. It further revealed that the strategy in creating a climate of learning should be aligned with the organization’s structure, culture and goals. Originality/value – This article makes a contribution to the literature on talent development in organizations as it indicates that different strategies can be utilized in successfully creating a learning climate in different types of organizations.