The role organizational culture plays on adult learning in the workplace: A qualitative exploratory study

by Simpson, Crystal D., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 165 pages; 10168355


Organizational culture hinders adult learning when the culture does not foster the ability for acquiring new information. This qualitative exploratory study examined the role that organizational culture plays on adult learning in the workplace. This study represented the experiences of 16 working professionals spanning Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Their career backgrounds included: legal assistant, attorneys/entrepreneurs, IT director, IT business analyst, virtual academy coordinator, support and training analyst, accountant, worship director, senior accounting assistant, risk manager, receptionist, functional analyst, brand manager, and insurance examiner. The industries of the participants included: legal, consulting firms, fast food, food services, religious, energy, mass media, banking, and insurance industries. They provided their personal experiences and beliefs through one-on-one interviews. The data collection methods included: face-to-face and phone interviews, allowing participants to share lived experiences on the role organizational culture plays on their adult learning experiences. The researcher analyzed the data, which resulted in three common themes relating to adult learning experiences of organizational culture: 1) organizations should maximize the potential of individuals; 2) a positive organizational culture can have a positive effect on the adult learning process in the workplace in that adults are more willing to participate in those processes; and 3) strong organizational cultures can offer advantages within organizations. As a result of the findings, the researcher derived three recommendations for future studies. The first recommendation for future research was to investigate leadership within organizations and gain an understanding of how they set the culture within an organization. The second recommendation was to uncover how researchers should target specific industries to understand how they maintained a positive organizational culture and the roles they play in the adult learning experiences. The final recommendation for future research was for organizations to gain an understanding of the levels of continuous adult learning experiences to enhance the organizational culture.

AdviserRobin Parry
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number10168355

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