Manifestation of national culture in the learning transfer system within an Egyptian work environment

by Hegazi, Inas Anwar, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2015, 132 pages; 3716288


Training investments often fail to realize expected results as less than 20% of the skills and knowledge acquired in training are transferred to the workplace. The aim of this study was to contribute to the existing body of research on the relationship between work environment and transfer of learning through developing a better understanding of cultural manifestation in the transfer system within an Egyptian work environment. The study utilized a basic qualitative research approach. A purposeful sample of 20 Egyptian civil servants representing different genders, ages, and years of experience were interviewed to examine how the national culture dimensions of power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and masculinity, proposed by Hofstede, manifest themselves in Holton’s learning transfer system within an Egyptian work environment? The data collected was organized into conceptually meaningful categories using a priori codes derived from the Learning Transfer System Inventory (LTSI): supervisor support, supervisor sanction, and peer support, and Hofstede’s four dimensions of national culture. The Egyptian national culture demonstrates high power distance, strong uncertainty avoidance, low individualism (collectivist), and moderate femininity. The results of the study showed that supervisor support was the most important factor that affects transfer of learning. Peer support came as the second important factor, while supervisor sanction was the factor that least significantly influenced transfer of learning. In the Egyptian public organization work environment, the high power distance and strong uncertainty avoidance emphasized centralization, hierarchically structured roles, bureaucracy, and dependency on powerful supervisors, i.e., a parent-type leader, to lead change. Well-structured environments for change with detailed plans and regulations were desired to avoid ambiguity. The collectivist and moderate feminine culture emphasized social harmony, caring for others, and prioritizing social relationships over professional accountability. Working in groups was preferred as compared with individual tasks and peer support was valued as a positive attitude towards achieving group success. The study proposed further exploring the national culture influence on performance improvement thinking. Further, the study offered insights to help managers in Egyptian public sector organizations to enhance transfer of learning and recommended replicating Hofstede’s study to assess the degree of persistence of previously identified national culture in Egypt.

AdviserPaul Hardt
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Continuing education
Publication Number3716288

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