Impact of Networks and Social Capital on Organisational Learning: A Study on Weihai Economic and Technological Development Zone in China

Hong, Jee Young (2005) Impact of Networks and Social Capital on Organisational Learning: A Study on Weihai Economic and Technological Development Zone in China. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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This report aims to study the extent of networks and the impact of social capital on organisational learning. Organisational learning is highly linked to creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge that is considered as a crucial source of lasting competitive advantage and improving organisational performance in the complex business world of the 21st century. Learning involves individuals and their activities, behavioural and emotional activities that are also an important aspect of network and social capital. Therefore, understanding of the relationship between organisational learning, networks and social capital helps an organisation to develop effective organisational learning.

The literature review provides an overview of organisational learning theory associated with network and social capital theory. The importance and benefits of organisational learning are discussed and differences of individual learning and organisational learning are reviewed. This report studies Korean companies in the industrial district of Weihai Economic and Technological Development Zone (WETZ) in China. The Korean companies recently moved to China and have been facing continuous environmental changes that can be strong drivers for developing organisational learning. Furthermore, the Korean companies have an intrinsic culture and they are closely located in a distinct area where strong networks and social capital are expected.

However, the results of the study suggest the senior management do not have enough capabilities and resources due to limited support from their headquarters in Korea. While individual learning in the companies is actively conducted, organisational learning is neglected due to high competitiveness between the employees. Formal networks are not actively used even for individual learning, but social networks based on a high degree of social capital are well utilised for individual learning that are unlikely to be transformed into organisational learning. Therefore the companies do not gain any benefits and competitive advantage from their employees' individual learning.

Conclusions are made with feasible recommendations about how to develop organisational learning by improving trust-based relationship within the employees as well as other network members. The report also highlights the limitations of the research and a number of possible areas for further research are also recommended.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2006
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 19:01

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