Understanding Learning Communities: Whether, When, and Why they are Effective


The world of work in the logistics sector is rapidly changing. To be able to adapt to these changes, it is critical that employees continue to learn new knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). Learning communities (LCs) may enable such continued learning of employees in organizations. In LCs, employees interact on an ongoing basis with professionals from other organizations, which triggers them to learn new ways of working and to develop relevant KSAs. Yet, we know little about whether, when and why LCs work. In this proposal, we therefore test an innovative model of how learning takes shape within LCs and how learning transfers from LCs to organizations. Project 1 takes a novel bottom-up approach to reveal how individual characteristics and leader support shape learning climates in LCs, which, in turn, predict the acquisition of KSAs. Project 2 will uncover the dynamics behind the transfer of learned KSAs to organizations. Specifically, we propose an innovative model in which employees’ experiences regarding the use of newly acquired KSAs in organizations play a key role. These experiences reinforce employee motivation and efficacy beliefs to further use and share learned KSAs, thereby shaping the transfer of learning over time. To test the proposed models, longitudinal data will be collected in existing LCs in the logistics sector. Our proposal delivers novel theories of learning in, and transfer of learning from, LCs. This will finally result in effective LCs in the logistics sector.

Keywords: learning communities; learning climate; leadership; transfer of learning; KSAs





Dr. R.B.L. Sijbom

Verbonden aan

Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, Arbeids- en Organisatiepsychologie


01/02/2020 tot 31/01/2025