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Gregory P. Makabila - PhD. Student, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Mike A. Iravo - Ph.D. (Human Resource Management), School of Human Resource Development Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Anthony G. Waititu - Ph.D. (Statistics) Department of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

Assumptah W. Kagiri - Ph.D. (Human Resource Management) Business Administration, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya


Little empirical evidence exists to substantiate the theoretical underpinning that organizational learning is a positive determinant of competitive advantage. The few studies available have not explained the mechanism through which learning leads to competitive advantage. This study examined the role of organizational learning in achieving competitive advantage among state corporations in Kenya with a focus on organization’s learning culture, learning processes, systems thinking as independent variable. The study further examined the mediating role or organizational learning performance in the relationship between the independent variables and achievement of competitive advantage. The study employed a descriptive, cross-sectional research design to gather data from 198 staff in 35 state corporations comprising of senior managers, middle manager and non-management staff. Regression analysis was used to make inference on the associations between the dependent and independent variables using SPSS Version 22. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) helped assess the mediating role of organizational learning performance. Results revealed that each of independent variables was positively and significantly associated with competitive advantage. Organizational learning performance partially mediated the relationship between learning process and competitive and systems thinking and competitive advantage. Majority of state corporations were more focused on single loop learning with limited attention paid to double loop learning. Managers are encouraged to nurture formal and informal learning processes that maximize utilization-focused knowledge acquisition and sharing. Managers need to invest in building capacity of new and existing employees to encourage reflective practices within the organization. Organizations need to increase rate of single loop and double loop learning to increase chances of attaining competitive advantage. This study offer originality by investigating the mechanism through which learning predictors influence competit8ive advanced by assessing the mediating role of organizational learning performance. This has not been a focus of strategic management researchers even though theorists predict influence of organizational learning performance on competitive advantage. Furthermore, the study was done in Kenya and among state corporations which provides a unique context that has not been the focus of most strategic management researchers. The study was limited by use of a cross-sectional design hence further research using longitudinal designs is encouraged.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)