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European Journal of Training and Development Team building, employee empowerment and employee competencies: Moderating
European Journal of Training and Development Team building, employee empowerment and employee competencies: Moderating

European Journal of Training and Development

Team building, employee empowerment and employee competencies: Moderating role of organizational learning culture Rama Krishna Gupta Potnuru, Chandan Kumar Sahoo, Rohini Sharma,

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Rama Krishna Gupta Potnuru, Chandan Kumar Sahoo, Rohini Sharma, (2018) "Team building, employee empowerment and employee competencies: Moderating role of organizational learning culture", European Journal of Training and Development, https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-08-2018-0086 Permanent link to this document:

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Team building, employee empowerment and employee competencies

Moderating role of organizational learning culture

Rama Krishna Gupta Potnuru

Institute of Computers and Business Management School of Business Excellence, Hyderabad, India

Chandan Kumar Sahoo

Team building

Received 28 August 2018 Revised 16 October 2018 Accepted 17 October 2018

School of Management, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India, and

Rohini Sharma

Foundation for Technology and Business Incubation, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of team building and employee empowerment on employee competencies and examine the moderating role of organizational learning culture in between these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach An integrated research model is developed by combining resource- based view, signalling theory and experiential learning theory. The validity of the model is tested by applying moderated structural equation modelling (MSEM) approach to the data collected from 653 employees working in cement manufacturing companies. The reliability and validity of the dimensions are established through conrmatory factor analysis and the related hypotheses are tested by using MSEM.

the

relationships of team building and employee empowerment on employee competencies. Research limitations/implications The research is undertaken in Indian cement manufacturing companies which cannot be generalized across a broader range of sectors and international environment. Practical implications The ndings of the study have potential to help decision makers of manufacturing companies to develop strategies which will enable them to improve employee competency, to formulate effective human resource development interventions and to enhance the capability of the employees to achieve desired goals and objectives of the organization. Originality/value The research is unique in its attempt to combine three frameworks to build a new theoretical model explaining the importance organizational learning culture along with team building and employee empowerment.

Keywords Conrmatory factor analysis, Organizational learning culture, Employee empowerment, Employee competencies, Moderated structural equation modelling, Team building

Paper type Research paper

Findings

The

ndings

suggest

that organizational learning culture signicantly

strengthens

Introduction As per resource-based view (Wernerfelt, 1984), in the competitive market environment, an organization should be effective and require an important intangible core competence that is

and require an important intangible core competence that is European Journal of Training and Development ©

European Journal of Training and Development © Emerald Publishing Limited

2046-9012

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employee competencies. An employee competency refers to those traits, skills or attributes that employees need to perform their jobs more effectively (Soderquist et al., 2010; Campion et al., 2011). A competent workforce is believed to produce higher quality products (Ahuja and Khamba, 2008), support innovation (Siguaw et al., 2006) and reduce turnover costs (Joo and Shim, 2010). To develop and maintain employee competencies for future requirement and in the present environment, an organization must emphasize on human resource development (HRD). Werner and DeSimone (2006) dened HRD as a set of systematic and planned activities designed by an organization to provide its members with the opportunities to learn necessary skills to meet current and future job demands. According to Werner and DeSimone (2006), HRD practices are the programs, which are designed to be strategically oriented to the organizational process for managing the development of human resources to contribute to the overall success of the organization(p. 26). The rationale for using HRD practices to support business objectives is quite straightforward: enhancing or unleashing needed employee expertise (Chermack and Kasshanna, 2007). HRD practices continuously improve employees expertise and performance through the existing practices of training, performance appraisal and organizational development initiatives (Garavan,

2007).

HRD alone is not sufcient to enhance employee competencies to a greater level because not all knowledge and skills obtained from HRD practices is properly transferred (Froehlich et al., 2014). Thus, an organization should create a learning culture in the organization, so that employee can share, acquire and create knowledge and skills, which can modify the behaviour of the employees. Organizational learning culture refers to a set of norms and values about the functioning of an organization that supports systematic organizational learning so that individual learning, teamwork, collaboration, creativity and knowledge distribution have collective meaning and value (Torres-Coronas and Arias-Oliva, 2008, p. 177). Thus, organizational learning culture could directly or indirectly inuence employee competencies. The present study integrates the resource-based view (Wernerfelt, 1984) and organizational perspective of learning to create a strong theoretical foundation by exploring the effects of team building, employee empowerment and organizational learning culture on employee competencies. The study provides empirical evidences to bridge the knowledge gaps with regard to the relationship between HRD practices, organizational learning culture and employee competencies. Even though HRD practices and organizational learning culture are considered critical concepts and practices, most of the existing literature focuses on the conceptual level and consider commitment, productivity, and protability as primary outcome variables. Few studies have attempted to examine the moderating role of organizational learning culture on individual outcomes such as commitment, engagement and satisfaction. Thus, the signicance of the study lies in providing empirical validation of the moderating role of organizational learning culture towards the relationship of HRD practices and employee competencies. This research attempts to answer the following structured questions:

RQ1.

Is there any relationship between HRD practices and employee competencies?

RQ2.

Does organizational learning culture will moderate the relationship between HRD practices and employee competencies?

From the above research questions, following research objectives were derived. To study the impact of HRD practices on enhancement of competencies of employees of the cement

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industry. To assess the moderating role of organizational learning culture in between the relationship of HRD practices and employee competencies.

Literature review and hypotheses Team building Klein et al. (2009) dene team building as the formal and informal team-level practices that focus on improving social relations and clarifying roles as well as solving task and interpersonal problems that affect team functioning. In this intervention, team members experimentally learn, by examining their structures, norms, values and interpersonal dynamics, to increase their skills for effective performance (Senécal et al., 2008). In the literature, there is consensus that there are four approaches/components to team building:

(1) goal setting;

(2) role-clarication;

(3)

interpersonal relations; and

(4)

problem solving.

A brief explanation is presented below:

Goal setting : This component is designed speci cally to strengthen a team member s motivation to achieve team goals and objectives ( Salas et al., 2004). Team members are expected to become involved in action planning to identify ways to achieve those goals ( Aga et al. , 2016). Role clarication: It entails clarifying individual role expectations, group norms and shared responsibilities of team member ( Klein et al. , 2009). Role clari cation can be used to improve team and individual characteristics (i.e. by reducing role ambiguity) and work structure by negotiating, dening and adjusting team member roles (Mathieu and Schulze, 2006). Interpersonal relations : It assumes that teams with fewer interpersonal conicts function more effectively than teams with greater number of interpersonal conicts. It involves an increase in teamwork skills, such as mutual supportiveness, communication and sharing of feelings ( Aga et al. , 2016). Problem solving : The fourth component emphasizes on the identi cation of major problems in the team s tasks to enhance task-related skills. It is an intervention, in which team members identify major problems, generate relevant information, engage in problem solving, action planning, implement and evaluate action plans (Aga et al. , 2016 ; Beebe and Masterson, 2014).

Team building

Effective team building intervention in an organization enhances an individuals cognitive outcome like teamwork competencies and affective outcomes like trust and team potency, whereas at team level, the outcomes are coordination and effective communication (Tannenbaum et al., 2012). At the organization level, team effort helps to solve various problems of the organization, such as conict among organizational members, unclear roles and assignments, lack of innovation in solving problems, etc., that upsurge the performance

of the organization (Stone, 2010).

Employee empowerment An employee empowerment approach is composed of practices aimed at sharing information, job related knowledge and authority with employees (Fernandez and Moldogaziev, 2013).

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Baird and Wang (2010) stated, The basic objective of empowerment is redistribution of power between management and employees most commonly in the form of increasing employee authority, responsibility, and inuencing commitment. In the literature, empowerment dened in two perspectives: psychological perspective and managerial perspective. From a psychological perspective, empowerment is a motivational akin to a state of mind or set of cognitions (Fernandez and Moldogaziev, 2013). Dust et al. (2014) described employee empowerment as a four-dimensional motivational construct composed of four cognitions those are meaning, competence, self-determination and impact, that reect an active rather than a passive orientation towards a work role. From a managerial perspective, employee empowerment is a relational construct that describes how those with power in organizations share power, information, resources and rewards with those lacking them (G omez and Rosen, 2001; Fernandez and Moldogaziev, 2013). Bowen and Lawler (1995) dene empowerment as sharing with front-line employees on four organizational ingredients:

(1)

information about the organization s performance;

(2)

knowledge that enables employees to understand and contribute to organizational

(3)

performance; rewards based on the organization s performance; and

(4)

power to make decisions that inuence organizational direction and performance.

Organizational learning culture Torres-Coronas and Arias-Oliva (2008, p. 177) denes organizational learning culture as:

A set of norms and values about the functioning of an organization that support systematic organizational learning so that individual learning, teamwork, collaboration, creativity, and knowledge distribution have collective meaning and value.

Organizational learning culture is a complex process that refers to the development of new knowledge and has the potential to change behaviour (Škerlavaj et al., 2010). According to Kandemir and Hult (2005), organizational learning culture has been viewed as a process by which organizations as collectives learn through interaction with their environments and propose that learning might result in new and signicant insights and awareness. The objective of building an organizational learning culture in an organization is to expand peoples capacity to create the results they truly desire, the employees new and expansive patterns of thinking to be encouraged, collective aspiration to be set free, and employees should be continually learning how to learn together (Senge, 2009). According to Marsick and Watkins (2003), organizational learning culture consists of seven interlinked constructs:

(1)

create continuous learning opportunities;

(2)

promote inquiry and dialogue;

(3)

encourage collaboration and team learning;

(4)

create systems to capture and share learning;

(5)

empower people toward a collective vision;

(6)

connect the organization to its environment; and

(7)

provide strategic leadership for learning, which helps in building the organization s strategic learning culture.

Table I summarizes the seven dimensions of organizational learning culture.

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Employee competencies The word competency was rst explained in the book The Competent Manager(Boyatzis, 1982, p. 21) which denes the term as, an underlying characteristic of a person that could be a motive, trait, and skill aspect of ones self-image or social role, or a body of knowledge which he or she uses. A competency is a reliably measurable, relatively enduring (stable) characteristic of a person, team or organization that causes and statistically predicts a measurable level of performance (Berger and Berger, 2010). Some denitions of the term competency are shown in the Table II given. The term reliably measurablemeans two or more independent observers or methods (tests, surveys) agree statistically that a person demonstrates a competency (Spencer et al., 2008) while relatively enduringmeans a competency measured at one point of time is statistically likely to be demonstrated at a later

Team building

Dimension

Definition

Continuous

Learning is designed into work so that people can learn on the job; opportunities are provided for ongoing education and growth” “ People gain productive reasoning skills to express their views and the capacity to listen and inquire into the views of others; the culture is changed to support questioning, feedback, and experimentation

learning

Inquiry and

dialogue

Team learning Work is designed to use groups to access different modes of thinking; groups are expected to learn together and work together; collaboration is valued by the culture and rewarded

Embedded

Both high- and low-technology systems to share learning are created and integrated with

system

work; access is provided; systems are maintained

Empowerment People are involved in setting, owning, and implementing a joint vision; responsibility is distributed close to decision-making so that people are motivated to learn toward what they are held accountable to do

System

People are helped to see the effect of their work on the entire enterprise; people scan the environment and use information to adjust work practices; the organization is linked to its communities ” “ Leaders model, champion, and support learning; leadership uses learning strategically for business results

 

connection

Table I.

Strategic

leadership

Dimensions of

organizational

Source: Marsick and Watkins (2003)

learning culture

Author and year

Definition

Bartram (2004)

Sets of behaviours those are instrumental in the delivery of desired results or outcomes. Also, repertoires of capabilities, activities, processes, and responses available that enable a range of work demands to be met more effectively by some people than by others

Campion et al. (2011) Collections of knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics that are needed for effective performance in the jobs in question Eric Soderquist et al. The knowledge, skills, and abilities that underlie effective or successful job

 

(2010)

performance, which are observable, measurable, and distinguish superior from average performance ” “The underlying individual work-related characteristics (e.g., skills, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, motives, and traits) that enable successful job performance, where successful is understood to be in keeping with the organizations strategic functions

Chen and Naquin

(2006)

Table II. Denition of the term competency

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point of time (Catano et al., 2007). Competency characteristics are content knowledge, behaviour skills, cognitive processing (IQ), personality traits, values, motives and occasionally other perceptual or sensor motor capabilities that accurately predict some level of performance. Cardy and Selvarajan (2006) has classied competencies into two categories:

employee (personal) and organization (corporate). Employee competencies are those characteristics or traits that are acquired by employees, such as knowledge, skills, ability and personality that differentiate them from average performers (Cardy and Selvarajan, 2006). Organizational competencies are those, which are embedded in the organizational system and structures that tend to exist within the organization, even when an employee leaves (Semeijn et al., 2014). Human capital attributes have been argued to be an important resource of organizational performance because organizations that are able to generate organization specic, valuable and unique competencies are thought to be in a superior position that enables them to outperform their rivals and succeed in a dynamic business environment (van Esch et al., 2018).

Formulation of hypotheses This study selected a set of independent constructs: HRD practices (team building and employee empowerment) and organizational learning culture; and dependent constructs:

employee competencies. The independent constructs are considered necessary for inuencing employee competencies and its inuence on organizational effectiveness. Figure 1 illustrates the research model of this study. In the following sections, the relationship between the constructs is discussed.

Human resource development practices and employee competencies Researchers (Sung and Choi, 2014) have suggested that organizations should design and implement HRD practices so that the individual can perform effectively and meet the performance expectations through improving individual competencies. Kehoe and Wright (2013) deliberates that HRD was the basic component for employees to acquire competencies that in turn signicantly improve organizational performance. In fact, the general purpose of HRD practices is to produce a competent and qualied employees to perform an assigned job and contribute to the organizations business outcomes (Nolan and Garavan, 2016). Scholars have investigated the outcome of HRD practices and reported that these practices improve employeescapabilities on the job, productivity and efciency (Haslinda, 2009; Alagaraja et al., 2015). Yuvaraj and Mulugeta (2013) also provided a similar result that explains HRD practices continuously improve employeescapability and performance through the existing practices of training, career development, performance appraisal and organizational development components of HRD. The study examined two practices: team building and employee empowerment that were being widely implemented in the selected

Figure 1.

Conceptual model

Organization Learning Culture H2 (a) Team Building H2 (b) H1 (a) Employee Competencies Employee Empowerment
Organization
Learning Culture
H2 (a)
Team Building
H2 (b)
H1 (a)
Employee
Competencies
Employee
Empowerment
H1 (b)

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organizations (Cement manufacturing units). The association between selected HRD practices and employee competencies are revealed in subsequent reviews.

Team building and employee competencies According to LePine et al. (2008), The practices of team-building components (goal-setting, interpersonal processes, role-clarication, and problem-solving) can lead to improved performance through modication of attitudes, values, problem-solving techniques, and group processes. In the goal-setting component, team members are introduced to a goal- setting framework and are expected to involve in action planning to identify ways to achieve those goals, which strengthen team members problem-solving skills and motivation (Aga et al., 2016). Team members exposed to role-clarication activities are expected to achieve better understanding of their and othersrespective roles and duties within the team (Salas et al., 1999). Interpersonal process component involves an enhancement in team members interpersonal skills, such as mutual supportiveness, communication and sharing of information (Klein et al., 2009). The fourth component emphasizes the identication of major problems in the teams tasks to enhance task-related skills (Lacerenza et al., 2018). Team building is an intervention, in which team members identify major problems, generate relevant information, engage in problem solving and action planning, implement and evaluate action plans (Aga et al., 2016; Beebe and Masterson, 2014). Team building intervention enhances individuals cognitive outcome like teamwork competencies and affective outcomes like trust and team potency, whereas at team level, the outcomes are coordination and effective communication (Tannenbaum et al., 2012). Shufer et al. (2011) in their meta-analysis found that an effective team building improves affective outcomes (trust, attitude and condence) and cognitive outcomes (shared knowledge among team members) in employees. The above discussions provide ample facts to suggest that:

Team building

H1a. Team building is positively related to the enhancement of employee competencies.

Employee empowerment and employee competencies Fernandez and Moldogaziev (2013) have stated that, employee empowerment is a relational construct that describes how those with power in organizations share power and formal authority with those lacking it. Organizations have implemented empowerment initiatives based on the premise that when individual employees can participate in decision-making and share responsibility, for how work is conducted, outcomes such as performance and employees knowledge will be enhanced (Maynard et al., 2012). Organizations that encourage harmonious relationships between superiors and subordinates provide employees with the liberty to express their creative suggestions, which help in enriching their self-motivation (Fernandez and Moldogaziev, 2012). When employees are empowered and given the autonomy and exibility, they are likely to be more motivated and take full responsibility to nd new ways and develop new skills to respond to challenges (Luoh et al., 2014). Kanter (1993) and Laschinger (1996) dene structural empowerment as workplace structures that enable employees to carry out work in meaningful ways. These structures empower employees by providing access to information required to perform the job effectively, support from peer and supervisor feedback, resources like time and supply to carry out job and opportunity for learning and growth within the organization (Dainty et al., 2002). Liden et al. (2000) found that empowering working conditions have been positively linked to employees positive job attitude and tolerant to work pressure and ambiguity. When employees are involved in their work with the spirits of vigour and commitment, it

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makes a signicant difference to their self-motivation and positive job attitude (Manojlovich, 2005). Empowerment can enrich individuals ability to perform their duties successfully, where they have control over their workload, get support from the peers, feel more rewarded for their accomplishments and are treated fairly (Janssen, 2004). Fernandez and Moldogaziev (2013), in their empirical study found that there is a positive relationship between employee empowerment and employees attitude and behaviour. Leach et al. (2003) further indicated that, employee empowerment has a positive impact on job knowledge through an empirical validation. Hence, the following premise is expected:

H1b. Employee empowerment is having a signicant and positive relationship with the enhancement of employee competencies.

Moderating role of organizational learning culture Organizational learning culture as a moderator is grounded on the signaling theory (Spence, 2002) and experiential learning theory (Kolb 1984). Based on the viewpoint of signaling theory, organizations that cultivate learning culture would give indications to the employees that the management values and supports the exchange of knowledge and skills learnt by them from the HRD programmes provided by their organizations (Bloor and Dawson, 1994; Spence, 2002). Such culture that facilitates knowledge-transfer and idea sharing would positively inuence employee competencies. According to the experiential learning theory (Kolb 1984), the process of learning is highly affected by two elements: individuals interaction with different stakeholders and feedback of ones knowledge from their superiors and peers. Referring to this, employee perceptionsthat the organization promotes sound learning culture through regular feedbacks and mentorship would motivate them to acquire and exchange their skills and knowledge (Clark et al., 1993). Therefore, the learning culture process has been identied as one of the vital and appropriate contextual factors to enhance employee competencies (Jeong et al., 2017). Based on above discussion, it can infer that organizational learning culture plays an important moderating role in between HRD practices and employee competencies. Thus, in the present study associations between selected HRD practices, organizational learning culture and employee competencies are revealed in subsequent reviews.

The moderating e ect of organizational learning culture between team building and employee competencies Team building practices are based upon an action research model of data collection, feedback, and action planning (Whitehead, 2001). Team building activities operate within a particular environmental context. Although groups are often viewed as the context variable for individual behaviours, the organizational environment should also be considered as the context variable for group behaviour (Shufer et al., 2011). According to Van den Bossche et al. (2006), The organizational variable that could inuence a team members knowledge and problem-solving skill is the organizations learning culture. The enhancement of team members competencies based on organizational learning culture can inuence the level of cooperation or performance between team members, which in turn may affect team effectiveness (Hollenbeck et al., 2004). The above discussions provide ample facts to suggest that:

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H2a. Organizational learning culture will moderate the relationship between team building and employee competencies, where the relationship will be stronger when the organizational learning culture is high.

The moderating e ect of organizational learning culture between employee empowerment and employee competencies Employee empowerment involves the employees being provided with a greater degree of exibility and more freedom to make decisions relating to work (Greasley et al., 2005). Empowerment is closely related to peoples perceptions about themselves in relation to their work environments (Kuo et al., 2010). Jones et al. (2013) stated that:

The environment surrounding individuals is important for increasing employee empowerment because empowerment is not a consistent or enduring personality trait, but rather a set of cognitions shaped by work environments.

In a recent study, Joo and Shim (2010) has found a positive moderating role of organizational

learning culture between empowerment and employee positive behaviour, where their

results indicated if an organization has high learning culture in the presence of empowerment would inuence highly on employee behaviour. Thus, the following hypothesis is proposed:

H2b. Organizational learning culture will moderate the positive relationship between employee empowerment and employee competencies, where the relationship will be stronger when the organizational learning culture is high.

Team building

Methodology

Research design, sampling and data collection

A structured questionnaire was developed for collection of primary data on the basis of

seven-point Likert scale. It consists of two sections; rst section collects general information

of the respondents like, age, gender, designation and experience. The second section

includes the items that measure the constructs team building, employee empowerment, organizational learning culture and employee competencies. The study took place in four medium-sized cement-manufacturing units in India. We communicated personally (through appointments, phone calls and email) to senior executives of the four units and explained the methodology of the study. We gave instructions to executives and supervisors about how to answer specic questions and to distribute the questionnaire to their subordinates and colleagues, who had participated in HRD practices in the past two years. The schedule was distributed to around 952 employees, out of which 653 complete responses were obtained, corresponding to a response rate of 68.53 per cent of the respondents.

Measures

Team building

A six-item scale representing four broad areas of team building practices was developed for

this study: goal setting, interpersonal relations, role clarication and problem solving. These

items were adapted from Aga et al. (2016), Klein et al. (2009) and Salas et al. (1999) and its reliability is 0.81.

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Employee empowerment

A ve-item scale to measure the effectiveness of employee empowerment implemented in

the organization is developed by adopting Menon (2001) and Men and Stacks (2013) scales of

employee empowerment. We modied the items according to the current study, and its reliability is 0.87.

Employee competencies. The competencies analysed in the study were technical expertise, adaptability, innovation, teamwork and cooperation, conceptual thinking and self- condence. For this, we have adopted Díaz-Fernández et al. (2014) measures of employee competencies and adapted it to the current scenario of the study. The construct consists of six items and its reliability (Cronbachs alpha) is 0.71.

Organizational learning culture. Dimensions of learning organization questionnaire (DLOQ) were developed by Watkins and Marsick (1997) with 21 items, measuring seven dimensions, but later it was shortened to seven items and measures all seven dimensions of DLOQ by Yang et al. (2004). We have used Yang et al. (2004) scale of organizational learning culture which measures continuous learning, team learning, dialogue and inquiry, empowerment, system connection, embedded system and strategic leadership. The seven- item scale shows reliability of 0.88.

Results The results are described in the order in which the analyses were conducted. First, the conrmatory factor analysis (CFA) in AMOS to establish a factor structure and nd out any kind of presence of common method bias. Second, construct validity of the full measurement model to assess the convergent and discriminant validity. Third, we carried out descriptive statistics, correlation and reliability analysis in SPSS of the full measurement model. Fourth, we performed moderated structural equation modelling (MSEM) in AMOS to test the hypotheses.

Comparison of measurement models and Harman s single factor test

A full measurement model was tested initially. Team building, employee empowerment,

organizational learning culture and employee competencies items were loaded onto their respective factors. All factors were allowed to correlate. The four-factor model showed a good model t x 2 = 799.845, df =337, p < 0.05, CMIN/df = 2.373, Goodness of t index [GFI] = 0.901, comparative t index [CFI] = 0.950, root mean square error of approximation [RMSEA] = 0.052. Emphasis was given to carry out sequential x 2 difference test that compared the full measurement model to ve alternative nested models as shown in Table III. The result of the full measurement model is signicantly better as compared to the alternative models that suggest the variables in the study are distinct. Cross-sectional and self-reported data are susceptible to common method biases. Following the procedure adopted by several scholars (Ketkar and Sett, 2010; Conway et al., 2015) all items of both independent and dependent variables are included in a single factor and t indices were examined. The single factor model showed poor t with the data. Comparison of the single factor model with the full measurement model had shown that the full measurement model had signicantly better t with the data as compared to the single- factor model. While this test does not eliminate the possibility of method bias, it provides evidence that inter-item correlations are not driven purely by method bias (Podsakoff et al.,

2003).

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Models

x 2 ( df)

CFI

NFI

GFI RMSEA

x 2 diff

df diff

Full measurement model Model A 1 Model B 2 Model C 3 Model D 4

799.845 (337)

0.955 0.922

0.906

0.049

3454.934 (344)

0.664 0.641

0.576

0.133

2655.089 7***

2863.703 (342)

0.728 0.703

0.644

0.120

2063.858 5***

2593.368 (342)

0.757 0.731

0.665

0.113

1793.523 5***

3212.137 (344)

0.690 0.667

0.614

0.127

2412.292 7***

Model E 5 (Harman s single factor test) 4193.741 (346)

0.584 0.565

0.544

0.147

3393.896 9***

Notes: *** p < 0.001; x 2 = chi-square discrepancy; df = degrees of freedom; CFI = comparative t index;

NFI = normative t index; RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation;

square; df diff = differences in degrees of freedom. 1 Team building, employee empowerment and organizational learning culture combined to one factor; employee competencies into a second factor. Team building and employee empowerment combined to one factor; employee competencies and organizational learning culture combined into a second factor. 3 Team building, employee empowerment and employee competencies combined to one factor; organizational learning culture into second factor; Team building and organizational learning culture combined to one factor; employee competencies and employee empowerment into second factor. 5 All factors combined into a single factor. All models are compared to the full measurement model

x 2 diff = difference in chi-

2

4

Team building

Table III. Fit statistics from measurement model comparison

Construct validity of the full measurement model Construct validity was established in the study by assessing convergent validity and discriminant validity. To estimate convergent validity, discriminant validity and goodness of t statistics, we performed a CFA. Convergent validity is established by estimating factor loadings (completely standardized loading), composite reliability and average variance extracted (AVE) from the CFA. In Table IV, the results of convergent validity are provided, which shows that the values are in acceptable region, conrming convergent validity. Discriminant analysis is assessed by comparing the AVE with corresponding inter- dimension squared correlation estimates (Fornell and Larcker, 1981). Table V shows the square root of AVE values of all study factors are greater than inter-dimension correlations, supporting discriminant validity. The goodness of t statistics of the measurement model specied good model t with the data ( x 2 = 799.845, df =337, p < 0.05, CMIN/df = 2.373, GFI = 0.901, CFI = 0.950, RMSEA = 0.052). Thus, the instrument used in the study has good construct validity and psychometric properties.

Descriptive statistics, correlations and reliabilities Table VI presents mean, standard deviation and correlations among the four variables. The reliabilities of each individual variable vary from 0.77 to 0.93. The correlations among the four variables are signicant, supporting all of the hypotheses.

Moderated structural equation modelling results We used AMOS 20.0 to test the studys hypotheses through SEM, such that we could explicitly account for measurement error when examining the hypothesized relationships among the studys focal constructs. This approach also allowed us to assess how well our conceptual model as a whole t the data, as recommended by previous studies that seek to test complex models having web of hypotheses with both mediating and moderating affects. Several procedures for testing the interaction (moderating) effects in SEM have been forwarded (Jaccard et al., 1996; Joreskog and Yang, 1996; Ping, 1995). Cortina et al. (2001) found that all procedures produced very similar results. Present study adopted Pings (1995) approach to Moderated SEM using the three steps described by Cortina et al. (2001). These

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Table IV. Conrmatory factor analysis (Convergent validity)

 

Completely

Average

standardized

Composite variance

Construct and items

loading

reliability extracted

Team building TB1: Team members have the complementary skill sets to accomplish their roles within the team TB2: The team uses an effective short and long-term strategic plan TB3: Team members are familiar with each others roles and job responsibilities TB4: The team members communicate well with one another TB5: Everyone on a team has a signicant amount of inuence on decisions that affect team performance TB6: The team uses an effective short and long-term strategic plan

Employee empowerment EE1: Employees feel a healthy atmosphere to extend their creative suggestions EE2: Employees are involved in the decision-making process of different forums EE3: Accessibility to the information and resources need to perform in a better way EE4: There is freedom to express views even if it is contrary to the resolutions to be taken EE5: Individuals can participate in planning and scheduling of daily activities

Organizational learning culture OLC1: Employees are encouraged for continuous learning OLC2: Trust and condence as a way of organizational life OLC3: Organization provides the required resources as desired by the employees relating to the assigned jobs OLC4: Employees openly discuss mistakes with superiors and colleaguesin order to learn from them OLC5: Organization enables people to get needed information at any time quickly and easily OLC6: Employees continually look for opportunities to learn OLC7: Leaders continually look for opportunities to learn

0.850

0.843

0.792

0.913

0.637

0.779

0.762

0.756

0.902

0.832

0.820

0.917

0.691

0.878

0.711

0.848

0.841

0.839

0.924

0.671

0.833

0.788

0.763

0.758

Employee competencies EC1: Employees are always committed to assigned work and the organization EC2: People demonstrate team spirit while working in teams EC3: Individuals are tolerant to work pressure and ambiguity EC4: Employees are self motivated in the organization EC5: Employees are exhibiting positive job attitude at work EC6: Individuals are applying their acquired specialized knowledge at workplace

0.815

0.759

0.727

0.875

0.541

0.759

0.672

0.669

steps are detailed in the Appendix I. Recent few studies (Anning-Dorson, 2017; Harney et al., 2018) also followed the same approach. The goodness-of-t statistics of MSEM results ( x 2 = 483.728; df = 174; NFI = 0.935; CFI = 0.957; RMSEA = 0.059; SRMR = 0.077) indicate that it has a good model t.

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Figure 2 shows the results of MSEM analysis in which results of beta coefcients and adjusted R 2 are given. In total, 59 per cent of variance of HRD practices, organizational learning culture and interactions variables on employee competencies is explained. It shows that there is positive relationship between HRD practices and employee competencies, which infer team building and employee empowerment positively inuences the employee competencies, conrming ( b = 0.408, Standard Error (SE) = 0.031, critical ratio (CR) = 13.161, p < 0.001) H1a and ( b = 0.035, S.E = 0.004, CR = 8.75 p < 0.05) H1b. H2a proposed that organizational learning culture would moderate positive relationship between team building and employee competencies, where the relationship may be stronger when organizational learning culture is higher. The results of the MSEM (Figure 2) show that there is signicant interaction between team building and employee competencies ( b = 0.109, SE = 0.021, CR= 5.190, p < 0.05), supports H2a. The moderated relationship also supported by a simple slope test based on one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below.

Team building

 

Team

Organizational learning

Employee

Employee

Variables

building

culture

empowerment

competencies

Team building

0.79

Organizational learning

culture

0.403**

0.83

Employee empowerment

0.352**

0.441**

0.81

Employee competencies

0.393**

0.250**

0.429**

0.73

Table V.

Note: Values in diagonal represent the squared root estimate of AVE

 

Discriminant validity

Variables

Mean

SD

1

2

3

4

Team building Organizational learning culture Employee empowerment Employee competencies

4.19

3.68

3.58

4.16

0.88

(0.77)

0.98

0.99

0.403**

0.352**

(0.82)

0.441**

(0.83)

Table VI.

0.64

0.393**

0.250**

0.429**

(0.89)

Descriptive statistics

 

and bivariate

Notes: N = 653; ** p < 0.01, (two railed tests). Reliabilities are reported in parentheses

 

correlations

 

Team building

Interaction

0.408***

(TB*OCL)

0.109**

Organization

0.265**

Employee Competencies R 2 = 0.59

 

Learning Culture

 

0.130**

 

Interaction

(EE*OCL)

0.035**

 

Figure 2.

 

Employee

Empowerment

MSEM results

  Interaction (EE*OCL) 0.035**   Figure 2.   Employee Empowerment MSEM results

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From Figure 3, it claries that organizations with higher organizational learning culture ( b = 0.515, t = 8.837, p < 0.001) will inuence more on employee competencies than with lower organizational learning culture ( b = 0.401, t = 5.049, p < 0.001). The analysis has found similar results for H2b also, which indicates that there is moderated positive relationship between employee empowerment and employee competencies, where the relationship may be stronger when higher organizational learning culture is present ( b = 0.130, SE= 0.020, CR = 6.50 p < 0.05), conrming H2b. From simple slope test (Figure 4), it further elucidates that organizations with higher organizational learning culture ( b = 0.162, t = 2.788, p < 0.05) will inuence more on employee competencies than with lower organizational learning culture ( b = 0.142, t = 1.499).

Discussions The study has found that team building, employee empowerment and organizational learning culture have a signicant and positive inuence on employee competencies. In addition, the ndings conrm that the moderating effect of organizational learning culture on the above relationship is signicant. Detail ndings are discussed below. HRD practices (team building and employee empowerment) of cement manufacturing units have shown a signicant and positive relationship with employee competencies. In this respect, the nding of signicant and positive inuence of team building on employee competencies are congruent with the studies of Aga et al. (2016), Beebe and Masterson (2014) and Braun et al. (2013) that established that effective implementation team building programmes will enhance knowledge, skill and capabilities of the employees. It was also found that employee empowerment shows positive impact on employee competencies which conrms the assumption of eminent researchers such as Fernandez and Moldogaziev (2013) state that effective implementation of employee empowerment enhances employee competency.

Figure 3. Interaction between team building and organizational learning culture on employee competencies

Figure 4. Interaction between employee empowerment and organizational learning culture on employee competencies

5 Moderator 4.5 Low OLC 4 3.5 High OLC 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 Employee
5
Moderator
4.5
Low OLC
4
3.5
High OLC
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
Employee Competencies
Low Team Building High Team Building 5 4.5 Moderator 4 Low OLC 3.5 High OLC
Low Team Building
High Team Building
5
4.5
Moderator
4
Low OLC
3.5
High OLC
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
Employee Competencies

Low Employee Empowerment High Employee Empowerment

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Further, the perception of organizational learning culture moderated the relationship between team building and employee empowerment with employee competencies. Employees perceived that organization having effective implementation of team building practices along with high organizational learning culture results in higher employee competencies. In this respect, the ndings of the study empirically validate the hypothesized relation that has been theoretically stated in many studies (Sung and Choi, 2014; Banerjee et al., 2017). A similar result also found that organizational learning culture moderated the relationship between employee empowerment and employee competencies. This empirical nding validates the theoretical assumptions of renowned researchers (Kim and McLean, 2008; Park, 2010; Moon and Choi, 2017) that employee empowerment facilitated by learning environment may show a positive effect on the development of employee competencies. Similarly, H2b proposed that organizational learning culture strengthens the positive relationship between employee empowerment and employee competencies. The ndings of the present research corroborate with the previous studies by Jones et al. (2013) and Kuo et al. (2010) and establishes that in the presence of organizational learning culture strengthens the relationship between employee empowerment and employee competencies.

Team building

Theoretical contribution The ndings of this study have several important theoretical contributions. The study provides a deeper understanding of how HRD practices inuences enhancement of employee competencies in the presence of contextual variable organizational learning culture. The results conrm that the relationship between HRD practices and employee competencies can be strengthened by positive organizational learning culture. A work context that is supportive for encouraging employees for continuous learning through the acquisition of new knowledge and skills would foster the relationship between HRD practices and employee competencies. This study therefore provides support for a contingency perspective in HRD research that with a positive organizational learning culture; the effect of HRD practices on the development of employees competencies can be enhanced. By demonstrating that organizational learning culture moderates the HRD practices and employee competencies relationship, this study builds on a recent stream of research examining the resource-based view (Wernerfelt, 1984) from a contingency perspective. This study also extends the application of HRD practices and organizational learning culture to a new context (i.e. the emerging economy of India). It demonstrates that in emerging economies, characterized by environmental turbulence and uncertainties. The implementation of HRD practices will help the organization to perform better by increasing the competency level of their employees.

Practical implications Bates and Khasawneh (2005) state that, There is considerable consensus today that a key competitive advantage for organizations lies in their ability to learn and be responsive to challenges from both internal and external environments. Evidently, focus has to be paid, in developing an organizational learning culture to enhance employee competencies to build competitive advantage and enhance organizational effectiveness. The outcomes of the paper also recommend some suggestions to managers striving for success. First, from moderated SEM results, managers should recognize that, just by providing team building and employee empowerment initiatives are not enough, it is the organizations responsibility to create an environment of learning to enhance employee competencies. Second, organizations have to take advantage of organizational learning capability by signifying the importance of managers and their attitudes in effective implementation of learning conditions within the

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organization. This indicates that managers are the facilitators of learning culture within the organization, and it can be achieved by applying the attributes of a learning organization in such a way that learning orientation becomes the main trigger for learning (Real et al., 2014). Third, the direct inference of study results is that employees with enhanced competencies are the most vital stakeholder group in any business process that is endeavouring for improved organizational effectiveness. Hence, managers striving for effectiveness and efciency in their process should put employees rst, which supports the opinion of Skerlavaj et al. (2010).

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Limitations and directions for future research The study has a few limitations; however, these pave the way for a new line of future research. Even though, we collected responses from employees who participated in team building and employee empowerment initiatives in the past two years, but we have collected data at a single point of time (cross-sectional study). This might raise issues relating to the direction of causality, we recommend the future researchers to conduct a longitudinal study that minimizes the issues on the direction of causality. The data used in the study are largely subjective opinions of the employees responding to the survey. As per Real et al. (2014), subjective assessment obtained through multi-item scales are in the general consistent with an objective measure, the difference between perceptions and objective data may exist. Future studies might emphasis on this area, using objective measures. Finally, we cannot generalize the results through wider range of sectors and global environment, as the study was conducted in Indian cement industries.

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No. 1, pp. 31-55. Yuvaraj, S. and Mulugeta, K. (2013), Analysis of the strategic orientation of HRD practices and managersawareness towards the concepts of HRD in Ethiopia, Research Journal Social Science and Management, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 186-198.

Avolio, B.J., Zhu, W., Koh, W. and Bhatia, P. (2004), Transformational leadership and organizational commitment: mediating role of psychological empowerment and moderating role of structural

 

distance, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 951-968.

 

Chen, G., Kirkman, B.L., Kanfer, R., Allen, D. and Rosen, B. (2007), A multilevel study of leadership,

 

empowerment, and performance in teams, The Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 92 No. 2, p. 331.

 

Choi, M. and Ruona, W.E. (2010), Individual readiness for organizational change and its implications

 

for human resource and organization development, Human Resource Development Review,

 

Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 46-73. Egan, T.M., Upton, M.G. and Lynham, S.A. (2006), Career development: load-bearing wall or window dressing? exploring denitions, theories, and prospects for HRD-related theory building,

 

Human Resource Development Review, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 442-477.

 

Garvin, D.A. (1993), Building a learning organization, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 71 No. 4,

 

pp. 78-91. Guo, Y., Wang, C. and Feng, Y. (2014), The moderating effect of organizational learning culture on

 

individual motivation and ERP system assimilation at individual level, Journal of Software,

 

Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 365-373. Han, S.H., Seo, G., Yoon, S.W. and Yoon, D.Y. (2016), Transformational leadership and knowledge sharing: Mediating roles of employees empowerment, commitment, and citizenship behaviors,

 

Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 130-149.

 

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culture dimensions during organizational transformation, Journal of Management, Vol. 22

 

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of process alignment and organizational learning culture on performance, Journal of World

 

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Joo, B.K.B. and Lim, T. (2009), The effects of organizational learning culture, perceived job complexity,

 

and proactive personality on organizational commitment and intrinsic motivation, Journal of

 

Leadership and Organizational Studies, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 48-60.

 

Kmieciak, R., Michna, A. and Meczynska, A. (2012), Innovativeness, empowerment and IT

 

capability: evidence from SMEs , Industrial Management and Data Systems , Vol. 112 No. 5,

 

pp. 707-728. Meeus, M.T., Oerlemans, L.A. and Hage, J. (2001), Sectoral patterns of interactive learning: an

 

empirical exploration of a case in a dutch region, Technology Analysis and Strategic

 

Management, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 407-431.

 

Murray, P. and Donegan, K. (2003), Empirical linkages between rm competencies and organisational

 

learning, The Learning Organization, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 51-62.

 

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EJTD

Zhang, X. and Bartol, K.M. (2010), Linking empowering leadership and employee creativity: the inuence of psychological empowerment, intrinsic motivation, and creative process

 

engagement, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 107-128.

Appendix. Moderation/interactions procedure The three-step procedure outlined by Cortina et al. (2001) to carry out Pings (1995) MSEM approach. This approach is also carried out by Conway et al. (2015). Step 1: Standardize all indicators for the independent variable X (team building, Sxn, n = [1, 6]), Y (employee empowerment, Sym, m = [1, 5]), and moderator Z (organizational learning Culture, Szl, l = [1, 7]) Step 2: Create interaction term

6

7

XZ ¼ X Sxn * X Szl

1

1

5

7

YZ ¼ X Szm * X Szl

1

1

Step 3: Fix the measurement properties for interaction terms XZ and YZ. K XZ : Path from latent interaction XZ to indicator xz: K XZ = l xz =

6

7

XZ ¼ X l xn * X l zl

1 1

where l xn are the path coefcients from latent independent variable X (team building) to its indicators Sxn, n = [1, 6] l zl are the path coefcients from latent moderator Z (Organizational Learning Culture) to its indicators Szl, l = [1, 7] K YZ : Path from latent interaction YZ to indicator yz: K YZ = l yz =

5 7

YZ ¼ X l yn * X l zl

1

1

where l yn