Contexts of organizational learning in developing countries: the role of training programmes in Egyptian public banks

Mohamed Mousa, Hiba Massoud, Rami Ayoubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Little research into organizational learning in the public sector in developing countries' is known. In this paper, the authors investigated the context of organizational learning in the public banks in Egypt.

An ethnographic field research was employed by spending a month inside each of two public banks in Egypt. The ethnographic experience was operationalised by using direct observations of learning processes, procedures and practices, semi-structured interviews with learning specialists and focus group discussions with bankers. The authors used thematic analysis to determine the main themes in the previous data collection methods of ethnographic approach.

The findings confirmed a lack of clear focus for the organizational learning practices employed by the banks, which highlights issues of seriousness in undertaking and/or tackling organizational learning, and increased doubts in relation to the added value of the different forms of formal trainings bankers participate in. To enhance the culture and maintain effective functioning of formal organizational learning, the authors suggest considering the following three categories of barriers: purpose-related barriers, implementation and evaluation barriers.

Despite the generalisability caveats associated with the organizations studied, the authors believe that this paper contributes to the existing theory of organizational learning as it provides insights and understanding on the purpose, frame, conduct and results of organizational learning in the public sector. More specifically, the study is unique and is different from previous relevant studies as it relies on ethnographical approach in exploring how organizational leaning practices are perceived in public banks in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1186
Number of pages18
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number3
Early online date6 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2022


Minister of Science and Higher Education titled “Regional Initiative of Excellence” in 2019-2022, project number 018/RID/2018/19, the amount of funding PLN 10 788 423,16.


  • Egypt
  • Organizational learning
  • Public banks
  • Public employees
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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