Organizational learning, authentic leadership and individual-level resistance to change: A study of Egyptian academics

Mohamed Mousa, Hiba K. Massoud, Rami M. Ayoubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to focus on academics in three private foreign universities located in Cairo (Egypt) to explore the effect of organizational learning on individual-level resistance to change with and without the mediation of authentic leadership. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 960 academics were contacted and all of them received a set of questionnaires. After four follow ups, a total of 576 responses were collected with a response rate of 60.00 per cent. The author used the chi-square test to determine the association between organizational learning and authentic leadership. Multiple regressions were used to show how much variation in individual-level resistance to change can be explained by organizational learning and authentic leadership. Findings: The findings highlight a statistical association between organizational learning and authentic leadership. Moreover, another statistical association is explored between authentic leadership and individual-level resistance to change. Furthermore, the statistical analysis proved that having an authentic leadership in the workplace fosters the effect of organizational learning in alleviating individual’s resistance to change. Research limitations/implications: Data were collected only from academics and did not include rectors and/or heads of academic departments, the matter that may lead to an inflation of statistical relationships. Future research could use a double source method. Moreover, focusing only on private foreign universities working in Egypt diminishes the author’s potential for generalizing his results. Practical implications: The author recommends establishing a unit for knowledge management inside every university. The function of this unit includes but is not limited to examining prospective socio-political, cultural and economic changes/challenges in the surrounding environment and preparing the possible scenarios for dealing with them. This in turn should comprise involvement and learning opportunities for academics work in these universities. The suggested units should also organize monthly meetings between academics and representatives from different Egyptian sectors such as NGOs personnel, CEOs of private and public companies, environmentalists and politicians to address what change those actors seek universities to undertake to guide academics to fulfill their expectations. Originality/value: This paper contributes by filling a gap in HR management and organization literature in the higher education sector, in which empirical studies on the relationship between organizational learning, authentic leadership and resistance to change have been limited until now.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
JournalManagement Research
Issue number1
Early online date1 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic staff
  • Authentic leadership
  • Egypt
  • Organizational learning
  • Resistance to change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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