Informal learning as mediating mechanism for the relationship between learning climate and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB)

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Purpose: The goal of this study was to examine the mediating mechanism of informal learning between dimensions of learning climate and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). In addition, the study also aimed to investigate the learning climate, in the dimensions of learning facilitation, learning appreciation and error avoidance as antecedents of informal learning. Design/methodology/approach: The data were gathered from sports items manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sialkot, Pakistan. Sialkot is home to manufacturing businesses that export their products worldwide. Survey data of 318 middle managers collected at 2 different times were used for testing the research model using structural equation modeling (SEM). Findings: The results demonstrate that facilitation and appreciation learning climate have a positive relationship with informal learning and error-avoidance has a negative relationship with informal learning. The analysis also revealed that informal learning mediated the linkage between learning climate dimensions and OCB. Moreover, informal learning is significantly related to OCB. Practical implications: HR practitioners and organizational leaders of SMEs can use, encourage and promote informal learning to improve the skills and knowledge of employees at low cost. For instance, management should strategically implement informal learning at the workplace by providing a supportive learning climate. Originality/value: Previous studies have overlooked the impact of informal learning on OCB and its mediating effect. The present study addresses this gap by examining the mediating mechanism of informal learning between learning climate and OCB.

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Evidence-based HRM

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