University of Leicester
2013cacciattolokdsocsci.pdf (1.32 MB)

To What Extent do Organisational Politics Hinder or Support Workplace Learning? The University of Malta Case

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posted on 2013-10-08, 11:04 authored by Karen Cacciattolo
This thesis has identified a number of effects of political behaviour that hinder or support workplace learning. The work adds to knowledge since, whilst a small amount of literature exists regarding the relationship between organisational politics and learning, there is very little knowledge concerning the effect of micro-politics on workplace learning. Existing literature is primarily concerned with the general effect of politics on work performance and how these are perceived by the employees. Evidence was gained from 35 participants who were undergoing some type of workplace learning, through participant observations and semi-structured interviews. The study employed a qualitative research design and research data was extracted from the fieldwork notes and interview transcriptions of the participants who related the effect of political behaviour they were having (if any) on their learning. A methodology based on an inductivist approach was used to explore the participants’ experiences, thoughts and opinions, since the study involved social processes and behaviours. Collected data which was transcribed and converted to text was analysed by using the N-VIVO Qualitative Data Analysis software. The research clearly showed that interpersonal political behaviour may have an intense effect on the employees’ learning, particularly informal learning. The effects can be inhibitive and distressing for some, and supportive and profitable for others. In a minority of cases, workplace politics seemed to have had no effect on individual learning, as some respondents consciously chose to distance and isolate themselves from such behaviours. The research included in this thesis has made a new contribution to the existing literature on politics and learning since it identified the type of effects that particular political behaviours have on the learning of the individual at the place of work. The effects may be learning-supportive or learning-inhibitive and these effects were completely unknown before this research took place.



Bishop, Daniel; James, Nalita

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DSocSci



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