Let’s start with a silly question: why should organizations invest time and money (resources) in their individual employees’ learning? Well, the assumption is that this learning helps facilitate change and innovation so that the organization sustains a competitive advantage (see for example, Ropes & Thölke, 2010). Simply stated, the idea(l) is that individual learning leads to: a) improved organizational learning and b) higher individual performance which together positively impact organizational performance (1).

I’ve been asking myself what the exact relationship is between individual and organizational learning. In other words, to what extent do we actually have evidence on a causal relation between individual learning and organizational learning? I believe this is important to unravel because there’s a lot of debate on what learning and development’s role is in an organization (and what it isn’t), so we need to find focus and insight in when, where, and how we can add value to organizations through employee learning.