Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 18 Issue: 3

Employee's Learning Commitment and Self-efficacy

Tahir Masood Qureshi, American University in the Emirates


Purpose of the Study: The study is designed to investigate the relationship between employee learning commitments leading to employee self-efficacy that in turn leads to other positive outcomes. The study is built around employee learning commitment, knowledge sharing practices, and self-efficacy.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This mixed method cross-sectional study shall empirically test the hypothesis based on the research questions on the sample drawn from the higher education sector.

Findings: Analysis revealed that employee learning commitment is significantly related to employee self-efficacy. The mediation of employee skills and abilities is also proven significant in the same relationship. Moreover, the findings also indicate that employee adaptability & responsiveness and employee skills, knowledge & abilities mediate the relationship between employee learning commitment and employee self-efficacy.

Research Limitations: The findings of this study cannot be generalized with much confidence in non-educational based work settings since it is built around the higher education system in the Middle East.

Practical Implications: The major implications of the study are to lead to better training resources developed for employees to enhance their skills, improve their understanding of abilities and enable them to use their skills for the best of their interests in the education sector. Such implications will directly impact economic and community development.

Originality/Value: Previously published research work focused on knowledge sharing and its outcomes. However, there has not been sufficient exploration in the knowledge sharing and learning process leading to employee self- efficacy specifically in the education sector of the Middle East affected by employees' diverse skills, abilities and adaptability of new methods and teaching approaches. 


Knowledge Sharing, Employees’ Le arning, Learning Commitment, Employee’s Learning Commitment, Employee Self-efficacy, Employees’ Performance


Knowledge is an important component of any business and society as it enables businesses to change according to the needs and requirements of the customers and economic conditions of regions. Knowledge develops a society of the organization based on its culture and values (Geisler & Wickramasinghe, 2015; Găitănaru, 2019). Based on knowledge, individual entities in the organization adopt these values and culture and use external sources to establish their learning processes as well as share it around the workplace (Wiewiora et al., 2013). These learning establish a new basis in the culture and organization. Knowledge develops culture and culture brings in knowledge, and the knowledge workers productivity becomes the striking challenge for the management discipline (Shujahat et al., 2019).

The higher education platform of universities across the world is going through change and management of course works that allow both innovation and representation of the areas they cover (Allen & Seaman, 2013). The educational institutes like other organization are the structure of individually placed within the organization based on their expertise and professional capabilities. These capabilities and expertise are more closely bonded with the qualification and the ability to learn and ability to deliver as well (Bleiklie, 2014). In the dynamic environment of today where professional and practical education are very much connected with the industrial changes and economic outturn. The need for academician’s effective learning process and quick adaptation is imminent.

As more and more subjects are now offered in the higher education institutes, hence the quality of the education is also focused as a major concern. The learning commitment of the academicians to adapt and learn new methods of delivery of the course content and changes in such to provide up to date professional guideline to their students and researchers (Veletsianos et al., 2013). As an institution where behavioral changes define the success of the workplace, the educational institutes need to develop knowledge bridges with the environment, customers, competitors, and changing economic conditions of the country. The collection of information is not enough to develop the sound competitive ground for higher education students but also to use this information in forming methods to share and incorporate such knowledge in the workplace environment that assures cohesion and linearity with sufficient window of innovation (Fullwood et al., 2013). There have been a significant number of researches in the service sector where the importance of knowledge is discussed and explored. Knowledge management is important for the development of the service sector by using the innovative tools (Nadeem & Jaffri, 2005).

The education sector of the Middle East is aware of the service quality requirements. Previous literature from Middle East service sector supports the rising quality improvement needs. International education standard has jumped into the Wave II of quality that is based on ‘Change Management’ and ‘Knowledge Management’ in the organization to prove quality standards (Sallis, 2014). Knowledge management, and total quality management system has essential importance for the organizations (Ribiere & Khorranshahgol, 2004). To satisfy students and other stakeholders in the education sector, the quality demanded can be justified by employee commitment, development of skills, improved ability, effective training process and employee confidence to provide better solutions to the customers (Hazelkorn, 2015). Complementing human resource practices and creation of a knowledge-based culture with motivational base reward systems and career development, enables the service sector to perform better (Irfan et al., 2009). The use of knowledge with all the components to make a healthy culture of the knowledge management system is the requirement of better performance in the industry. It is important to consider that; the education industry is included in the service sectors. It has far more significant liability towards its stakeholders that include the immediate students, teachers, and partners in education, research centers and the society itself (Altbach, 2015). The education sector relates to prominent factors as for learning and innovation is concerned. The first prominent factor is the ability of the academicians and their flexibility in accepting changes and going through these changes to develop something significant as a product. This product in return is delivered to the students and indirectly incorporated in the industry and economy eventually (Shah, 2016). The progress of this cycle dependent on the academicians learning and capabilities and most prominently on their commitment and other behavioral aspects such as self- efficacy and adaptability (Khan et al., 2014).

The motivation of this study is to fill in the gaps in previous literature focused on the service sector. The future recommendations given in the service sector research work conducted by (Almahamid et al., 2010) focus on knowledge sharing practices with the dynamic environment and the study of the proposed model with other variables that ultimately improve performance. Current study aims to find the relationship between knowledge sharing practices, learning commitment of employees, employee’s adaptability and satisfaction. The current study proposes to study the dynamic environment impact on the relationship of knowledge sharing practices, adaptability and employee capabilities including knowledge, skills, and abilities. Education sector signifies the elements of collaboration, work, and satisfaction that lead to innovation and performance like other service industries (Ali & Panatik, 2015). The current study examines the development of self-efficacy of employees in response to the enhancement of adaptability, responsiveness, and capabilities of employees. Based on the need to make employees responsive towards changes in the environment on time to capture opportunities and support the process of continuous knowledge sharing. This study targets the development of human’s perception, confidence, and trust that enables employees to perform better to achieve more in a dynamic work setting. The factors that are involved in this development are also studied as mediating variables in the relationship that are adaptability, responsiveness, and capabilities (Jones et al., 2005). Employee’s adaptability and responsiveness includes the level of change that an employee can opt with the ongoing pace, while responsiveness comes next to adaptability. Responsiveness does not develop on its own; rather it is supported by other constructs, such as an ability to identify when to respond? What to respond? How to respond? These questions are studied in the support of the knowledge sharing system. Other factor under study that helps in the development of employee self- efficacy is the capability of the employee. The capability of an employee includes skills, abilities, and knowledge regarding areas of operation. In order to be responsive and practical in the area, one should acquire the needed skills and develop the required abilities for task performance where both skills and abilities are based on knowledge (Akhavan et al., 2014).

Middle East education sector needs to strengthen the knowledge system in respect of the development of human capital (Aubert & Reiffers, 2004). Being the service-oriented sector universities provide help and consultation apart from education services in multiple specialized areas. This angle needs more clarity and confidence from the university’s side to the students due to outcomes involved that directly affect the industry, and the society at large. Like all other sectors, education sector is changing and expanding every day. Only improving quality on the processes and documentation is not enough (Tobin, 2015; Bentley, 2012), academicians and educational employees should be ready and capable to absorb changes. The objective of current research is to explore the relationship of knowledge sharing practices i.e., employee learning commitment and self-efficacy, in addition to testing the mediating effect of developmental variables, such as employee adaptability, responsiveness to change and employee capabilities. There are three main research questions of this study: (a) What effects doe’s employee learning commitment developed by knowledge sharing practices has on employee adaptability and responsiveness in a dynamic environment? (b) What effects does employee leaning commitment has on employee capabilities development? (c) What is the effect of employee learning commitment and capabilities on employee self-efficacy development?

This study contributes to the growing literature of knowledge management and employee self-efficacy, particularly with reference to educational industry of Middle East. It has important practical implications, after reading the research findings educational institutions can focus of their knowledge management process and the best level of employee self-efficacy. Institutions can formulate and implement the needed strategies about the studied concepts to gain competitive advantage. As the study is based on the theory of knowledge management introduced by (Nonaka, & Takeuchi, 1996), hence will verify introduced concept of knowledge and knowledge management. Furthermore, the study is significant with respect to the education sector, as it revolves around the question of service quality improvement. Academicians are directly responsible for quality education and its development. In this regard, the human capital in the education sector should be improved and developed using different trainings, development, and others mechanisms (Hanushek, 2013). Following the concept, the most effective part is the mindset of employees, about can they perform in rapidly changing requirements or not. This confidence, trust, and assurance in employees with the support of learning commitment improve their performance.

Literature Review

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge is defined as the asset of the person that comprises of a pool of expertise and efforts (Smith, 2001). Organizations are realizing that acquiring and using the knowledge at optimal level enables them to have a sustainable competitive advantage (Mahdi et al., 2019). Knowledge has been studied in relationship with factors concerning the workplace operations and individual assessment abilities as stated in previous research knowledge is the information that helps in decision-making processes (Laihonen, 2006). While Knowledge management is considered as an important strategy to gain a competitive advantage in today's business environment (Vendrell-Herrero et al., 2019). It is defined as a broad concept divided into equally important processes of searching, gathering, communicating and applying (Almahamid et al., 2010), previous literature defines knowledge production as the activity that generates value both in firms and in society (Drucker, 1993). Knowledge management does not have a single definition it is defined as the collection, identification, and use of information from different sources that are meaningful and helpful in any regard (Rowley, 2000). Previous studies have also highlighted the importance of knowledge as an asset of the organization and team that is not only a process but the key to success (Spender, 1996). Now, knowledge is considered an important part of organizational processes irrespective of the nature of business and operations. Knowledge is broader and spreads over the whole organization, processes, and institutions even the countries (Nowotny et al., 2001). In the words of Mahdi et al. (2019) acquisition and management of knowledge is the only way to achieve sustainable competitive advantage for the organizations in the modern market places.

Knowledge sharing is basically discussed in three broad categories (Lin, 2008; Chiu et al., 2006); however knowledge sharing happens regardless of its type and category (Balle et al., 2019). These three categories of knowledge sharing discussion are: Theory-use of theories to explain the impact of knowledge sharing, Methodology-use of methods to show the impact of knowledge sharing, Sharing-the phenomena of disseminating the information, all these three aspects reveal how the organizational and individual competitiveness can be improved (Almahamid et al., 2010). Knowledge sharing depends on level of individual demographic diversity, functional diversity, team attitudes and competence (Endres & Chowdhury, 2019). Knowledge management becomes successful when knowledge is shared or applied properly (Marques et al., 2019). Knowledge type and different combinations of firm’s complements can cause significant competitive effects (Bloodgood, 2019). However, the use of knowledge to best serves the goals and interest of the individual and teams is essential to gain long term success.

For any service and manufacturing sector including the education sector, knowledge sharing culture is a part of knowledge management process (Gurteen, 1999) without knowledge sharing an educational sector organization cannot implement the learned behaviors to achieve certain goals (Laihonen, 2006). When speaking of the education sector, knowledge management determines the ability of the firm to adapt changes (Almahamid et al., 2010). In recent years the development in the education sector has demanded fast-paced and accurate level of knowledge being managed and shared within the educational sector that has sparked opportunities for research and other educational training. Knowledge has allowed the new education firms to adopt form the environment and explore new areas of interest, expanding their services and research in more fields.

Knowledge sharing is also related to a firm’s ability to achieve competitiveness. For any organization, knowledge sharing is an activity of an employee who spreads his knowledge to others in the organization (Becerra-Fernandez & Sabherwal, 2014). Through the channel of sharing and responsiveness to the environment, the employees can achieve higher goals and adopt changes. Whereas, on the other hand, Shujahat et al. (2019) found that knowledge sharing has no significant effect on the productivity of knowledge workers in the IT sector. Knowledge sharing practices are developed in a complementary culture that encourages and develops the base of knowledge sharing practices. It is the culture that develops the ability to share knowledge in the society of the organization (Michailova & Husted, 2003). Moreover, the leader’s skills and the culture of the organization develop knowledge sharing practices (Yang, 2007). The leadership role is highlighted when the management keeps their employees as family enabling the culture of sharing and value organization. These practices can be supported by motivational policies introduced by the leadership (Almahamid et al., 2010). The leadership practices, the overall culture of the organization and the knowledge sharing values certainly affect employee satisfaction in the workplace and its placement in the organization. The motivational policies and the leadership approach use effective rewards system that encourages sharing practices in the organizational culture and designs with respect to the individual-based contribution of knowledge or group-based that ultimately improves the organizational performance (Lee & Ahn, 2006). The reward system and the leadership practices have been discussed closely aligned with the sharing of knowledge in an organization through proper reward system (Bartol & Srivastava, 2002) as well as the condition of these rewards (Almahamid et al., 2010). Knowledge is linked to every aspect of society and business. In the rapidly changing environment, the effects and consequences of day to day activities change. In order to survive and grow, an organization needs to pace with the constant changes occurring in the environment. Knowledge sharing determines how effectively and quickly the organization and employees can respond to the changing environment (Almahamid et al., 2010). While employees from different backgrounds do have a chance to learn from others’ knowledge and experience to gain more competency in the workplace (Maravilhas & Martins, 2019).

On the basis of the above literature knowledge management system comprises an important part of the application of the knowledge that can be done if the knowledge is shared and transmitted to others in the setting. This transfer is supported by the leadership style, cultural development and the organizational climate that encourages change, development, and adaptability. The chances of innovation and creativity are higher with greater and more related knowledge use and sharing in the environment (Chae et al., 2015). Knowledge sharing and Transformational leadership lead positively innovation in higher education institutions (Elrehail et al., 2018).

Learning Commitment of Employees

In scholarly circles in recent times many factors that could affect learning in the workplace have been researched (Schwartz, 2019). Knowledge sharing is part of the whole knowledge system. This system values human resource greatly, the entity that makes it possible for the organization for actual development on knowledge bases. Knowledge sharing is not only the policy or regulation that alone can make changes. The success through knowledge sharing is not only based on the top management practicing it but, on the willingness, behavior, and activities of the employees to share information in order to achieve goals (Yang, 2008). For the educational sector, the sharing of knowledge and the dissemination of gathered information can help develop sound knowledge system and databases that can serve the rapidly improving world of since and arts. These changes have been closely linked with technology and exposure. The reach to new data and the access of any material or information has not only become a blessing but also a challenge for the academicians to keep track or the latest details and provide the up to date knowledge that best serves the markets the graduates are about to serve (Yayilgan et al., 2015).

Both employee’s ability to communicate and the opportunity to communicate develop the behavior of an employee to share knowledge (Siemsen et al., 2008). Such opportunities and environment led to positive organizational changes including performance and innovation. The climate of the organization allowing the knowledge sharing through employee commitment maintains the organizational performance (Almahamid et al., 2010). The employees learning commitment can be enhanced by the development of a climate that allows employees to speak up and share information that they found valuable for the organization. Knowledge sharing at any level of the organization improves the commitment of employees towards the learning process as well. Transformational leadership style encourages the culture and human resource practices that motivate employees to participate in organizational development. Transformational leadership targets the employee’s interest a bend in this regard motivates them to follow organizational policies (Avolio et al., 2004).

In the current educational sectors, there are various forms of leadership style are being practiced. The higher education system shows the use of transformation leadership style that allows a certain level of empowerment and creativity through employees enhances encouraging individual creative solution and their interests (Mittal & Dhar, 2015). Exercising the encouraging style of leadership increases the commitment of employees when employees own interests are satisfied. The impact of knowledge sharing on organizational performance depends on the commitment of the employee to learn and to share (Hsu, 2008). The learning commitment of the employee depends on the behavior of the employees and their attitude towards knowledge sharing practices. Such behaviors can be modified and controlled through leadership style and organizational policies.

Knowledge sharing practices develop the learning commitment of employees (Almahamid et al., 2010). Though there exists a positive relationship between knowledge sharing and organizational performance when the effect of learning behavior, processes and organization’s outcomes are complementary (Tong et al., 2015), the effects of individual abilities and responsiveness are still not explored in the pattern of use of the knowledge to create innovation and satisfaction in the workplace.

Based on the above literature, the direct and indirect relationship of employees learning commitment and knowledge sharing is studied. These studies have linked other variables that support the phenomena. The rewards system, employee’s interest and motivational effort of the leaders are included. Employee learning commitments lead to better performance as well as this also aids the continuous process of learning and sharing. The commitment of employees develops competitiveness by responding to opportunities. The role of overall environment comprised the factors mentioned above has a vital supportive role in knowledge sharing behaviors of the employees (Fullwood et al., 2018).

Employee Adaptability and Responsiveness

Employee’s adaptability is defined with respect to its constructs. Previous pieces of literature define Adaptability as the performance of the employee developing with respect to change (Pulakos et al., 2000) and the capacity to adopt change with respect to age (Moyers & Colemen, 2004). It is the flexibility of the employee according to his attributes to take in change. In the education sector, such factors men a lot because the qualifications and the knowledge of research and training in the higher education level determine the success of the academician. The level of learning is also linked with the competencies that are advanced and developed through learning. When employees have the power to control the level of learning, their competencies increase (Paulsson et al., 2005). Adaptability is defined as the level of the employee that can be absorbed and implemented; it is the capacity that is also dependent on other factors like organizational environment and leadership skills (Parent & Lovelace, 2015). The learning and development of competencies are linked with the employee’s ability to learn something new and face challenges. Encouragement to employees to take risk develops employee’s confidence (Avolio et al., 2004). These risks that employees take to learn something new ultimately improve their performance (Paulsson et al., 2005). Adaptively is the extent to which an employee can grasp, react, and go with the change that affects the role of an employee (Griffin et al., 2007). Hence, the employee’s ability to adapt and respond to changes and adaptability in practice defines and supports their performance. Individual adaptability has its importance because it affects the areas of technology introduction, design of processes and strategies that help employees match with new organizational requirements (Griffin et al., 2007). In the education sector, the new technologies have been adapted and used widely to gather and share information. The practices to share and gather information supports the process of learning amongst the students as well as the academicians (Gilbert, 2014).

Adaptability enhances employee’s abilities and makes them perform better through higher satisfaction and lower turnover tendencies (Chan & Mai, 2015). Talking about the uncertain changes in the environment directly affect the acquisition of knowledge and the greater adaptability (Kai et al., 2010). When the uncertainty raises in the environment employees’ adaptability increases. Similarly, in the education sector, the academicians previously found it difficult to deal with the online learning and long-distance teaching methods questioning the quality of the practices, but such changes have also inclined them to adapt and match their pace with the technological changes (Maarop & Embi, 2016). This response to change is adaptability that aids the employees to perform better. As given in previous literature the uncertainty in the environment and the adaptability are positively related in order to avoid risk from the environment (Autio et al., 2000). In the educational sector, there is risk involved given the intense competition in the higher education teaching and learning environment (Takamine, 2016).

When organization practices knowledge sharing in order to manage the knowledge in the organization the adaptability process is aided organizations can develop opportunities in the changing environment by developing the ability to adopt (Tang, 2009). The flexibility from the organization to encourage changes and adaptation is one part while the personal flexibility of an individual show person adaptability (Almahamid et al., 2010). The employee change and adaptability make them responsive to further changes and their effects. Taking the educational sector under consideration, the changes in the technology have become part of the development in the higher education (Al-rahmi et al., 2014) where the use of technology tool is considered essential to the success of both academicians and scholars.

The knowledge management system is linked to the sustainability of the organization on the condition that knowledge is managed effectively using some methodology (Robinson et al., 2006). In current economics, every organization is striving to go global. In the race of globalization and the products life being shortened the value-adding ability of the organization is to develop the intellectual capabilities in human resource (Yang et al., 2002). The education sector has also become international in many factors. The foreign institutes served onshore and offshore students and employees in of shore campuses. Development and training of such employees and students are essential to the educational instates success, since the success factor depends on the quality of the graduates and the research components produced in the higher education (Green, 2014).

The development of dynamic abilities causes the employee to perceive that he can perform what out is to come. This attitude towards change improves the self- efficacy of the employees. There exists a positive relationship between learning commitment of employees, their responsiveness to change and self-efficacy of the employee (Hsu et al., 2007). Self- efficacy that is understood in terms of the trust of an employee in their abilities and the ability to produce innovative solutions is dependent on the direct or indirect effects of knowledge sharing (Almahamid et al., 2010). In this study, the effect of knowledge sharing is studied on the employee adaptability with the impact of employee learning commitment in the educational sector where employee’s innovation and trust in their abilities are tested based on their commitment with learning and their adaptability and responsiveness.

Previous literature supports the relationship of knowledge sharing practices and the adaptability of the employees. These practices help employees not only adopt changes from the environment but also aid in the process of knowledge sharing and adaptability within the organization. When employees willingly gather the knowledge, they enable themselves to effectively adopt the changes in the environment on perfect information that they own while the responsiveness of employees improves both individuals as well as organizational performance.

Employee Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

Knowledge sharing is a cost-effective method of developing skills and abilities of employees (Almahamid et al., 2010). Individuals adaptability to change is accompanied by the skills and abilities required to respond to the changes effectively. Knowledge is kept in the form of abilities, and efforts by an individual (Schmitt, 2014). In an academic environment, the intellectual capital and abilities are the prominent measure to rank the academicians. Capabilities of individuals are highly related to their intellectual capital, developed through knowledge management (Ju et al., 2006). This shows a positive relationship between knowledge and capabilities of employees. Previous studies support this as the more knowledge level is taken in by an individual the more capable, he becomes to effectively implement the knowledge. In order to practically implement the knowledge employee’s development of skills, attitude and abilities are vital (Barzinpour et al., 2015). Hence, in the education sector the abilities, skill and learned knowledge all collectively help academicians achieve their goals.

To be responsive to business changes the requirement of the skills and abilities rises in order to encounter the stress caused by the rapid changes. The ability to perform competently to successfully move from unlearned state to equipped state and to enable them to take decisions when semi-structured or unstructured problems occur, the adaptation to change is very important (Almahamid et al., 2010). When speaking of knowledge and learning in a learning environment it is not only the processes and the technology that the organization may adopt. Knowledge is not technology alone but also the people who use the technology in processes (Call, 2005). When employees are satisfied, they perform better when they Are satisfied that they have the needed abilities they become creative and willing to go for higher challenges (Chiu et al., 2006). The educational environment lends possibilities to the academicians to expand their knowledge and abilities through learning and then in return sharing the knowledge that further develops the organization collectively through innovation and creativity (Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2015). Hence, academicians equipped with needed skills and abilities and the knowledge to support the processing of the tasks their self- efficacy enhances as suggested in previous literature.

Knowledge Management and Self-Efficacy

Knowledge sharing whether done on the individual level or the group level improves the organizational performance (Real et al., 2014). In previous studies the knowledge management importance is linked with organizational performance, competitive advantage and success of the organization (Real et al., 2014; Wei et al., 2014). Technical and social knowledge management infrastructures facilitate organizations to gain competitive advantages (Nguyen et al., 2019). The trust and confidence development are linked with the knowledge sharing practices that develop adaptability and skill acquisition. The adaptability of the organization individuals, as well as teams in the management of knowledge, builds the organization on dynamic capabilities and innovation (Sherif, 2006), employees core competencies development brings satisfaction in the behavior and motivate them to move forward (Hajro & Pudelko, 2010), employees confidence is more likely to enhance and increased when new skills are acquired by employees also learning commitment develops job satisfaction of employees (Almahamid et al., 2010). The involvement of the academicians in the change process of education and the use of new knowledge skills to enhance their abilities and competitiveness triggers their self-efficacy given they have knowledge learning environment as well as are supported by their organization (Lambie et al., 2014). The continuous process of knowledge sharing guarantees employee job satisfaction due to adaptability (Almahamid et al., 2010). The role of self-efficacy was found to be significantly impacting tacit knowledge sharing behavior along with other personality traits in the higher educational settings (Rahman et al., 2018).

The current study aims to find the relationship between employee learning commitment and employee self-efficacy that are both encouraged in a knowledge sharing environment.

Based on the above literature review and theoretical framework following hypothesis are developed and tested in the current study:

H1: The effect of employee learning commitment supported by knowledge sharing practices, organizational culture, and the leadership style, is positively related with employee self-efficacy that is developed through employee trust, confidence, and satisfaction.

H2: Employee skills, knowledge and abilities mediate the relationship between employee learning commitment and employee self-efficacy.

H3: Employee adaptability and responsiveness mediates the relationship between employee learning commitment and employee self-efficacy.

The theoretical framework (Figure 1) is developed based on the relationship discussed above. Independent variable of this model is employee learning commitment developed by knowledge sharing practices. The dependent variable is the employee’s self-efficacy. While two mediating variables of adaptability, responsiveness to change and capabilities are between learning commitment and self-efficacy. Constructs of Independent variable are knowledge sharing practices, leadership style and organization’s culture. Constructs of dependent variable are trust, satisfaction, and confidence. This research studies the correlation between employees learning commitment and self-efficacy of employees, employee adaptability, responsiveness, and capabilities. This research also studies the correlation between employee adaptability, responsiveness, and self-efficacy, the correlation between employee capabilities and selfefficacy. This framework develops a relationship among all the variables on the bases of knowledge sharing practices, development of knowledge-based culture in the dynamic education sector.

Figure 1 Theoretical Framework

Research Methodology

The current paper focuses on the direct relationship between employee learning commitment and employee self-efficacy. The mediating relationship is also tested for which the survey approach is used. The study is cross-sectional and mixed methods approach is used to study the phenomenon discussed.


As identified by Al-Kurdi et al. (2018) most of the studies on Knowledge sharing in higher education institutions have done on students only so they recommended a study considering the employees as a sample of institutions. Many knowledge management research studies are conducted in single country (Shujahat et al., 2019); following the tradition primary data is collected from the education sector one country in the Middle East, UAE. 82 Universities are offering a different level of education to diverse students (undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees). Out of these 82 universities, the initial analysis helped shortlist 50 universities that offer higher education and a strong population in which the study can be conducted given that the level of qualification and experiences on the average was suitable to consider it a collective sample (given the condition the entire population is covered). To help generalize the findings the sample was drawn using NQuery calculator. The 95% confidence interval provided the effective sample size of 300 minimum. In order to meet the requirement, on average 6-7 Academicians are approached with the survey. The initial survey sample was 320 out of which the 292 respondents answered the surveys completely. The elements of the sample selected were characterized to be higher education qualified individuals with a minimum of five years’ experience in teaching and research with prominent research work contribution in the past. These Academicians were also selected based on the characteristic of the use of technology and the latest teaching methods in the teaching and learning process.

Survey Tool and Procedure

The data is collected using the survey tool. The questionnaire is developed to cover all the above-discussed variables. All the variables are tested using reliable and validated questionnaires. The same Likert scale is used to collect data (1, “Strongly Disagree”; 2, “Disagree”; 3, “Neutral”; 4, “Agree”; 5, “Strongly Agree”). The pilot study was conducted to test the reliability of the questionnaire after collecting data from 20 respondents. Total of 301 responses were collected that also included missing values. The respondents were contacted again to collect the missing data. Three of the respondents provided missing data concluding the sample in 292.


Data Analysis

Values of means and standard deviation are provided in Table 1. The table shows that the dependent variable Employee Self- Efficacy (ESE), is significantly related to the independent variable, Employee Learning Commitment (ELC) (mean = 5.10, p<0.01). The mediating variables Employee Adaptability, Responsiveness (EAR) are also significantly related to dependent variable Employee Self-Efficacy (ESE) (mean = 5.10, p<0.01) while correlated between Employee Skill Knowledge Abilities (SKA) and Employee Self- Efficacy (ESE) is also significant (mean = 5.09, p<0.01). The correlation between two mediating variables Employee Adaptability Responsiveness (EAR) and Employee Skill Knowledge Abilities (SKA) though significant, is of moderate level (mean = 5.40, p<0.01).

Table 1:  Means, Standard Deviation and Correlations
Variables Mean SD ESE EAR SKA ELC
Employee Self- Efficacy (ESE) 5.39 0.9 -0.737
Employee Adaptability, Responsiveness (EAR) 5.1 0.91 .556** -0.845
Employee Skill Knowledge Abilities (SKA) 5.4 0.94 .490** .233** -0.815
Employee Learning Commitment (ELC) 5.09 0.96 .586** .774** .432** -0.746

Three assumptions to test the significant relationship are explained by Baron & Kenny (1986). According to this assumption, the relationship between all variables should be significant to test the validity of mediation analysis. from the correlation analysis is found the relationship between the variables considered in two separate models is significant. The relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variable is significant, the relationship between the dependent and mediating variable is significant and the relationship between mediating and independent variable is also significant. Considering all these assumptions and the correlation analysis the mediating analysis is conducted.

Regression analysis is conducted to test the relationship with the effect of mediation. Table 2 shows the regression analysis in two models. The relationship of EAR and SKA with ELC and ESE are studied in separate models. The data analysis is comprised of the following tables. Figure 2 of the first relationship shows the relationship between the independent variable, ELC and dependent variable, ESE.

Table 2: Multiple Regression Analysis
  Model 1 Model 2
  β R2 ∆R2 P val. Β R2 ∆R2 p-value
Step 1:                
ECL 0.256*** 0.065 0.065 0 0.204** 0.206 0.017 0.019
Step 2:                
EAR         0.436*** 0.19 0.19 0

Figure 2 First Relationship Model

As indicated by the table the relationship between ELC and ESE is significant (β = 0.256, p<0.001). This proves the first relationship between ELC and ESE. Model 2 presents the mediation effect of the EAR. The analysis shows that ELC (β = 0.204, p<0.01) is insignificant with the effect of mediating variable-EAR-proving the hypothesis of mediation-employee adaptability, responsiveness mediates the relationship between ELC and ESE.

The mediation of employee SKA is also tested (Figure 3). The following Table 3 shows the relationship between ELC and ESE significant (β = 0.238, p<0.001). Model two of the table shows the mediation in the relationship between ELC and ESE (β = 0.202, p<0.01). Hence proving the hypothesis of mediation-employee SKA mediates the relationship between ELC and ESE.

Figure 3 Second Relationship Model

Table 3: Multiple Regression Analysis
  Model 1 Model 2
  β R2 ∆R2 P value Β R2 ∆R2 p-value
Step 1:                
ELC 0.238*** 0.042 0.042 0.003 0.202** 0.2 0.02 0.01
Step 2:                
SKA         0.436*** 0.19 0.19 0


The results are consistent with the findings of Chan & Mai (2015) who have done a comprehensive review on the topic and concluded that the knowledge sharing does not only help in increasing competitive advantage in education, it also improves innovation and optimizes the learning effect. However, these results are contrary to the findings of a recent study by Shujahat et al. (2019) who found no significant contribution of knowledge sharing on the productivity of the workers in the IT sector. It will not be groundless to say that in the education sector the knowledge sharing and learning are essential to provide the best learning sources to the graduates. Moreover, when talking about the higher education system and the educational institute ranking, the importance of the effective knowledge system and learning environment are evident.


Knowledge is an important element of success in any industry and business. Education sector with its changing roots and expanding branches in different fields of science and arts have gone through a drastic change. The universities offering higher education are assessed in terms of their ability to provide the most effective research products, contribution to economic and science and effective human resources in the market. The currents study aimed to explore the relationship between knowledge sharing and employee learning commitment to employee selfefficacy in the education sector. The findings have shown a strong significant relationship between the two variables. The employee self-efficacy is important in the education sector to provide the teaching methods with unique and latest designs of leering. The effectiveness and adaptability of the academicians directly affect the student's ability to learn and absorb knowledge. The findings indicate that the employee adaptability and responsiveness to knowledge and change positively mediate the relationship between employee learning commitment and self-efficacy. Moreover, the findings also show that employee skills and abilities play an important and positive role in strengthening the relationship between employee learning commitment and employee self-efficacy.

Limitations and Future Directions and Implications

Limitation of this research includes the sample. The sample is taken from the middle 3ast universities alone that reduce the generalization to the Middle Eastern education sector. Though the sample has been enough, the window to improve the research remains through extensive study of academicians’ approach to the learning environment and how they are affected by new methods of learning and teaching with the changes in technology. The future directions include the study of the same phenomenon in other education-related and training related sectors as well as service sector in general where employee learning and delivery of services depend upon the quality of knowledge and its access within the organization. The study indicates that in a rapidly developing economy such as that of the UAE, the education sector also needs development and advancement. This advancement can be done through knowledge sharing and learning process. The study provides insight into how the learning process at the academicians’ end can be improved to benefit creativity and innovation in the workplace where education is involved. The technology development and the improvement in the education sector have highlighted the importance of constantly changing and growing education setup that can benefit economic activity by providing competitive graduates into the market.


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