Exploring Knowledge Process and Organizational Culture to Promote Individual Learning: An Empirical Study in Science Museum
Science museums play an important role in communicating science to the public. The purpose of the exhibitions in science museums is to convey scientific and technical knowledge to visitors. A defining characteristic of science museums in comparison to other types of museums is therefore the highly hands-on nature of exhibitions. Science museums’ exhibitions are created through the process of staff learning. Knowledge management is integral in the learning process, and many science museums adopt this management tool in their organizations. However, failures in the practice of knowledge management in science museums can inhibit the learning of staff. This study thus asks whether learning in science museum staff can be enhanced by knowledge management and what other factors can enhance staff learning.
The aim of this study is to investigate the factors that can increase learning in science museum staff. To this end, the research questions are as follows: (1) Can knowledge process lead to learning in science museum staff? (2) Do science museum staff require both organizational culture and knowledge process to promote their individual learning? This research included three variables: knowledge process, organizational culture, and individual learning. First, the relation of knowledge process to individual learning was tested. Then knowledge process as a mediation variable in the relationship between organizational culture and individual learning was explored. This study in science museums can be claimed to be a pioneer empirical study, as no previous studies have been conducted in the context of science museums. In addition, previous empirical studies that have been conducted in other industries have not analyzed these three factors consecutively. Therefore, this study contributes to the subjects of knowledge management and organizational learning with analysis of these three variables.