Purpose – This study aims to explore the mediating role of the motivation for learning in knowledge
acquisition and knowledge transfer in students of higher education programs in business and management.
Design/methodology/approach – Quantitative correlational design. Data was collected from a sample
of 366 students studying and working in the business and entrepreneurial sector in Ecuador. The instrument used was a Likert scale questionnaire. Correlation analyses were used to specify the relationships between variables. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses.
Findings – The results evidenced the mediating effect of the motivation for learning on the relationship
between knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer of undergraduate and graduate students in higher education programs in the area of business and entrepreneurship.
Research limitations/implications – The model investigated is a contribution to the literature since
the variables have been little studied by the students as transfer channels, and there is a need to explore these relationships between variables in other productive sectors.
Practical implications – Organizations will be able to identify relevant factors in knowledge transfer, the
motivation for learning for the context of working, create ideal conditions for knowledge flow and maintain a commitment to take advantage of this cooperation.
Social implications – The results contribute to the three agents involved in knowledge transfer: students,
educational institutions and organizations. Students can have a greater understanding of the skills they need to improve their learning and application of knowledge. Educational institutions will have a better
understanding of and approach to developing competencies in their students.
Originality/value – This simple regression model enriches the current literature on the mediating effect of
the motivation for learning on the relationship between knowledge acquisition and knowledge transfer in
higher education institutions in Latin American countries.