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A longitudinal, mixed method evaluation of self-awareness training in the workplace

Anna Sutton (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Helen M Williams (Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Christopher W Allinson (Leeds University, Leeds, UK)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 3 August 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether self-awareness, which is associated with general well-being and positive life outcomes, is also of specific benefit in the workplace. The authors tested the relationship between self-awareness and job-related well-being, and evaluated two different interventions designed to improve dispositional self-awareness at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Full-time employees took part in these training interventions and completed questionnaires using a switching-replications design. Questionnaires measured dispositional self-attentiveness (reflection and rumination) and job well-being (satisfaction, enthusiasm and contentment) at three time points over a period of six weeks. Statistical analyses were complemented with qualitative analysis of reported impacts.

Findings

Self-awareness was positively associated with job-related well-being and was improved by training. Employees reported gaining a greater appreciation of diversity, improved communication with colleagues and increased confidence.

Research limitations/implications

Sample size limited the extent to which the relatively weak relationships between the concepts could be identified.

Practical implications

Self-awareness is demonstrated to be of value at work, associated with higher well-being and improvements in several positive occupational outcomes. The self-awareness training is more likely to result in active work-based improvements than in reflective changes.

Originality/value

Dispositional self-awareness is shown to be subject to change through training. The study demonstrates the value of self-awareness at work and identifies a range of related work outcomes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Paul and Rosemary Cowan for their invaluable assistance with designing the Enneagram training workshop used in this study.

Citation

Sutton, A., Williams, H.M. and Allinson, C.W. (2015), "A longitudinal, mixed method evaluation of self-awareness training in the workplace", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 39 No. 7, pp. 610-627. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-04-2015-0031

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited