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Self-regulated learning behaviour in the finance industry

Colin Milligan (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Rosa Pia Fontana (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Allison Littlejohn (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Anoush Margaryan (Caledonian Academy, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 13 July 2015




This paper aims to explore the role of self-regulatory behaviours in predicting workplace learning. As work practices in knowledge-intensive domains become more complex, individual workers must take greater responsibility for their ongoing learning and development.


The study was conducted with knowledge workers from the finance industry. In all, 170 participants across a range of work roles completed a questionnaire consisting of three scales derived from validated instruments (measuring learning opportunities, self-regulated learning [SRL] and learning undertaken). The relationship between the variables was tested through linear regression analysis.


Data analysis confirms a relationship between the learning opportunities provided by a role, and learning undertaken. Regression analysis identifies three key SRL behaviours that appear to mediate this relationship: task interest/value, task strategies and self-evaluation. Together they provide an insight into the learning processes that occur during intentional informal learning.

Research limitations/implications

This quantitative study identifies a relationship between specific SRL behaviours and workplace learning undertaken in one sector. Qualitative studies are needed to understand the precise nature of this relationship. Follow-up studies could explore whether the findings are generalisable to other contexts.

Practical implications

Developing a deeper understanding of how individuals manage their day-to-day learning can help shape the learning and development support provided to individual knowledge workers.


Few studies have explored the role of self-regulation in the workplace. This study adds to our understanding of this critical element of professional learning.



Many thanks to the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment and the other professional bodies who helped identify participants for this study.


Milligan, C., Fontana, R.P., Littlejohn, A. and Margaryan, A. (2015), "Self-regulated learning behaviour in the finance industry", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 387-402.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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