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Using workplace changes as learning opportunities: Antecedents to reflection in professional work

Stefanie Hetzner (Institute of Educational Science, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)
Helmut Heid (Institute of Educational Science, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)
Hans Gruber (Institute of Educational Science, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to an understanding of how individual characteristics and perceived contextual conditions shape reflection in professional work, particularly in workplaces that provide a variety of work experiences related to changes. The authors examine the effects of personal initiative, self-efficacy and perceived psychological safety in work relations with colleagues and supervisors on individuals’ reflection at work.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 84 client advisors who had recently been affected by major changes in retail banking workplaces participated in the study. The participants completed a questionnaire consisting of instruments to map their self-rated personal initiative, self-efficacy beliefs, reflection at work and perception of psychological safety in work relations with colleagues and supervisors. The data were analysed by performing correlation analyses and hierarchical regression analyses.

Findings

The results revealed that both individuals’ personal initiative and self-efficacy significantly positively affect reflection at work. An individual’s perception of psychological safety – particularly among peers – positively predicts reflection.

Originality/value

This paper enriches the research on reflection in professional work, particularly against the backdrop of workplace changes. This is done by emphasising the power of individuals’ proactive role and initiative-taking work behaviour; positive beliefs in their own capabilities, e.g. managing the various opportunities involved in workplace changes; and their perception of a psychologically safe environment within a work group that is characterised by interpersonal trust, mutual respect and supportive cooperation.

Keywords

Citation

Hetzner, S., Heid, H. and Gruber, H. (2015), "Using workplace changes as learning opportunities: Antecedents to reflection in professional work", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 34-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-12-2013-0108

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited