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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Colin Milligan, Rosa Pia Fontana, Allison Littlejohn and Anoush Margaryan

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Allison Littlejohn, Colin Milligan and Anoush Margaryan

This study aims to outline an approach to improving the effectiveness of work‐based learning through knowledge creation and enhancing self‐regulated learning. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to outline an approach to improving the effectiveness of work‐based learning through knowledge creation and enhancing self‐regulated learning. The paper presents a case example of a novel approach to learning through knowledge creation in the workplace. This case example is based on empirical data collected through a study of the learning practices of knowledge workers employed within a large, multinational organization.

Design/methodology/approach

The case example presented in this article is based on a study of the learning practices of knowledge workers employed within a large, multinational organization. Participants were members of a number of global, online knowledge sharing networks focused around the core technical and commercial disciplines of the company. Membership of each network ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand professionals at various stages of their career. The survey is available online at: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6017514/survey.pdf The case study reported in this paper is based on 462 survey respondents, including 211 (45.7 per cent) experts, 128 (27.7 per cent) mid‐career professionals and 123 (26.6 per cent) novices, and 29 interviews were conducted with nine novices, and 20 experts.

Findings

The study proposes a mechanism to enhance goal actuation processes for self‐regulated learning in the workplace. The authors term this mechanism “charting” and provide a scenario illustrating how it might work in practice. Drawing upon social cognitive theory of self‐regulated learning, they argue that individualised conceptualisations of self‐regulated learning should be re‐examined. These contradict the interactional and collaborative nature of the workplace where goal actuation is socially mediated, structured by and closely integrated within work tasks.

Research limitations/implications

The case example is based on a previous study. It is not a real‐life example because this paper aims to predict a likely case example to enhance learning performance in the workplace, based on empirical evidence. The study on which this case example is based is limited in scope, examining a small group of workers in one multinational organization. Quantitative studies, as well as studies in related contexts, would complement and validate these findings.

Originality/value

This article extends understanding of the relationship between the individual learner and the collective knowledge and how this relationship can be enhanced through self‐regulated learning in the workplace.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Anoush Margaryan, Colin Milligan and Allison Littlejohn

This study aims to test the validity of a knowledge work typology proposed by Davenport. Although this typology has been referenced extensively in the literature, it does

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to test the validity of a knowledge work typology proposed by Davenport. Although this typology has been referenced extensively in the literature, it does not appear to have been empirically validated.

Design/methodology/approach

The typology was tested through a questionnaire survey among knowledge workers (n=459) in a multinational company. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied to determine the knowledge work groupings arising from the survey.

Findings

The vast majority of the respondents could not be grouped into any one of Davenport's four knowledge work types. Furthermore, PCA revealed four groupings: low‐agency collaboration; low‐ agency routine work; rule‐based work; and high‐agency expert work. The results confirm only one of Davenport's typology models, the Expert model. Davenport's Collaboration model was found to have elements of the Transaction model. The Transaction and the Integration typology models were not confirmed. Instead, two further models incorporating elements of both Transaction and Integration models emerged. Finally, in contrast to Davenport's typology, the clusters that emerged from this study do not fit a matrix structure.

Research limitations

A follow‐up qualitative study would be required to better understand the four models that emerged from the data and to elucidate organisational factors that underpin the models.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study testing the validity of Davenport's typology.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2013

Colin Milligan, Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn

This study aims to improve the understanding of the learning and development that occurs during initial and subsequent role transitions within knowledge intensive workplaces.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to improve the understanding of the learning and development that occurs during initial and subsequent role transitions within knowledge intensive workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 19 knowledge workers in a multinational company and the learning experiences of new graduates contrasted with those of more experienced workers who had recently joined or changed role within the organization.

Findings

Graduate recruits and more experienced workers utilise a similar range of learning approaches, favouring a combination of traditional formal learning, learning by doing and learning with and from others, but differ in the precise modes and strategies used. It was found that graduate induction provides appropriate support for initial transition into the workplace, but that experienced workers undergoing subsequent career transitions do not receive similar socialization support despite encountering similar challenges.

Research limitations/implications

This study brings concepts and literature from two distinct research traditions together to explore learning during transition. In doing so, the impact of organizational socialization strategies as a mechanism by which an environment to support rich learning is created can be seen. The study was exploratory in nature, examining only one organization and studying a relatively small group of workers.

Originality/value

While employee induction has been studied in detail, the learning occurring at this time, and particularly during subsequent career transitions, is less well understood. This article is of value to those investigating learning in knowledge intensive workplaces, as well as human resource managers responsible for socialization of employees entering new roles.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Elena Golovushkina and Colin Milligan

Employability has been the focus of much activity at both research and policy levels within higher education. Initially focused primarily on undergraduate students, in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Employability has been the focus of much activity at both research and policy levels within higher education. Initially focused primarily on undergraduate students, in the past few years this area has broadened to include the employability of doctoral candidates discussed within a larger debate on development of researchers. Despite a strong focus on this aspect of researcher development, discourse in this area still lacks evidence of the views of postgraduate researchers themselves on the issues of employability. In an attempt to address this gap, this paper seeks to explore the perceptions of social science doctoral candidates on a range of employability‐related issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 15 full‐time doctoral candidates in different social science disciplines at a single UK university.

Findings

The paper presents the views of social science doctoral candidates on three aspects of employability: the concept of employability and its meaning for doctoral candidates; the way they perceive their own employability skills, knowledge and attitudes; and their awareness of labour market requirements. The study highlights the importance of original motivations, goals and expectations of doctoral candidates related to doing a PhD degree with their perceptions of employability and the skills, knowledge and attitudes they expect to develop.

Originality/value

The current paper helps to shed light on the ways doctoral candidates perceive employability and identify the gaps in their awareness of the skills, knowledge and attributes required by the labour market. Addressing an important aspect of doctoral education related to development of employability, the paper argues that in order for the researcher development initiatives to be successful there is a need to account for the role of “personal”, namely motivations, intentions and views of the participants of the learning process.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Sara Cervai and Tauno Kekäle

Abstract

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Tauno Kekäle and Sara Cervai

Abstract

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Linda Evans

Abstract

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Nino Pataraia, Anoush Margaryan, Isobel Falconer, Allison Littlejohn and Jennifer Falconer

The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the role of personal networks in supporting academics' professional learning. In particular, the paper examines the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this exploratory study is to investigate the role of personal networks in supporting academics' professional learning. In particular, the paper examines the composition of academics' networks and the implications of network tendencies for academics' learning about teaching.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed-methods approach. Firstly, the composition of academics' networks is examined using social network analysis. Secondly, the role of these networks in academics' learning about teaching is analysed through semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Findings reveal the prevalence of localised and strong-tie connections, which could inhibit opportunities for effective learning and spread of innovations in teaching. The study highlights the need to promote connectivity within and across institutions, creating favourable conditions for effective professional learning.

Research limitations/implications

While the study makes a valuable contribution to the literature, the generalisability of these findings is limited, because the sample is restricted to 37 academics. Participants' characteristics and networking behaviours may not be fully representative of academics in a wider range of contexts and settings. Another limitation is that the evaluation of people's learning was limited to self-reported measures. Future research should measure a broader range of evidence related to academics' professional networks.

Practical implications

This study extends the discussion of professional learning in academia in a novel way, by taking a social network perspective. The approach employed attempts to enrich the limited understanding of academics' networks, by unpacking the ways in which academics' personal networks support their learning.

Originality/value

The originality of this work lies in its intent to uncover relationships that condition professional learning and enhancement of teaching practice. Reflection on personal networks can potentially enable individuals to determine the effectiveness of their networks and the significance of their network connections.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Melinda J. Milligan

This paper broadens and extends the idea of organizational death by arguing that certain organizational site moves, those in which employees hold a strong place attachment…

Abstract

This paper broadens and extends the idea of organizational death by arguing that certain organizational site moves, those in which employees hold a strong place attachment to the to be left, are a form of organizational death. It argues for the utility of viewing organizational change as involving loss and including space in studies of everyday organizational experiences. Using ethnographic research (participant‐observation and in‐depth interviews with the employees) of one such organization (the “Coffee House”) and a negotiated‐order perspective, discusses employee beliefs as to how the site move should have been managed as a means to document their understanding of the move as a loss experience and as a form of organizational death.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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