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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Svenja Richter, Timo Kortsch and Simone Kauffeld

This study uses a holistic approach to learning at work to examine the role of reflection in the formalinformal learning interaction. The purpose of this study is to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study uses a holistic approach to learning at work to examine the role of reflection in the formalinformal learning interaction. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the reflection on a formal training affects the subsequent informal learning activities. This study also aims to provide insights into the effects of national culture values (in terms of uncertainty avoidance) on learning in the context of a globalized world of work.

Design/methodology/approach

In a longitudinal study, 444 employees working for a global acting automotive company located in 6 countries were surveyed 2 times (4–6 weeks between both measurements). Participants reflected on a training they participated in (t1: satisfaction and utility) and indicated their informal learning activities (t2). Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the effect of the reflection of training (t1) on the proceeding use of informal learning strategies (t2) and how uncertainty avoidance affects the use of different learning forms.

Findings

Results show a spillover effect: when employees reflect a formal training and rate it as satisfying, more use of informal learning proceeds. No effects were found for utility. Uncertainty avoidance had direct effects: high uncertainty avoidance results in better evaluations and more informal learning. Furthermore, uncertainty avoidance had an indirect effect on informal learning via reflection.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the formalinformal learning interaction longitudinally and to introduce reflection as a mediator within this process. Furthermore, the study provides evidence that uncertainty avoidance is an important factor for formal and informal learning in the globalized world of work.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Svenja Richter, Simone Kauffeld and Timo Kortsch

The study explored whether and how satisfaction with and the perceived utility of the formal training positively influenced subsequent informal learning and the ways in…

Abstract

Purpose

The study explored whether and how satisfaction with and the perceived utility of the formal training positively influenced subsequent informal learning and the ways in which employee uncertainty avoidance impacted on these processes.

Design/methodology/approach

Employees of an automotive company in six countries were asked to complete two surveys following formal training, the first 7-12 days after the training and the second 5-7 weeks later.

Findings

Results showed a spillover effect when employees were satisfied with formal training and this was associated with enhanced informal learning. No effects from utility of training were found. Uncertainty avoidance was an important factor for both formal and informal learning.

Research limitations/implications

It is not clear whether or not there may be differences between those employees who responded and those who did not. Future replication could address this issue.

Practical implications

This research should help the automotive industry cope with the challenges of the future through targeted personnel development.

Originality/value

So far as the authors are aware, this is the first longitudinal study to investigate the formal-informal learning interaction and to introduce reflection as a mediator. It also provides evidence that uncertainty avoidance is an important factor in formal and informal learning in a globalized context.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1994

Colin Coulson‐Thomas

Asks whether company boards are used to full effect in the light of thegrowing responsibility on the shoulders of directors today. Highlightsthe inadequate preparation…

Abstract

Asks whether company boards are used to full effect in the light of the growing responsibility on the shoulders of directors today. Highlights the inadequate preparation provided for directors, considering the substantial potential for their effectiveness. Outlines the processes involved in building and maintaining a coherent, purposeful and productive boardroom team, including the importance of defining directorial competences. Punctuates throughout with comments by experienced directors and suggested exercises for assessing directors′ training needs. Presents recommendations for how boardroom effectiveness might be improved and maintained, providing key lessons and a business excellence action plan.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Nadia Roos Spaan, Anne R.J. Dekker, Alike W. van der Velden and Esther de Groot

The purpose of this study is to understand the influence of formal learning from a web-based training and informal (workplace) learning afterwards on the behaviour of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand the influence of formal learning from a web-based training and informal (workplace) learning afterwards on the behaviour of general practitioners (GPs) with respect to prescription of antibiotics.

Design/methodology/approach

To obtain insight in various learning processes, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 GPs. These interviews were transcribed and analysed with a theory-based template, that had been defined beforehand, but with an open mind for emerging themes.

Findings

The web-based training was perceived by GPs to change their prescription behaviour, mostly as a result of informal learning processes. Being a research participant and being a supervisor appeared to create most opportunities for informal learning.

Practical implications

The current research shows that being a research participant and/or a supervisor enhance informal learning activities, for example, reflection and social interaction, and thereby formal training becomes more effective. It is recommended to remind GPs regularly to reflect on their prescribing behaviour and to stimulate them to reflect and seek social interaction besides participating in formal training.

Originality/value

Our study adds to the existing literature by considering informal learning processes in an evaluation of the perceived effects of formal training. Our findings have implications for the design and evaluation of formal trainings with the purpose of behavioural change of doctors.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2017

Maria Ferreira, Annemarie Künn-Nelen and Andries De Grip

This paper provides more insight into the assumption of human capital theory that the productivity of job-related training is driven by the improvement of workers’ skills…

Abstract

This paper provides more insight into the assumption of human capital theory that the productivity of job-related training is driven by the improvement of workers’ skills. We analyze the extent to which training and informal learning on the job are related to employee skill development and consider the heterogeneity of this relationship with respect to workers’ skill mismatch at job entry. Using data from the 2014 European Skills and Jobs Survey, we find – as assumed by human capital theory – that employees who participated in training or informal learning show greater improvement of their skills than those who did not. The contribution of informal learning to employee skill development appears to be larger than that of training participation. Nevertheless, both forms of learning are shown to be complementary. This complementarity between training and informal learning is related to a significant additional improvement of workers’ skills. The skill development of workers who were initially underskilled for their job seems to benefit the most from both training and informal learning, whereas the skill development of those who were initially overskilled benefits the least. Work-related learning investments in the latter group seem to be more functional in offsetting skill depreciation than in fostering skill accumulation.

Details

Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-377-7

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Eva Schürmann and Simon Beausaert

The topic of informal learning at work has received increasing attention in the past years. The purpose of this study is to explore in which informal learning activities…

Abstract

Purpose

The topic of informal learning at work has received increasing attention in the past years. The purpose of this study is to explore in which informal learning activities employees engage and what are the drivers for informal learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were taken from ten human resources (HR) and ten marketing employees working at a German machinery manufacturer.

Findings

Employees mostly learn informally by talking or collaborating with others, searching information online, feedback giving and seeking from colleagues and supervisors and reading. Next, it was found that organizational drivers, task and job drivers, personal drivers and formal learning influenced employees’ informal learning. Background characteristics on the contrary were not found to influence informal learning. Overall, within these categories, the following drivers had the greatest influence on informal learning: commitment to learning and development, feedback as well as interactions with and support from colleagues and supervisors.

Research limitations/implications

The design of this exploratory qualitative study brings some limitations. Based on the findings, suggestions for future quantitative and intervention studies are done.

Practical implications

The results show how human resources development (HRD) professionals could better support employees’ engagement in informal learning and gives an overview of the determinants that could be influenced and in turn have a positive effect on employees’ informal learning.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first studies unraveling informal learning as perceived by employees. It develops a comprehensive framework for categorizing drivers for informal learning.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Xianhan Huang and Chun Lai

It is vital in today’s society that teachers are proactively involved in educational change. Given that proactive motivation is a critical driver of proactivity, this…

Abstract

Purpose

It is vital in today’s society that teachers are proactively involved in educational change. Given that proactive motivation is a critical driver of proactivity, this study aims to investigate how teachers’ formal and informal workplace-learning experiences were connected with their proactive motivations to implement educational change.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a qualitative case study approach to describe the relationships between teachers’ formal and informal learning activities and their different proactive motivations. The authors collected data from 17 teachers via individual interviews and open-ended questionnaire and performed analyses using a continuous inductive and deductive coding process.

Findings

The authors found that informal teacher learning can trigger three types of proactive motivation, whereas formal teacher learning is mainly connected with the can do and energised to motivations. The authors also found that formal and informal learning complement and compete with each other in shaping the can do motivation. Moreover, the authors found that informal learning played the dominant role in the reason to motivation, whereas informal and formal learning were separately connected to the energised to motivation.

Practical implications

These findings indicate that greater attention must be paid to teachers’ informal workplace-learning experiences. Specifically, teachers’ informal learning experiences should be actively integrated into their formal workplace training to enhance their proactive motivation to educational change. Moreover, teachers’ learning preferences and teaching experience should be considered in the design of teacher-training programmes.

Originality/value

Based on the proactive motivation model of Parker et al. (2010), the authors have uncovered the mechanisms of workplace learning that drive teacher proactivity. The authors have examined the relationship between teachers’ formal and informal workplace-learning and proactive teaching. The findings will assist policymakers and administrators to identify effective means of motivating teachers to engage in workplace learning.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2003

Connie R Wanberg, Elizabeth T Welsh and Sarah A Hezlett

Organizations have become increasingly interested in developing their human resources. One tool that has been explored in this quest is mentoring. This has led to a surge…

Abstract

Organizations have become increasingly interested in developing their human resources. One tool that has been explored in this quest is mentoring. This has led to a surge in mentoring research and an increase in the number of formal mentoring programs implemented in organizations. This review provides a survey of the empirical work on mentoring that is organized around the major questions that have been investigated. Then a conceptual model, focused on formal mentoring relationships, is developed to help understand the mentoring process. The model draws upon research from a diverse body of literature, including interpersonal relationships, career success, training and development, and informal mentoring. Finally, a discussion of critical next steps for research in the mentoring domain is presented.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-174-3

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2014

Marcel Van der Klink, Beatrice I.J.M. Van der Heijden, Jo Boon and Shahron Williams van Rooij

Little attention has been paid to the employability of academic staff and the extent to which continuous learning contributes to academic career success. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

Little attention has been paid to the employability of academic staff and the extent to which continuous learning contributes to academic career success. The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of formal and informal learning to employability.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were obtained from 139 academic staff members employed at the Open University in the Netherlands. The questionnaire included employee characteristics, job characteristics, organizational context factors, formal learning and informal learning and employability variables.

Findings

Informal learning, such as networking and learning value of the job, appeared to be solid contributors to employability, while the impact of formal learning activities was far less significant. Further, the study revealed the impact of employee and organizational context factors upon informal learning and employability. Age, salary and learning climate appeared to be strong predictors for informal learning, while promotions were shown to be highly positive contributors to employability.

Practical implications

The findings stress the value of informal learning, although human resource policies that encourage both formal and informal learning are recommended.

Originality/value

Academic careers comprise an under-researched area and the same applies to the relationship between learning and employability in the context of these types of careers.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Faye Q. Miller

The purpose of this paper is to explore the informed learning experiences of early career academics (ECAs) while building their networks for professional and personal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the informed learning experiences of early career academics (ECAs) while building their networks for professional and personal development. The notion that information and learning are inextricably linked via the concept of “informed learning” is used as a conceptual framework to gain a clearer picture of what informs ECAs while they learn and how they experience using that which informs their learning within this complex practice: to build, maintain and utilise their developmental networks.

Design/methodology/approach

This research employs a qualitative framework using a constructivist grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2006). Through semi-structured interviews with a sample of 14 ECAs from across two Australian universities, data were generated to investigate the research questions. The study used the methods of constant comparison to create codes and categories towards theme development. Further examination considered the relationship between thematic categories to construct an original theoretical model.

Findings

The model presented is a “knowledge ecosystem”, which represents the core informed learning experience. The model consists of informal learning interactions such as relating to information to create knowledge and engaging in mutually supportive relationships with a variety of knowledge resources found in people who assist in early career development.

Originality/value

Findings from this study present an alternative interpretation of informed learning that is focused on processes manifesting as human interactions with informing entities revolving around the contexts of reciprocal human relationships.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 71 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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