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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2021

Jessica E. Federman

The purpose of the study is to understand how regulatory focus influences informal learning behaviors.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to understand how regulatory focus influences informal learning behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative research study. Sixteen individuals were interviewed using a semi-structured format with open-ended questions. Data analysis used a typological analytical approach as was a software program which conducted indexing and reorganization to facilitate further data analysis.

Findings

Individuals with a promotion-focus engage in informal learning more when they are experiencing or anticipating success with their goals. Prevention-focused individuals engage in informal learning more when they are experiencing or anticipating failure with their goals. Individuals with a promotion-focus engage in experimentation and feedback-seeking but few reported engagement in self-reflection. Individuals with a prevention-focus engaged in feedback and reflection in particular as informal learning activities.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was drawn from a specific student body.

Practical implications

Informal learning operates in different ways for different individuals. Organizations and individuals can consider how best to tailor types of informal learning activities to the particular regulatory focus of the individual.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to examine the relationship between regulation focus and informal learning.

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: 9 April 2021

Mansi Rastogi and Osman M. Karatepe

Drawing from work-family enrichment (WFE) model and path-goal theory of motivation, this paper proposes and tests work engagement (WE) as a mediator between informal

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from work-family enrichment (WFE) model and path-goal theory of motivation, this paper proposes and tests work engagement (WE) as a mediator between informal learning and WFE.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires measuring informal learning, WE and WFE were filled out by 290 hotel employees in India. The abovementioned linkages were tested via structural equation modeling.

Findings

The findings suggest that hotel employees' informal learning fosters their WE and WFE. The findings also reveal that WE partly mediates the impact of informal learning on WFE.

Originality/value

Most of employees' learning efforts in the workplace emerge from informal learning. However, there is still limited information whether employees' informal learning activates their WE, which is a timely and significant topic. Importantly, there is a paucity of evidence appertaining to the effect of informal learning on WFE, which is underrepresented in the current literature. Evidence about the mechanism linking informal learning to WFE is also sparse.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Gina Grandy and Sharon Mavin

This paper aims to explore how informal and socially situated learning and gendered practices impact the experiences of women learning to lead and the gendered dynamics…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how informal and socially situated learning and gendered practices impact the experiences of women learning to lead and the gendered dynamics inherent in women’s lived experiences of learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a becoming ontology and a social constructionist perspective. A qualitative approach guided by feminist principles facilitated the surfacing of rich and reflective accounts from women leaders. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 women leader priests in Canada.

Findings

The authors highlight how gendered practices are concealed and revealed through informal learning processes and illustrate this through two themes, informal and socially situated learning as inductive and gendered, and the jolt of gender discrimination in informal learning.

Research limitations/implications

While each account from the women church leaders is highly valued in its own right and the women’s stories have generated new insights, the overall data set is small and not generalizable. Future research should explore further the types of informal learning initiatives and systems, which acknowledge and best support women learning to lead in (gendered) organizations. It should also explore how informal learning informs leadership styles in this and other contexts.

Originality/value

The research demonstrates how informal learning experiences can serve as a site for invisible and unaccounted for gender bias and inform the becoming of women leaders. The research also advances the limited body of work that seeks to better understand the gender dynamics of women’s leadership in faith-based organizations.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2020

Md Shariful Alam Khandakar and Faizuniah Pangil

The purpose of this paper is to explain the mediation effect of affective commitment on the relationship between human resource management practices and informal workplace…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the mediation effect of affective commitment on the relationship between human resource management practices and informal workplace learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a conceptual framework along with propositions by integrating comprehensive literatures, in the field of human resource management, affective commitment and informal workplace learning. Through the review of detail literature and based on the situated learning theory (Lave and Wenger, 1991) and organizational support theory (Eisenberger et al., 1986; Rhoades and Eisenberger, 2002; – and Eisenberger, 2006), it is proposed that eight human resource practices could affect informal workplace learning. Moreover, it is also argued that affective commitment could mediate the relationship between HRM practices and informal workplace learning.

Findings

This paper provides a conceptual framework on human resource management practices and informal workplace learning which is mediated by affective commitment.

Originality/value

None of the models presented in the literature details the mediation of affective commitment on the relationship between human resource management practices and informal workplace learning which is mediated by affective commitment as indeed the most recent research on the subject envisages.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article
Publication date: 17 January 2020

Woojae Choi, Raymond Noe and Yoonhyung Cho

The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of how psychological capital (PsyCap) influences job performance. The authors do so through adopting a moderated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of how psychological capital (PsyCap) influences job performance. The authors do so through adopting a moderated mediation framework. Specifically, the authors investigate the mediation role of informal learning in the PsyCap–job performance relationship and the moderating role of person–environment fit, i.e. the extent to which individual and organizational characteristics are compatible, in influencing the mediation.

Design/methodology/approach

The final sample consisted of 221 employees and their supervisors in South Korea.

Findings

The authors found that PsyCap had an indirect effect on job performance through informal learning. Moreover, the indirect effect of PsyCap on job performance through informal learning became stronger with low levels of person–organization (PO) and person–job (PJ) fit.

Research limitations/implications

The authors cannot completely rule out the effects of common method bias due to the cross-sectional research design.

Practical implications

The results reinforce the need for managers to understand employees’ level of PsyCap and take actions to enhance it because PsyCap can affect the extent to which individuals engage in informal learning, which in turn influences their job performance.

Originality/value

This paper adds to our understanding of the mechanisms and boundary conditions responsible for the PsyCap–job performance relationship. The authors found that informal learning operates as a mediator and both PO and PJ fit moderate the PsyCap–job performance relationship.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2020

Jessica E. Federman

The purpose of this study is to understand how regulatory focus influences informal learning behaviors. A growing body of research indicates that regulatory focus has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how regulatory focus influences informal learning behaviors. A growing body of research indicates that regulatory focus has significant consequences for goal pursuit in the workplace, yet it has not been readily studied or applied to the field of human resource management (Johnson et al., 2015). This is one of the few studies to examine the relationship between informal learning and regulatory focus theory that can be applied to the training and development field.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative research design, a semi-structured interview was used to increase the comparability of participant responses. Questions were asked in an open-ended manner, allowing for a structured approach for collecting information yet providing flexibility for the sake of gaining more in-depth responses. An interview guideline was used to standardize the questions and ensure similar kinds of information were obtained across participants. A typological analytic approach (Lincoln and Guba, 1985) was used to analyze the data.

Findings

In a sample of 16 working adults, (44% female and 56% male), participants who were identified as having either a promotion- or prevention-focus orientation were interviewed about types of informal learning strategies they used. The results revealed that performance success and failure have differential effects on learning behaviors for prevention and promotion-focus systems. Stress and errors motivate informal learning for the prevention-focus system, whereas positive affect motivates informal learning for the promotion-focus system. Prevention-focus participants articulated greater use of vicarious learning, reflective thinking and feedback-seeking as methods of informal learning. Promotion-focus participants articulated greater use of experimentation methods of informal learning.

Originality/value

This study provides an in-depth understanding of how regulatory focus influences informal learning. Few studies have considered how regulatory focus promotes distinct strategies and inclinations toward using informal learning. Performance success and failure have differential effects on informal learning behaviors for regulatory promotion and prevention systems. This has theoretical and practical implications in consideration of why employees engage in informal learning, and the tactics and strategies they use for learning.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 44 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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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 formal–informal 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 formal–informal 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 formal–informal 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: 28 May 2019

Timo Kortsch, Eva-Maria Schulte and Simone Kauffeld

In competitive labor markets, promoting employees’ learning becomes a key challenge for companies. However, in small German craft companies, employee development is always…

Abstract

Purpose

In competitive labor markets, promoting employees’ learning becomes a key challenge for companies. However, in small German craft companies, employee development is always connected with worries about employee turnover. This study aims to investigate the current informal learning strategies of craft workers and how they use the strategies, the effect of learning on employees’ internal and external marketability and beneficial workplace characteristics (autonomy, feedback).

Design/methodology/approach

An online prestudy (N = 131) explored current informal learning strategies. In the main study (N = 526), cluster analysis was applied to identify patterns of informal learning strategies. The relations of these patterns to workplace characteristics and marketability were investigated.

Findings

Four informal learning strategies were found (informal learning from oneself, from others, from other sources and from new media). Craft workers used combinations of the strategies (i.e. patterns): three learning patterns (balanced high, person-oriented and balanced low) differed in intensity and combination with the learning strategy use. More intense learning patterns were positively related to internal marketability but were not related to external marketability. Higher autonomy and feedback availability were related to higher learning engagement.

Research limitations/implications

Studies should have a broader view of informal learning strategies concerning different learning patterns. The use of new media is a learning strategy that might increase in the future.

Practical implications

Craft companies could promote different informal learning strategies without worries about employee turnover.

Originality/value

The study reveals how German small- and medium-sized enterprise employees use informal learning strategies in digitalized times and how human resources development can use informal learning strategies.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 43 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Hyun Jung Cho and Jin-Mo Kim

The purpose of this study is to identify the causal relationship among informal learning, leader-member exchange (LMX), empowerment, job characteristics and job…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the causal relationship among informal learning, leader-member exchange (LMX), empowerment, job characteristics and job self-efficacy and the impact on administrative assistants in corporations. The study aims at providing information for administrative assistants who have worked with their current supervisors for more than one year in a one-to-one administrative assistant role in corporations.

Design/methodology/approach

To ensure the reliability and validity of the questions, statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 18.0. AMOS 18.0 was also used to estimate the causal relationship of the proposed research model.

Findings

The analyses show the following results. Indirect factor loading of LMX and empowerment to informal learning and direct factor loading of job characteristics and job self-efficacy were observed. In the relationship between LMX and informal learning, empowerment had a negative mediating effect and job self-efficacy had a positive mediating effect. In the relationship between empowerment and informal learning, job self-efficacy and job characteristics both had a mediating effect. However, job self-efficacy did not have a mediating effect in the relationship between job characteristics and informal learning.

Originality/value

When considering informal learning, planners should consider both individual characteristics and organizational characteristics. However, informal learning is not directly correlated to the impact of factors related to the executives and organization itself, but rather linked to individual and job characteristics. Hence, promoting job self-efficacy not only requires the individual efforts of employees but also a systematic strategy at the corporate level.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Thomas J. Conlon

Informal learning's roots emerged from educational philosophers John Dewey, Kurt Lewin and Mary Parker Follett to theorists Malcolm Knowles and other successive…

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Abstract

Informal learning's roots emerged from educational philosophers John Dewey, Kurt Lewin and Mary Parker Follett to theorists Malcolm Knowles and other successive researchers. This paper explores the background and definitions of informal learning and applications to the global workplace. Informal learning's challenges are applied to developing global professional competence, including theory, practice and policy implications. The paper argues that informal learning plays a considerable role in developing professional expertise in the workplace and private life, yet believes no current theoretical model exists to balance conflicts between the role of individual and organizational benefits in a global context.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 28 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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