Facilitation of informal learning at work: Antecedents and tailored intervention designs for the steel industry and beyond

  • Informal learning is a main form of learning in the workplace today, and is expected to increase in importance. Blue-collar workers profit from informal learning situations, because they generate action-oriented knowledge ad hoc, which makes it easy to apply in a new situation. Study I performs a meta-analytic summary on the current state of the research on informal workplace learning. After developing and applying a taxonomy for important antecedents, it compares several classes of learning factors and context factors in their relation to informal learning. Important findings are that peer support correlates higher with informal learning than supervisor support, Asian samples make more use of informal learning than Western samples, and blue-collar workers profit more from contextual factors than white-collar workers. Study II examines the context in depth, using age climate as an important antecedent of learning and productive working in demographic change. As in study I, study II also identifies a difference between blue-collar and white-collar workers in that younger blue-collar workers perceive the age climate in their team much better than their older coworkers. In the informal learning sector in particular, motivation to learn is a crucial antecedent. Therefore, study III examines correlates of motivation to learn in a blue-collar sample. While in a cross-sectional general analysis, person-related factors seemed to have more weight than supervisor support and job demands, an intervention study suggested that shift leader training is more effective in raising employees’ motivation to learn than individual training of the workers themselves. The thesis has a strong emphasis on the practical applicability of its findings. All studies focus on factors that can be addressed in interventions, and reflect on the practical implications of all findings for managers who aim to enhance informal learning and learning culture in their organization.

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Meta data
Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Jana Loos
Referee:Christian Stamov-Rossnagel, Sonia Lippke, Leena Pundt
Advisor:Christian Stamov-Roßnagel
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1007204
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2017/01/12
Date of First Publication:2017/07/24
Academic Department:Psychology & Methods
PhD Degree:Psychology
Focus Area:Diversity
Call No:Thesis 2017/12

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