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Leadership and learning: facilitating self-directed learning in enterprises

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journal contribution
posted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Peter Smith, E Sadler-Smith, I Robertson, L Wakefield
Purpose - To show that a key aspect of learning and development of individual employees is that of self-directedness. This paper will consider the role of the leader in facilitating workforce development in terms of employees' self-directedness for learning. The research was designed to investigate the views that 'learning leaders' in organizations have towards the development of self-directedness in employees; and to identify strategies that are feasible in developing self-directedness in operating organizations.

Design/methodology/approach - Draws on a national research project undertaken in 12 organizations in Australia, representing a range of sizes and a number of industry sectors. Data collection involved interviewing learning and development managers in each organization to gauge the relative feasibility of the implementation of a number of pre-identified strategies designed to develop self-directedness among employees within operating work environments.

Findings - Showed that: learning managers and leaders were generally well disposed towards the development of self-directedness, and some had already moved to do so; and identified a number of possible strategies for implementation of varying degrees of feasibility. The paper will consider these findings in relation to the concept of a 'learning leader'.

Research limitations/implications - Although the research was conducted in a diverse set of 12 enterprises, applicability of the results across an even wider set of enterprises would need to be tested.

Originality/value - The findings of this research provide guidance to learning and development personnel on feasible strategies to use within their own organization to assist with the development of self-directed learning among employees.


History

Journal

Journal of European industrial training

Volume

31

Issue

4

Pagination

324 - 335

Publisher

MCB University Press (Emerald)

Location

Bradford, England

ISSN

0309-0590

eISSN

1758-7425

Language

eng

Notes

The final published version is available from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0309-0590

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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