Purpose – Interest and research on workplace learning has intensified in recent years, however, research on assessing how employees facilitate each other's learning through everyday work experiences and how organizational contextual factors promote or impede the facilitation of others' learning at work is underdeveloped. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to explore how employees facilitate others' learning and the contextual factors that influence employees' facilitation of others' learning in a workplace setting. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative case study approach was selected for this study. An adaptation of the critical incident technique and semi‐structured in‐depth interviews were conducted with 13 employees representing various functional areas within a learning‐oriented consumer‐focused manufacturer. Content analysis and constant comparative analysis were the approaches used to analyze the data. Findings – Several findings emerged that describe the catalysts for employees' facilitating others' learning, the behaviors that facilitators engaged to facilitate others' learning, and the perceived outcomes from facilitating learning. Several positive and negative organizational contextual factors emerged that influence the facilitation of others' learning. Specifically, the role of learning‐committed leadership, manifested in several ways, emerged as a powerful organizational contextual factor. Research limitations/implications – The findings from case study research are not intended to be generalizable. The use of self‐report data is another limitation, as are recollections of critical incidents. However, integrating multiple sources of data collection was an attempt to allow for triangulation of findings. Practical implications – The findings depict the importance of leadership and management in the process of facilitating learning and the extent to which leaders and managers can create organizational environments conducive to the facilitation of learning that has implications for management and leadership development programs. This study also identifies avenues for future research. Originality/value – This paper contributes to research that explores how employees facilitate others' learning and the contextual factors that influence employees' facilitation of others' learning in a workplace setting.
Journal of Workplace Learning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 18, 2007
Keywords: Learning; Workplace learning; Facilitation; Employees
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