A cognitive and behavioural model to job-related learning: an empirical test of a proposed model

Loon, M (2006) A cognitive and behavioural model to job-related learning: an empirical test of a proposed model. PhD thesis, University of Newcastle, Australia.


Learning in organisations has become more prominent as a research topic as competition between organisations has increased considerably in the last few decades. The re-emergence of the importance of learning is due to the recognition that expedient learning is an effective means for organisations to attain competitive advantage. Learning, in this perspective, applies to the learning of individuals in the workplace. Knowledge, ideas, agility and speed are now the critical success factors for organisations. Collective learning capabilities are deemed to be a prerequisite for a more flexible organisation that can react faster than its competitors (Reynolds and Ablett, 1998). Learning starts at the individual-level. Job-related learning is the term used to conceptualise the dependent variable as it places learning within the organisation at the individuals’ level and more specifically to the individual’s job. Job-related learning is important and the identification of its antecedents serves as a crucial starting point in advancing the concept further. The research problems include identifying the underlying motivators of individuals to learn, the organisational factors that inculcate job-related learning and the strength of the relationships with job-related learning. Four research questions have been raised, translated from the research problem. Two of which are addressed inductively by identifying five key independent variables that foster job-related learning. The other two research questions are translated into the research objective; to examine the relationships between the independent variables (need for achievement, job-demand for learning, organisational support for learning, transformational leadership and trust in the leader) and the dependent variable (job-related learning). From the research objective, a proposed model of job-related with its five antecedents i.e. independent variables, is developed. These five independent variables represent distinct areas that have a direct influence on an individual’s job-related learning: i) the individual (i.e., need for achievement); ii) the job (i.e., job-demand for learning); iii) the organisation (i.e., organisational support for learning); the leader (i.e., transformational leadership); and v) the leader-follower relationship (i.e., trust in the leader). The three hypotheses drawn from the proposed model are, H1: organisational support for learning will be correlated positively to job-related learning; H2: the effects of job-demand for learning on job-related learning will be moderated by need for achievement. Specifically, the correlation between job-demand for learning and job-related learning will be larger amongst individuals with a high need for achievement than amongst individuals with a low need for achievement, and H3: the effects of transformational leadership on job-related learning will be mediated by trust in the leader. This study found that two of the hypotheses were supported while the third hypothesis was partially supported. Contribution to knowledge is attained by the verification of the empirical model that enhances the understanding of job-related learning especially in the Malaysian context. Implications for further research are provided in facilitating our understanding of this subject in other countries, industries, organisational types and with individuals’ performance and organisational competitiveness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: transformational leadership, job-related learning, job-demand for learning, organisational support for learning
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 16:33
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2017 16:33
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