From the campus flyer:
Topic: "Managers as Facilitators of Learning, Informal Workplace Learning, and the Learning Organization: A Research Agenda."
Presenter: Dr. Andrea Ellinger, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary of the session: "This session will present selected research studies Dr. Ellinger has conducted on managers as facilitators of learning, informal workplace learning, and the learning organization concepts that collectively represent the focus of my research agenda. Dr. Ellinger will also overview some of her current research and writing projects and discuss how these efforts will guide future developments in her research agenda."
Anyhow, here are notes I took while I listened:
- Guiding question: how managers develop people.
- The professor conducted a "managers as instructors" study. She was looking at how managers train others, then how those go on to train others, and so on. This was called a cascade training strategy (I need to look this up in the literature. A cursory search revealed it was something for training large groups of people swiftly).
- Found one worker who expected the manager not be a formal trainer but did expect the manager to support her own personal training. (Now, I wonder how this might work in librarianship given the need for librarians to continue learning. How do their managers/directors handle it?)
- This concept is what led to the professor's dissertation on "Managers as Facilitators of Learning in Learning Organizations."
- From the dissertation.
- 13 behavior sets define manager roles as facilitators of learning. It also looked at those managers' self-efficacy when it comes to them facilitating learning.
- Citations to articles derived from the dissertation: HRDQ (1999), Journal of Management Development (1999; this one is on Volume 18, Issue 9. I had to dig it out of Emerald. Would have been nice if the professor gave better citations), Management Learning (1999; this one is in volume 30, issue 4. I found via it Sage).
- Creating a learning culture matters and can have a positive impact on an organization.
- See HRDQ (2003).
- Watkins theory of workers being challenged and about learning triggers (I may need to look this up too. I got the gist that the triggers idea goes along with motivation to learn).
- What is it about workplace context that encourages someone to develop others, and that encourages self-learning? Think of things that help and obstruct.
- Some positive factors found in studies (I think this can have significance/can be something to think about in our profession too):
- Learning-committed leadership and management.
- Internal culture committed to learning.
- Work tools and resources (books, the Internet, people, etc.)
- People forming webs of relationships for learning.
- Some of the negative factors found in studies:
- Leaders lacking learning commitment.
- Lack of work tools and resources.
- People who disrupt the webs of relationships.
- Lack of time.
- Too much change too fast (this should sound familiar around some of the 2.0 discussions in libraries).
- Structural inhibitors (architecture, people and how they are placed).
- Not learning from the learning experience.
- See HRDQ (2005) and Journal of Workplace Learning (2007; this one is in volume 19, issue 7. Found via Emerald).
- Found that significant overlap exists between effective management coaching behaviors and managerial effectiveness behavior. This was reinforced by other studies. Concluded that effective managers tend to be effective people developers.
- Idea: good customer service on basis of well-trained and empowered front-line workers (this could make a few blog posts I am sure for some people). Would formalized training and/or informal coaching increase value? Yes, it does, to an extent. Highly empowered workers actually revealed that too much training got in the way of performance. Therefore, not every employee needs the same level of training and coaching.
- But what about social capital in the workplace? This deals with collaboration and relationships built in the workplace. Can coaching help social capital translate into performance outcomes? This is the direction her research is taking now.