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Unformatted text preview: Leadership and learning: facilitating self-directed learning in enterprises Peter J. Smith Deakin University, Geelong, Australia Eugene Sadler-Smith University of Surrey, Guildford, UK Ian Robertson RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and Lyn Wakefield Gordon Institute of TAFE, Geelong, Australia Abstract Purpose The purpose of this research is 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 This paper 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 The research 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. Keywords Self managed learning, Leaders, Self development, Workplace learning, Australia Paper type Research paper Introduction The recognition that self-directedness in learning among employees has an important part to play in the competitiveness of enterprises has been developed by several writers during the 1990s (Edwards, 1995; Calder and McCollum, 1998; Morris-Baskett and Dixon, 1992; Robinson and Arthy, 1999). For those writers, self-directedness among workers is an objective worthy of pursuit by organisations wishing to achieve The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0309-0590.htm JEIT 31,5 324 Received September 2006 Revised February 2007 Accepted February 2007 Journal of European Industrial Training Vol. 31 No. 5, 2007 pp. 324-335 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0309-0590 DOI 10.1108/03090590710756783 knowledge and skill development for a competitive edge in a rapidly changing...
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This note was uploaded on 03/16/2011 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Dunst during the Spring '08 term at Alabama.
- Spring '08