The rapid pace of change for knowledge workers competing globally necessitates ongoing continuous learning. Increasingly, knowledge workers will need to be ready - willing and able - to engage in self-directed learning. This makes it important to understand what factors in the work environment might be related to the self-directed learning readiness. The variables examined in this study were drawn from three strands of literature. Self-directed learning readiness, the dependent variable, was drawn from the education research. Transformational leadership the independent variable was drawn from the leadership research. Based on findings from the employee development research supervisor support for development was also included as an independent variable. The present study addresses the lack of knowledge regarding whether a relationship exists between supervisor transformational leadership behaviors, supervisor support for development, and knowledge worker self-directed learning readiness. This study used a correlational, cross-sectional, research design. A survey using well validated instruments was sent to 1,200 knowledge workers at a Fortune 500 company. A total of 385 responses (a 32% response rate) were received. Pearson moment correlation, multiple regression, and structural equation modeling were used to analyze the data. Aggregate transformational leadership was found to be positively related to self-directed learning readiness in this sample (r = 0.12, p = .02). The results found support for a weak relationship between self-directed learning readiness and transformational leadership. Similarly weak relationships were found between self-directed learning readiness and the four separate transformational leadership behavior sub-scales. Supervisor support for development was weakly related to self-directed learning readiness. A strong relationship (r = .80, p = 0.00) was found between supervisor support for development and transformational leadership. Due to multicollinearity, multiple regression analysis (F2,382 = 2.846, p = .059) did not find unique effects on subordinate self-directed learning readiness for aggregate transformational leadership (â = .085, p = .32) or supervisor support for development (â = .042, p = .62) when controlling for each other. Due to multicollinearity, a second multiple regression analysis (F4,380 = 1.555, p = .19) with idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, or individualized consideration in the model did not find unique effects on self-directed learning readiness when controlling for the other behaviors. Self-directed learning readiness was significantly related (r = .19, p = .00) to self-reported job performance. Implications for both research and practice were discussed based on these results.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2013. Major:Work and Human Resource Education. Advisor: Kenneth Bartlett. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 186 pages, appendices A-F.
Aparicio, Ricardo Antonio.
The relationship between transformational leadership and knowledge workers' self-directed learning readiness.
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