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Research Seminar with Assistant Professor Eva Kyndt

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Date: Thursday 26 April 2018
Venue: Moot court, TD120

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Modern work organisations are confronted by an increased need for continuous work-related learning under rapidly changing circumstances. However, there is a growing awareness of the heightened demands that learning requirements place on employees, and the impact that this might have on their well-being. The demand-control support model (DCS; Johnson & Hall, 1988; Karasek, 1979) is a widely known and influential model explaining stress management processes of employees. 

As part of this model, a central yet under-researched – hypothesis concerns the learning process, whereby “incremental additions to competency are predicted to occur [hence learning] when the challenges of the situation are matched by the individual’s skill or control in dealing with a challenge (Karasek, 1979, p. 288).  

This seminar will focus on initial findings from a large-scale (N = 1362) longitudinal study of public sector employees, examining the combined impact of workload stressors (demands) and job decision latitude (control) on employees’ work-related learning and well-being. Using growth mixture modelling, we examined if different developmental job profiles (in terms of autonomy, workload and social support) are related to different changes in work-related well-being and learning behaviour.

Initial results support the learning hypothesis of the Karasek’s model over time, but show some differences for different types of learning activities. Workload seems to especially hamper the uptake of formal learning activities while differences informal learning activities are foremost related to differences in autonomy.

About the speaker

Eva Kyndt, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Research unit for Occupational & Organisational Psychology, and Professional Learning (KU Leuven - University of Leuven, Belgium). Her research focuses on informal workplace learning, transfer of training, social networks in organisations, and the transition from education to work. She has published over 55 international articles in leading education and occupational psychology journals and is currently coordinating the special interest group ‘learning and professional development’ of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI).   

Contact Information: Colin Gallagher