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A study of employee learning agility - the effects of individual differences and the work and learning context

Hadiono, Alvin

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Alvin Hadiono


Purpose – During the last decade, learning agility has continued to grow as an important construct in the field of leadership development and talent management. The current academic debates on the construct, however, are less about its relevance to the organization but more about the definitional boundary lines; i.e. what kind of and how much its antecedents play a role. Therefore, this study aims to theoretically explore its relationship with rigorous models of personality (HEXACO) and motivation (goal orientation); as well as how they can interact with the environment, i.e. what kind of learning (or motivational) climate that supports the emergence of learning agility within the organization. The author also presents a model for learning agility – HEXACO personality traits, goal orientations, motivational climates linkages and propositions to guide future research.

Design/methodology/approach – The author presents a conceptual model proposing HEXACO personality traits and goal orientations as the antecedents of learning agility; and motivational climates as the moderators of the relationship between HEXACO personality traits, goal orientations and learning agility.

Findings – In addition to the conceptual model, the author presents a number of testable propositions for determining how HEXACO personality traits and goal orientations can contribute to learning agility; as well as how motivational climates can interact with those dispositional factors in explaining the learning agility.

Originality/value – A noteworthy future research on learning agility should cover the role of the environment; given the dynamic and complex nature of organizations surrounding the employees. Through the motivational climate construct from the achievement goal theory, this study will contribute to the overall body of knowledge of learning agility by investigating the work and learning context surrounding its emergence within an organization. Research investigating the interaction between motivational climate and personality has also been scant. Besides that, the research investigating the relationship between personality, motivation and learning agility is still scant and inconsistent. Most research has not taken advantage yet of the latest models of personality (HEXACO model) and goal orientation (3x2 model) to explain their relationships with learning agility. Therefore, this study is expected to be a valuable theoretical expansion in these lines of research by establishing arguments for testable propositions and future research directions.

Paper type – Conceptual paper

Presentation Conference Type Presentation / Talk
Conference Name 13th European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management Colloquium on Organisational Change and Development
Start Date Oct 17, 2019
End Date Oct 18, 2019
Deposit Date Jun 26, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2024
Keywords Learning agility, HEXACO personality trait, goal orientation, motivational climate
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