Managers’ informal learning: a trait activation theory perspective

Raymond A. Noe, Michael J. Tews, John W. Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Research focusing on how individual differences and the work context influence informal learning is growing but incomplete. This study contributes to our understanding of the antecedents of informal learning by examining the relationships of goal orientation, job autonomy and training climate with informal learning. Based on trait activation theory, this study examines how job autonomy and training climate, two work context factors, affect the influence of individuals’ goal orientation on informal learning. The sample included managers from a national restaurant chain in the United states. Higher levels of learning goal orientation, job autonomy and a supportive training climate were found to result in more informal learning. Congruent with trait activation theory, training climate moderated the goal orientation-informal learning relationship, but not in the expected direction for avoid goal orientation. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Training and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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