Predictors of employees’ self-reported future learning ability and disengagement at work

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Jeske, Debora
Lippke, Sonia
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between job characteristics that foster learning (experience with and demand for continuous learning at work, skills variety and autonomy) as potential predictors of self-reported outcomes, such as future learning ability and employee disengagement at work for a cohort of employees with no or very limited job change experience. Further consideration was given to employees’ experiences at work (meaningfulness and recognition at work) as potential mediators in this relationship between job characteristics and employee outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: A cross-sectional design was applied. Participants (N = 284) were recruited from Northern Germany and asked to complete a paper-and-pencil survey. The results were subsequently analyzed using path models to examine direct and indirect effects associated with mediation. Findings: Path model analysis indicated that job characteristics promoting learning at work are positive predictors of self-reported future learning ability and negative predictors of disengagement. Both meaningfulness and recognition predict future learning ability as well. However, these variables only operated as significant mediators in the relationship between job characteristics and employee disengagement (but not self-reported future learning ability). Originality/value: The study outlines the importance of job characteristics and employee experience to understand employees’ beliefs about their learning ability and engagement at work. The findings highlight the importance of meaningfulness and recognition for employees, as well as the role of learning-supportive job characteristics.
Job characteristics , Meaningfulness , Recognition , Learning ability , Disengagement
Jeske, D. and Lippke, S. (2021) 'Predictors of employees’ self-reported future learning ability and disengagement at work', Journal of Workplace Learning, 34(3), pp. 277-294. doi: 10.1108/JWL-02-2021-0016