Individual differences and informal learning in the workplace

Raymond A. Noe, Michael J. Tews, Jr., Alena D. Marand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Informal learning is important in today's dynamic and competitive business environment. However, research on informal learning is limited and largely anecdotal. Based on theory and research on training and development and positive psychology, this study examined the influence of individual differences including the Big Five personality dimensions, generalized self-efficacy, and zest on informal learning. One hundred eighty managers from an organization that owns and operates casual theme restaurants completed online measures of individual differences and informal learning approximately one year apart. The results demonstrated that each of the individual differences had a significant relationship with informal learning. However, zest was the only significant predictor of informal learning when all of the individual differences were considered together. The implications of the results for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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