Learning at Transition for New and Experienced Staff

Colin Milligan, Anoush Margaryan, Allison Littlejohn

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelpeer review


Purpose: This study aims to improve the understanding of the learning and development that occurs during initial and subsequent role transitions within knowledge intensive workplaces.
Design/methodology/approach: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 19 knowledge workers in a multinational company and the learning experiences of new graduates contrasted with those of more experienced workers who had recently joined or changed role within the organization.
Findings: Graduate recruits and more experienced workers utilise a similar range of learning approaches, favouring a combination of traditional formal learning, learning by doing and learning with and from others, but differ in the precise modes and strategies used. It was found that graduate induction provides appropriate support for initial transition into the workplace, but that experienced workers undergoing subsequent career transitions do not receive similar socialization support despite encountering similar challenges.
Research limitations/implications: This study brings concepts and literature from two distinct research traditions together to explore learning during transition. In doing so, the impact of organizational socialization strategies as a mechanism by which an environment to support rich learning is created can be seen. The study was exploratory in nature, examining only one organization and studying a relatively small group of workers.
Originality/value: While employee induction has been studied in detail, the learning occurring at this time, and particularly during subsequent career transitions, is less well understood. This article is of value to those investigating learning in knowledge intensive workplaces, as well as human resource managers responsible for socialization of employees entering new roles.
TidsskriftJournal of Workplace Learning
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)217-230
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Workplace learning
  • Knowledge workers
  • Expertise
  • Networks
  • Learning
  • Transition