Self-regulated Learning Behaviour in the Finance Industry

Colin Milligan, Rosa Pia Fontana, Allison Littlejohn, Anoush Margaryan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to explore the role of self-regulatory behaviours in predicting workplace learning. As work practices in knowledge-intensive domains become more complex, individual workers must take greater responsibility for their ongoing learning and development.
Design/methodology/approach: The study was conducted with knowledge workers from the finance industry. In all, 170 participants across a range of work roles completed a questionnaire consisting of three scales derived from validated instruments (measuring learning opportunities, self-regulated learning [SRL] and learning undertaken). The relationship between the variables was tested through linear regression analysis.
Findings: Data analysis confirms a relationship between the learning opportunities provided by a role, and learning undertaken. Regression analysis identifies three key SRL behaviours that appear to mediate this relationship: task interest/value, task strategies and self-evaluation. Together they provide an insight into the learning processes that occur during intentional informal learning.
Research limitations/implications: This quantitative study identifies a relationship between specific SRL behaviours and workplace learning undertaken in one sector. Qualitative studies are needed to understand the precise nature of this relationship. Follow-up studies could explore whether the findings are generalisable to other contexts.
Practical implications: Developing a deeper understanding of how individuals manage their day-to-day learning can help shape the learning and development support provided to individual knowledge workers.
Originality/value: Few studies have explored the role of self-regulation in the workplace. This study adds to our understanding of this critical element of professional learning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Workplace Learning
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)387-402
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Knowledge workers
  • Learning
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Workplace learning
  • Self-regulated learning
  • SRL

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