My paper “Social Approaches to Work-related Informal Learning: Development and Validation of a Scale measuring Feedback-, Help-, and Information-Seeking” has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Training and Development.

Abstract

Social approaches to work-related informal learning, such as proactive feedback-seeking, help-seeking, and information-seeking, are important determinants of development in the workplace. Unfortunately, previous research has failed to clearly conceptualize these forms of learning and does not provide a validated and generally applicable measurement instrument. We set out to develop and validate such a scale measuring social approaches to work-related informal learning (SWIRL-scale). We collected data in four organizations in Austria and the Netherlands, with a total sample size of 895 employees. These data were used to conduct exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, which showed four distinct factors: feedback-seeking from the supervisor, feedback-seeking from colleagues, help-seeking, and information-seeking. In conclusion, the SWIRL-scale is valid in a range of contexts and thus is an appropriate tool for research as well as human resource development practice.

Keywords: feedback-seeking; help-seeking; information-seeking; informal learning; learning from others