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Learning climate and work group skills in care work
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, Vol. 21, no 8, 581-594 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The overall aim of the present study was to investigate the learning climate and work group skills perceived by managers and their subordinates in the municipal elderly care, prior to a development project. The specific research questions were: Are managers' and their subordinates' perceptions of the learning climate related? and Does the manager's assessment of the work group skills correlate with the work group's perception of the learning climate?

Design/methodology/approach – A total of 12 managers and 130 of their subordinates were selected, and answered a questionnaire. The subordinates belonged to work groups with five to 19 care assistants working in elderly care. The majority of the participants were women (92 per cent). The mean age was 43 years old, range 20-63.

Findings – Results suggest that the perception of the learning climate has a correspondence between the organisational levels (managers and their subordinates) and that there is a correspondence between managers' ratings of work group skills, in particular skills for effectively managing change, and the work groups' perception of their learning climate, in particular decision autonomy and developmental and collaborative potentials.

Research implications/limitations – The manager sample was small and from one single organisation.

Practical implications – The relations between the learning climate and the assssment of staff skills are important to the actions taken in order to facilitate workplace learning and development.

Originality/value – This study contrasted the managers' assessment of skills with their work groups' perceptions of learning climate, which is quite unusual in learning climate studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald , 2009. Vol. 21, no 8, 581-594 p.
Keyword [en]
Elder care, Employees, Group dynamics, Learning, Managers, Skills, Sweden
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26963DOI: 10.1108/13665620910996151OAI: diva2:275284
Available from: 2009-11-04 Created: 2009-11-04 Last updated: 2013-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Intervening with care: creating new infrastructures for learning and increasing quality of elderly care
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intervening with care: creating new infrastructures for learning and increasing quality of elderly care
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Intervention med omsorg : i syfte att skapa nya infrastrukturer för lärande och öka äldreomsorgens kvalitet
Abstract [en]

Substantial changes in public elderly care in Sweden have been resulting in a standing need of updating staff competence to match the new demands and maintain quality. Since the ability to learn is of importance when confronting changing conditions, organizations in general, as well as the authorities responsible for elderly care, invest large amounts of resources in learning in the workplace. However, the success of such investments depends on the interactions among numerous individual and organizational factors.

This thesis has aimed at increasing our understanding of the process and consequences of the learning intervention Steps for Skills in the context of elderly care, by addressing three specific research aims. The first aim focused on the psychosocial environment as a precondition for learning. The perceived learning climate was addressed in Study 1, and correlations were found between leaders’ and employees’ perceived learning climate and, to some extent, between employees’ perceived learning climate and work group skills.

The second aim focused on the consequences of the intervention for employees in terms of their psychosocial environment and the building of new infrastructures for learning. Changes in perceived learning climate and their relation to the transfer of knowledge were addressed in Study 2. It was found that the intervention had influenced the perceived learning climate differently for different groups. In addition, the use of the new knowledge depended on the learning climate. The consequences for employees were also addressed in Study 3 by examining the relation between process and outcome. Results showed that although the same method was used, the content of the improvement work differed, influencing employees’ perceptions of the learning climate, resource adequacy and workload differently.

The third research aim focused on the consequences of the intervention for elderly by addressing elderly care quality, conceived as autonomy-support. The results from Study 4 identified too many constraining interactions for elderly care to be described as an autonomy-supportive. It is concluded that general quality improvement work does not guarantee increased autonomy-support. All in all, these results show that context and process matter, and also provide information concerning quality improvement through learning interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2013. 69 p.
learning intervention, learning climate, skills, knowledge, resource adequacy, workload, quality improvement, autonomy-support, elderly care, Sweden
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-68031 (URN)978-91-7459-604-5 (ISBN)978-91-7459-603-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-03, bt102, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Lärande och kunskap i äldreomsorg
Available from: 2013-04-12 Created: 2013-04-10 Last updated: 2013-04-12Bibliographically approved

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