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In Pursuit of Learning: Sensemaking the Quality of Work Life


European Journal of Training and Development Volume 37, Number 2, ISSN 2046-9012


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to explore how employees make sense of their work context and its influence on their learning orientation to improve their quality of work life. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative data drawn from a dynamic online discussion that spanned three years were used in the content analysis. A total of 137 MBA participants from a university in the southwest of the USA contributed to the online forum. Findings: Perception of work-life context influences the cognitive intent of employees in such a way that they change their learning orientation and develop learning strategies to improve their current work conditions. These strategies are in turn influenced by their sensemaking of the context to determine their quality of work life. Research limitations/implications: The study illuminates the relationship between learning and context through the theoretical perspective of sensemaking. It extends the concept of learning orientation as operating at the individual and group levels other than the organizational level. Practical implications: Organizational leaders and human resource development (HRD) professionals will recognize how certain contextual stimuli can trigger their employees' readiness to learn and improve their work life. They can direct their employees' learning orientation through job redesign and job enrichment. Originality/value: The study provides a learning context to quality of work life, an area that has not been extensively researched in the HRD literature. By exploring sensemaking of quality of work life in the context of learning, the paper offers a more encompassing perspective of learning orientation and quality of work life contexts. (Contains 2 table, 3 figures, and 1 note.)


Yeo, R.K. & Li, J. (2013). In Pursuit of Learning: Sensemaking the Quality of Work Life. European Journal of Training and Development, 37(2), 136-160. Retrieved June 8, 2023 from .

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