European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 539–555 | Cite as

Change at work and professional learning: how readiness to change, self-determination and personal initiative affect individual learning through reflection

  • Stefanie HetznerEmail author
  • Helmut Heid
  • Hans Gruber


Reflection offers an important means to learn effectively from changes induced by the workplace. The authors examined readiness to change and work-related self-determination as preconditions for reflection at work and expected personal initiative—defined as self-starting and proactive behaviour—to have a mediating effect. The study tested these relations using a questionnaire with 84 client advisors working in retail banking departments. These client advisors were about to undergo a range of changes in their workplaces at the time of the data collection. The changes—most importantly, the implementation of a new advisory concept accompanied by new advisory software—afforded these individuals the opportunity to learn. Further, the study conceptualised self-determination as an individual’s experience of autonomy, competence and social integration at work. Regression analyses revealed that social integration and perceived competence exert positive effects on reflection. The results indicate that personal initiative mediates the relationship between readiness to change and reflection as well as the relationship between all facets of self-determination and reflection. This paper discusses these findings in terms of their theoretical contribution to the literature on workplace learning and in relation to the practical importance of developing positive attitudes toward changes at work and active work behaviours for change-related learning activities such as reflection to succeed.


Personal initiative Readiness to change Reflection Retail banking Self-determination Workplace change 



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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media BV 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Educational ScienceUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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