COGNITIVE ORIENTATION TO LEARNING
Orientation to learning in the early years was stressed upon in debating which orientation to learning is best suited for a working environment, namely behavioural learning or cognitive learning. As years pass, learning is becoming a more active, constructive and goal oriented process (Shuell, 1986). Basically, learning is no longer based on studying or obtaining knowledge from a certain source alone but can be achieved through performing tasks or activities and learning from past experiences as well. Thus, the more suitable style of learning is none other than cognitive learning in which Boud (1998) described that it emphasizes on the ...view middle of the document...
This gives the employee the opportunity to think and act for organisational and individual benefits. Gott (1988), Greeno (1989) and Lave (1993) have proved that cognitive literature offers explanations of thinking and learning, in which individuals think and act.
Besides that, expertise in workplace is conceptualised as a cognitive phenomenon (Steinberg, 1989). He explained the effectiveness of internal attributes in thinking and acting without any social and cultural contributions, which was also supported by Greeno. Researches from Chi (1982, 1985), Glaser (1984), Gott (1989), Sweller (1989), Wagner & Steinberg (1986) all supported cognitive learning actually helps an individual figure out the best way to act in different situations in the workplace. Cognitive learning helps employees to determine the best solution to a problem even before the situation has occurred as the person can work through a situation beforehand in order to determine the post-situation consequences (Pedersen & Liu, 2002).
Moreover, as proved in Klob’s (1981) and Dewey’s (1938) researches, cognitive learner in workplace transforms an experience into learning through reflection. During reflection, the learners combine new and existing learning and knowledge to finds out how to use the new knowledge for additional learning. According to Dewey (1938), employees reflect on their experiences to learn what thoughts and actions can change real world conditions that need improving.
Recently, cognitive learning in workplace has influenced the presence of higher-processes in learning, concern for the way knowledge is represented and concern for analysing learning tasks and performances (Shuell, 1986). For example, each challenging situation is viewed as an opportunity to learn and incrementally improve or put in to one’s capabilities (Dweck & Leggett, 1988). This was also supported by Maurer (2002), stating that individuals who consider highly on personal qualities will pursue possible jobs with enhanced or increased task-relevant personal characteristics.
Furthermore, Weisberg has found learning to be vital for creativity. This research is supported by Gong, Huang and Farh (2009), saying that employee learning orientation is more likely to boost employee creativity over time as time is needed for an employee to explore, learn and create.
Shortcomings of Cognitive Learning
Although workplaces offer the potential for rich cognitive learning outcomes, through participation in everyday practice, there are also barriers to realizing its full potential. As will be clear from this literature review, it is not necessary that cognitive orientation to learning is found effective in educational findings can be automatically generalized to work settings (Hayes, 1997). Mager (1961) emphasizes that sometimes people in workplace learn something that is wrong and inadequate in some way or other. Wrong and inadequate learning may result from inappropriate knowledge,...