Adaptive learning and reduced cognitive uncertainty in a financial organization
Purpose: This paper analyses and discusses the “learning activities” that comprise obligatory learning at work by employees each month. The management strategy is to use these learning activities to spread knowledge, exchange experience and implement new skills within the organisation. The purpose of this paper is to answer the question: to what extent do these learning activities at the Bank promote adaptive or developmental learning? In addition, the paper asks whether the learning activities amplify or reduce the employees' cognitive uncertainty in resolving work‐related issues.
Design/methodology/approach: This case study is part of a four‐year project about workplace learning, in a bank with more than 700 employees located in more than 50 departments of various sizes in Norway.
Findings: The research shows that time regularly set aside for necessary information updates and workplace learning is important in a hectic work situation with a strong focus on sales. Within the organization studied, learning is strongly focused on factual knowledge, routines and rehearsal.
Research limitations/implications: Although this qualitative study is based on multiple and triangulated observations the methodology is limited in that it raises the question of how far one can accept the validity of generalizations arising from one case only.
Originality/value: This research adds to the literature on adaptive learning and reduced cognitive uncertainty and will be of interest to those wishing to simplify work‐related issues.