Learning opportunities and learning behavior: A study among MBAs in their early career stage

Rob Poell, L. E. C. van der Sluis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study approaches the management learning process of individuals as an interaction between personal and situational characteristics. Combining insights from cognitive learning theory and social construction theory, it aims to explore the interactions between learning opportunities and learning behavior on the job. Learning opportunities are divided into four categories: obstacles, support, task-related characteristics, and transitions. Learning behavior is specified in five elements: instruction-oriented learning Gestalt learning tactical learning, planned learning, and tacit learning. Examination of five main hypotheses leads to the conclusion that, among MBAs in their early career stage, there is an interaction between individual learning behavior and the amount of learning opportunities, although the latter influences learning behavior in a less dominant way. More specifically, Gestalt learning results in more support, which itself leads to more planned learning which in turn increases the number of learning opportunities. Discussion focuses on possible explanations why not all hypotheses were confirmed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-311
JournalManagement Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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