The influence of past situations on present behaviors: how school life predicts managerial learning

Michele Rigolizzo, Zhu Zhu, Adrianna Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of supervisors’ past experiences in school on their present learning behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: Data were gathered in a time-lagged study. Supervisors populated a previously validated survey about their quality of school life. One week later, a direct measure of learning behaviors was used to determine the extent to which they were motivated to learn in general, and their motivation to exert time and effort in a learning task. Findings: Supervisors who found more satisfaction in school were more motivated to learn in general. Those who were more committed to the work of school spent more time on learning and exerted more effort when practicing a new skill. Research limitations/implications: Results are valid for supervisors engaging in a learning task relevant to their role. However, because the results are based on direct observation of their learning behavior years later, the findings suggest that school experiences influence workplace learning for employees at all levels. Practical implications: Typically, organizations consider the degree employees attain and the content of their learning. This study suggests that organizations should also be considering the habits and attitudes toward learning that employees developed while at school. Originality/value: This study bridges educational and workplace learning by examining how the habits and attitudes developed in school settings impact managerial learning, even years later.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Workplace Learning
Issue number2
StatePublished - 27 Jan 2022


  • Career development
  • Lifelong learning
  • Motivation
  • Self-direct learning
  • Workplace learning


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