NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ816689
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0883-0355
The Culture of Learning from Mistakes: How Employees Handle Mistakes in Everyday Work
Harteis, Christian; Bauer, Johannes; Gruber, Hans
International Journal of Educational Research, v47 n4 p223-231 2008
Workplace learning circumscribes processes leading to the development of competencies and skills through daily work. It is of increasing importance for many modern enterprises, which consider themselves as being learning organisations, to make use of the potential of their employees in order to be competitive within global markets. Dealing with mistakes is a particular strategic source of workplace learning for such organisations, because contemporary work often is so complex that mistakes cannot be avoided. A workplace culture of learning from mistakes stands to maximise them as effective learning experiences. Two empirical studies were conducted in order to investigate conditions of learning from mistakes in everyday work in modern enterprises. Study 1 assessed the role of individual mistake orientation using a questionnaire. Through the comparison of 52 managers and 108 working staff members the variability of learning from mistakes was investigated. Study 2 assessed how communities of practice deal with mistakes and what is done to prevent them occurring in future. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 28 subjects, 14 managers and 14 working staff members. Study 1 revealed a greater appraisal of mistakes as opportunities for learning by managers, but no differences in related strategies and emotions. Study 2 revealed that mistakes are constructively dealt with, and that they are appraised as learning opportunities. Both studies indicate the presence of a culture of learning from mistakes in everyday work. Conclusions are drawn about organisational and personal prerequisites for this kind of workplace learning. (Contains 4 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A