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Examining Factors Affecting Employees Learning within the Manufacturing Industry using Social Learning Theory

Question:

Discuss the topic "Examining factor affecting Employee Performance with Employee Learning as Mediator within the Manufacturing Industry using Social learning theory".

Answer

1.1       Introduction

Employee’s continuous learning (or sometimes referred to as lifelong learning) is significance to the strategic growth in the manufacturing sector; however, the extant literature shown that empirical research in this area is still at the nascent stage.  This is especially evident in the manufacturing industry of Malaysia. This study is intended to pursue such gap and offers findings that could provide insights into the factors influencing employee continuous learning in manufacturing in Penang.  Moreover, from the business perspective, the findings from this study will assist companies particularly, the human development or human resource department to formulate their marketing and sales strategies to enhance their performance. From the academic perspective, this study will add some new findings in the literatures of employee’s continuous learning in Malaysia. 

Employee’s continuous learning (also refereed as lifelong learning) should be the priority in the top management agenda especially in the manufacturing industry.  This is due to the fast changing world of manufacturing technology like Industry 4.0 that necessitates the retooling of the employees’ skills set and mind set through continuous learning.  All these disruptive technology has profoundly change our work lives in terms of speed and how things being accomplished, and to the great extent, the degree of new learning that need to be continuous enhanced so that the employees’ skills set and mind sets remain relevant and productive.  

Employees’ continuous learning is paramount in sustaining the quality of individual human capital which; in turn will promote continuous employment mobility and further enhance the strategic growth of the employee in competitive organizational climate.

Employees’ continuous learning is becoming increasingly crucial not only in the context of employees’ career, but also the organizations that employ them.  Organizations’ survivability will call into question in this highly globalized world if the organization remains stodgy and dogmatic in their corporate culture and strategy.  To dispel this organizational entropy, organization should continue to unlearn, relearn and learn in a very fast manner to keep up with the rest of the industry players.  They will have to adopt this learning mantra and keep on repeat the cycles to be able to produce new products, new services, new processes and new methods to stay competitive.  All the distilled experiences (tacit and explicit knowledge) in individual learning and organizational learning will be captured in the system of organization’s knowledge management. Thus,  organization’s knowledge management systems is to funnel the desired levels of knowledge needed to achieve the organizational goals through employees’ learning and then strategies to obtain the required knowledge. 

Employees’ continuous learning and the system of knowledge management are interlocked and mirroring the advanced significance accrued to the functions of knowledge creation and knowledge diffusion in the knowledge economy and Industry 4.0.  The traditional production economy that depended heavily on tangible factors such as land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship has paled significantly compared to intangible factors in knowledge economy such as data, information and knowledge. Therefore, employees’ continuous learning through multimode learning platforms to upgrade their skills, knowledge, tasks and know-how; will inevitably propel their organizations to stay relevant and continue to grow strategically in this fast changing business world (Ameeq & Hanif, 2013). 

Learning and training are like fuels in organizations. They facilitate the growth in employees’ development which is intended often to attain organization’s success. Employee learning is a continuous process that accelerates the advancement of career and organization to improve individuals and organizational effectiveness. The Theory of Social Learning (SLT) states that learning occurred when one acquiring knowledge from interactions with each other through observations and socialization.  Underpinned by this theory, the employee’s behaviour can be effectively be guided and facilitated to enhance their business-like behaviours that employees needed for successful business. The manufacturing industry of Penang, Malaysia has significantly contributed to Malaysia economy as a whole.  Its success is attributed by continuous learning at the work place. This can be achieved by incorporating all aspects of social learning theory. SLT examines how the behavioural, environmental and personal factors interact with each other, and how these elements they learning. It constitutes of continues processes observing and modelling success from others. The deployment of this theory and its processes among the employees can be beneficial for the manufacturing industry in Malaysia as it will influence the learning behaviours of the employees. 

Penang is one of the states in Malaysia that have a large amount of s in Malaysia. The world class manufacturing such as, Intel, Advance Micro Device (AMD), Agilent Technologies, Osram, Robert Bosch, etc. are located in Penang. On 29th Jan, 2015, The Star newspaper (The Star, 2015) reported that Penang to have RM5 billions investment from four China corporations listed in US manufacturing. This investment was reported to be able to generate about 2,000 jobs in Penang.  Datuk Lee Kah Choon (Director of Invest-in-Penang Berhad, Penang Development Corporation) mentioned that in 2005, Penang State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has recorded 54% of the contribution from manufacturing sector.As the projection continue to hold true, for 2015 GDP, the contribution was sustained at 47%.  Having such bright prospect, it is imperative for manufacturing to identify the factors that could affect employee continuous learning to increase the manufacturing industry’s productivity and contribute even more to the national economy (The Star, 2015). Therefore, this research is intended to investigate employees’ continuous learning facets, and SLT to elicit effective and viablestrategies that can be incorporated in work culture to enhance its performance.

Learning is a cornerstone for organization to be continuously competitive. Optimising support for employees’ continuous learning can help to ensure company’s growth. Well trained employees would contribute to company’s success and performance. Nevertheless, if an employee lacks the required knowledge and skills, consequently this employee will impact negatively to the company. The 21st century business environment is highly competitive and mandated companies to provide and support continuous learning (re-learning, training, induction, etc.) to ensure their work force are relevant and functional and able to contribute towards companies’ success. Learning new skills and enhancing marketability in this fast changing business environment is pertinent for companies’ survival. In recent times, learning is facilitated by the use of technology such as smart devices like smart phones, iPad and tablets which is continuously evolving. The mobile phone manufacturers are launching new smartphones with different features and specifications within a time span of 1 to 2 years which has made in many ways enhance the process of learning, and making learning more flexible and accessible (Huselid 1995).

Learning should not be viewed as static, and a one-time event, but rather a highly iterative and continuous process. Today, it is monumental for all employees to enhance their skills in various sectors such as, R&D, manufacturing processes, product knowledge, critical thinking, creativity and innovation, analytics, people management and leadership, networking and etc. (Joyce, 2012)

Smita and Emery (2012) stated that in today’s continuous and fast changing working environment, an employee’s knowledge and skills have become very important to match the changing needs. That is the reason why employees’ learning has become more important in today’s organizations. The benefits of employee’s continuous leaning are their ability to improve their knowledge, skills, ability to meet organizational goals, sustaining competition in the job market and retaining the global positioning which subsequently would contribute to company’s success, productivity effectiveness, and competitive edge.

Hall and Mirvis (1995) highlighted the ability of an individual to learn and develop his own skills is dependent on the individual’s career competency and aspiration. When an employee is responsible to learn and search for new knowledge and skills, the company will always benefit. Kadian and Mutsotso (2010) said that the employee learning is not only important for an organization as a micro component but also significant for a country as a macro component.

Equally, it is important to realise that companies which are not flexible and do not support continuous learning among her employees would not be able to sustain their success and tend to falter (Geoffrey James, 2012). Companies’ management must be committed to encourage personal growth of their staff. For the company to grow, it must able to adapt change. The change can only occur if the employees take new challenges and continue learning to expand their capabilities by cultivating new ideas and behaviours. In other words, “we say companies grow when their staffs grow with the company”… Management should focus and spend more time on the individual’s capabilities rather than concentrating only on the organization’s success. This study is intended to elicit the importance of continuous learning and training to organization’s growth. This study focusses on manufacturing industry in Penang which is a leading industry that needs to be improved for the betterment of the country like Malaysia. However much research is needed to address the issue of continuous learning and training among workers in this industry. 


Figure 1: Chapter 1 flow chart
1.2       Research Background

Malaysia is a country that believes in establishing a knowledge-based workforce, particularly in the manufacturing sector. The reason for this initiation is because manufacturing accounts for one third of the GDP, and contributes significantly towards its economic growth (Ellinggeic et al 2003). Over time, several challenges have been encountered that hinders the success of organizations in Malaysia. It was evident that companies are finding it difficult to acquire a high calibre of employees that are educated and well trained (O’Connell, 1999; Streumer et al, 1999). In addition, it was also reported by the International Labour Organisation that majority of the workforce in manufacturing firms are educated at a very lower level. This is true particularly in the South East Asia Region (ILO, 1997).

Apart from that, interestingly, few studies have also reported the poor mastery of the English language among employees and trainers in Malaysia (McGurn, 1996; Hiebert, 1996; Yunggar, 2005). This has an adverse effect on education and learning of employees. Therefore, it is imperative for Malaysia to produce capable and skilled workforce in manufacturing industry to meet the current and future challenges.

No organisation or companies can afford to remain stagnant. Business environment is only becoming more competitive and challenging. Human resource development is vital to ensure organizational success. Employees need to learn and re-learn and perform multi-tasking jobs. Organizations must ensure that all their employees continuously learn and acquire new capabilities to maintain the company’s market shares in the industry (International Labour Office, 2008). An organization can be defined as a group of employees and employer. If a company wants to overtake a competitors’ market share, then the employees of that company must learn faster than those belonging to the competitor’s company. To do this, the company must create a culture of learning for encouraging the employees to learn and gain knowledge and skills. 

Over the years, past research have shown that enhancing workers’ knowledge base will influence company’s performance (Newell et al., 2002; Sesil et al., 2002). With the knowledge, employees are able to improve their productivity, flexibility and also enhance the overall performance of the company where they work. An employee is required to learn a specific knowledge or skill for a certain position/tasks such that the employee can intelligently perform the definite job and bring effective results to the company. 

Therefore, forming a relationship between employee continuous learning and a company’s performance is essential to satisfy the increasing business needs.  

Colleen and Michelle (2011) examined the role of learning in National Research Business Institute. The research showed that 23% of the employees left the company due to the lack of continuous learning opportunities and training. The cost of losing the talents comprises of lost productivity, recruitment cost, re-training, redeveloping cost and other costs as well. The group of people that left the company mostly belonged to generation X and Y as they strive for technologies and information edge. These groups like learning, and quite often they expect their company to provide them with the facilities and support for gaining new information and also connect with communication groups. The Harvard Business Review suggested that learning capacity is one of the key drivers for human capital management (HCM) that has an impact on the organization’s performance.  The main components like continuous skills upgrading, effective management system of learning, strategic developmental of career pathway, top management’s encouragement, and embeddedness of innovation climate into the organization; will strategically propel the organization into sustained growth in the turbulent global competitive world.  

Evidently, not all companies support for continuous learning. In many cases, they view training and re-learning as not necessary and is categorised as expense rather than a long term investment. If businesses do not invest into continuous learning and training, they will eventually fall behind. Also, a business cannot progress much if the employees do no learn. Employees are the ones who produce, refine, deliver, manage and control the production, quality, marketing and the overall business. They are the organizational most prestigious assets. Invest in them and support them for continuous learning; they will reward back to company now and in the years to come. (Paul, 2005)

Continuous learning and training for better performance will help the companies to successfully grow in the industry (Ameeq and Hanif, 2003). Creating a learning culture in any company is one of the most urgent and important actions that can facilitate company’s growth. However, the research conducted by Yeap (2004) discovered that when the manufacturing sector in the northern of Malaysia faced a budget constraint, the solution undertaken was to terminate the employees’ training opportunities. Such decision may back fire. The business landscape is constantly changing. Take technology for an example. Today, if companies to do prepare and willing to adopt technologies into the running of the business, they will soon become irrelevant and be left out and consequently forced for closure. A systematic approach to training is needed to achieve the expected effectiveness. Today, billions of Ringgit Malaysia (RM) has been invested into beefing up training. Subsequently, there is also an urgency to see the returns of such a huge investment (Berry, 2006). 

Abdul & Aamer, (2011) opined that employee is a key component and the determinant of survivability of any businesses. The destiny of the organization hinges on the ability and the performance of their employee.  Thus, any far-sighted organizations will invest significant amount of time and budget in their employees’ training and development.  

In this study, the research objective is to review the extant literatures on employees’ continuous training and development; and examine its impacts on their work performance. This study will categorically divide the key factors that influencing the employees’ continuous training and development, and offer a conceptual framework to explain the relationships between independent variables comprised employee learning, skill development, self-directed, and attitude with dependent variable; namely: employee performance.  

Business environment is constantly changing and workers need to constantly develop their abilities to meet the changing business and work expectation. The technologies used in the work place are changing at a fast speed; employee’s continuous learning plays a significant role in catching up with the changes. The study from Les Echos (2012) showed that the companies which acquire an intelligent learning system for their employees manage to achieve higher productivity and profits level than those that are slow to adapt such methods. The companies that are doing well and quite often those companies that have good policies on continue learning. Interestingly, a research conducted by Carly (2013) showed that when a company invests 10% on employees’ learning activities, the return of such investment per employee will be around 1,500 pounds per year (Carly, 2013).

It is also true that ill-informed employee who is not well trained and re-trained would contribute to company’s failures. If the loss by an employee is converted into his annual salary matric, the level lost due to weak performance can be estimated. Table 1.1 showed the lost per employee on annual income due to weak performance. The table clearly shows that the weak performance of employees will significantly bring loss to its organization. For a typical weak employee, quite often they work minimally who work 8 to 12 hours a day, but do not do more for the company. In the worse scenario, But the worst case employee may cause bigger loss to a company like creating customer complaints, bad designs, lost production productivity and generating bigger impact on manufacturing.



Table 1.1 Lost per employee on annual salary for weak performance

Level of weak performance
Loss per employee annual salary
Minimum weak employee
-33.3% of the average revenue   per employee
Typical weak employee
-100% of the average revenue   per employee
Exceptionally bad employee
-300% of the average revenue   per employee

Source: adopted from Ere Media (2014)

Let’s take a “positive” approach to show the benefits for companies that invest in employees’ learning programs. Evidently, the research conducted by American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) highlighted that investment in training or employee development programs offers revenue for the company. This can be seen from ASTD research. It was observed that when the total shareholder return (TSR) increased $680 investment training on each employee, 6% was gained in next year TSR. According to the ASTD data from U.S.-based firms, 575 publicly traded companies showed that by investing in training and education, the 3 years data showed significant return on TSR.  Figure 1.3 shows the higher training investment in 1996, 1997 and 1998 revealing that the top half organizations in the figure have a mean TSR of 36.9% in the respective year.  Yet, the bottom half organizations registered an average of 19.8% in terms of total shareholder returns.  




Figure 1.1 The gain of the investment in training

Source: adopted from Laurie. J.B, et al (2000)

The above illustrates that the benefits of learning and knowledge acquisition are alarming and can make huge differences on employees’ performance and companies’ revenue. 


1.3       Problem Statement

Many research on learning researches focused on education industry.  Limited similar study however, have been pursued to cultivate learning culture, and facilitate a supportive learning environment within the manufacturing industry in Malaysia

The background of the study clearly states the importance of employees’ learning and training in the growth of a company. Most of the studies have attempted to identify the impact of a lack of learning environment on the employees and company’s performance (Chiang, Back and Canter, 2005; Chen, Chang and Yeh, 2004). In addition, various challenges encountered in learning have been also discussed (Barrett & O’Connell, 2001; Garavan, 1997; Chiaburu and Tekleab, 2005).

The research gap that has been identified in this study relates to the lacking of research on how to implement SLT on three factors which include behavioural, environmental and personal which is believed could create and enhance learning environment in the manufacturing industry. 

According to past research, behavioural categories factors are impactful to learning. These factors include self-efficacy attitude, engagement, responsible, accountability, and ownership. Secondly under the environmental categories, the factors that have been identified include: organization culture, company system, company mission and vision, company procedure, and management support. Last but not least, the factors identified representing the personal factor includes: personality, motivation, believes religion, aptitude and aptitude. However, in the context of manufacturing workplace, the factors that could play higher impact in each category may include: self-efficacy and employee engagement (behavioural factors), learning culture and management support (environmental factors) and motivation and aptitude (personal factors). 

Cherian and Jacob (2013) stated that self-efficacy and employee motivation are interrelated with the work performance of an employee. Simon et.al, (2015) studied the impact of employee’s engagement on organizational climate and performance and found high Firm between them. Social Learning Theory states very clearly that learning can be anywhere. Learning can be observed and experienced. Various researchers have focused on analysing the relationship between these factors and organizational performance (Bates and Khasawneh, 2005). However, there is a lack of study which incorporates all these factors of social learning theory together to encourage employees’ learning in the manufacturing industry. This research is important to the manufacturing sector because it potentially offers findings that could help and encourage organizational continuous learning efforts and initiatives that encourages self-learning. This will help create a learning culture in an organization and at the same time also help in creating business opportunities for external human development industry. Therefore, this research tries to identify the significance of personal, environmental and behavioural factors that can initiate a culture of employee continuous learning and how they can be embedded in the manufacturing industry in Penang.

1.4       Research Questions

The main research objective of this study is to examine critically the factors influencing the employee’s continuous learning in Penang’s manufacturing sector. The main research questions are:

  1. Is there a significant relationship between motivation (Personal Factors) and employee’s continuous learning?
  2. Is there a significant relationship between aptitude (Personal Factors) and employee’s continuous learning?
  3. Is there a significant relationship between learning culture (Environmental Factors) and employee’s continuous learning?
  4. Is there a significant relationship between management support (Environmental Factors) and employee’s continuous learning?
  5. Is there a significant relationship between self-efficacy (Behavioural Factors) and employee’s continuous learning?
  6. Is there a significant relationship between employee engagement (Behavioural Factors) and employee’s continuous learning?
  7. Among the six independent variables, this will be the most significant variables that relate to the employees ‘continuous learning in Penang manufacturing’s firms?


1.5       Research objective

This study primarily intend to establish the Firm between the six independent variables, namely; motivation, aptitude, learning culture, management support, self-efficacy and employee engagement with the dependent variable; employees’ continuous  learning in  Penang manufacturing’s firms.  

Ensued are the specific objectives of this proposed study:

  1. To assess the relationship of behavioural factors namely; self-efficacy and employee engagement with employees continuous learning;
  2. To assess the relationship of environmental factors namely; learning culture and management support with employees continuous learning; and 
  3. To assess the relationship of personal factors namely; motivation and aptitude with employees continuous learning. 

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study intends to assess the relationship between the factors of behavioural, environmental and personal with employee’s continuous learning in the Penang manufacturing’s firms.  As mentioned in the problem statement, analysing the relationship between all these factors and employee learning has been side-lined in Penang manufacturing. 

This research work is an attempt to fill the acknowledged research gap and identify the relationship between the behavioural, environmental and personal factors and employee’s continuous learning to recommend strategies that can be deployed by the manufacturing sector to enhance its performance. In addition, this research may also contribute to the extant literatures on these aspects. Therefore, the current research is focused on the manufacturing sector in Penang.

This study will involve full time employees working at manufacturing in Penang. The research respondents will be employees from exempt staff or engineer level and above which is chosen for convenience and due to time and financial constraints.  

1.7       Significance of the study

This research has the capabilities to offer new theoretical knowledge on the intended subject matter for all the primary stakeholders within the manufacturing industry in Penang. In addition, this study could generate a conceptual framework to guide the practicing managers’ in the manufacturing sector.    

1.7.1 Theoretical significance

It is undeniable that there have been past research that has been carried to assess and examine different facets of employees’ continuous learning.  However, the extant of the researches have mainly focused on the formal education system and general approaches of learning in the organizations. There are very few researches that concentrate on employees’ continuous learning in manufacturing sectors.  In the context of the manufacturing sector in Malaysia, particularly in Penang, it is quite scanty of research in this area of study. Thus, this study potentially would enrich the literatures. Furthermore, the findings from this study would add to the existing empirical knowledge repertoire, thus, this study is deemed significant and justifiable.

Despite the importance of the employee learning in the manufacturing sector, the research in this domain is limited at best, especially in the manufacturing industry of Malaysia. Thus, this study’s empirical nature able to offer in-depth findings on employees’ continuous learning in Penang manufacturing sector.  

1.7.2 Practical Significance

As the current research aims at evaluating the impact of social learning factors on employees learning, the outcomes of the study would provide a guideline to cultivate and enhance employees’ learning in workplace and increase the learning effectiveness. It cannot be denied the employees’ role in manufacturing sectors to sustain the company’s operation and competitive edge in the industry. Therefore, in order to produce skilful, knowledgeable and high performance employees, companies need to cultivate lifelong learning culture in the company. Therefore, the recommendations that will be provided by the study can be efficient in facilitating employee learning and providing a path towards growth of this industry.  

Last but not least, from the business perspective, the findings from this research will also assist human development companies to formulate their marketing and sales strategies for securing more sales from the customers and improving their performance. From the academic perspective, the projected outcome from this empirical study adds to the research repertoire in this knowledge domain.

1.8        Limitations of the study

As in other studies, this study is bound to have few limitations that can affect the study which are beyond the control of the researcher. The research is carried out within the constraints of time, place and resources. This study is limited in several ways. First this research is limited to only manufacturing industry in Penang. Second, this study will be carried out with the cooperation of the participants and administration of the companies which have agreed to provide the researcher with data. 

1.8       Summary

In summation, the manufacturing is one of the key contributors for Penang state, and Malaysia. It cannot be denied that the employees play a very important role in manufacturing sectors for sustaining their operation and competitive environment in the industry. To produce skilful, knowledgeable and high performance employees, they need to go through the learning process first. Literature has shown the critical impact employees have on organizations. If the employees stopped learning, company will be impacted negatively. In the worst case scenario, the deficiency of continuous learning culture in companies may increase the likelihood of having more customer complaints, losing customer’s confident level, losing productivity and so on. This is the reason why this research decided to carry out this research.  Notwithstanding the significance of the employee continuous learning in the manufacturing sector, there is a scanty research in this academic realm.  Thus, this study’s empirical nature able to offer in-depth findings on employees’ continuous learning in Penang manufacturing sector.  Moreover, from the business perspective, the findings from this research will also assist human development companies to formulate their marketing and sales strategies for securing more sales from the customers and improving their performance.




CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1       Introduction

This chapter begins with the review of the past research in this area. It starts by narrating a broad introduction of what constitute learning and moving to describe the relevance of employees’ continuous learning in organization. Among others, this chapter offers descriptions and fundamental definitions of key and relevant terms that will be used in this study. Apart from that this chapter also explores the theory of learning which involves Behaviourism Theory (BT), Cognitivism Theory (CT), Social Construction Theory (SCT), Brain-Base Theory (BBT) and Social Learning Theory (SLT).  From the literature review, it is confirmed that there is much gap to understand the importance of employees learning in organisations particularly in companies based in Penang. The literature review pursued also strongly support the use of SLT as the underlying theory to undertake this proposed study. 

SLT identified three factors that influence the learning behaviour: They are the personal Factors (motivation and aptitude), the environment factors (learning culture and management support) and the behavioural factors (employee engagement and self-efficacy). Total six independent variables had been identified based on the SLT and literature review. Six hypotheses derived from the extensive literatures review have been proposed for this study. Moreover, to carry out the empirical study, a theoretical framework has also been constructed to further examine and comprehend the abovementioned conceptual concepts.  

Chapter two is intended to describe the existing literatures related to employee continuous learning and the factors influencing it. This chapter discusses the definition of the key concepts in this research. It extensively explores the review of the literature on past research pertaining to employees’ continuous learning in the manufacturing.  In addition, this chapter is also dedicated to discuss the conceptual framework that is formulated for this research.


2.2       Employee Learning

The word learning is a very broad word with many definitions. Quite often when we talk about learning, normally people will tend to equate that with learning experiences in school - like primary, secondary school and college studying. However, there are many types of learning other than school learning.  For example self-learning, self-direct learning, online learning, mobile learning, E-learning, distance learning and etc.

2.2.1    Learners Characteristics

Notably, the learners occupy the central role in any learning setting.  This is true for all type of learners, be it young, old or those in careers or working adults like those working in the industry. Lim & Kim (2003) concluded that the chief important variable to have impact on learning achievement was learner’s characteristics.   Exploring learner characteristics will allow educators both to make the move to new innovation interfaces and to bring the systems to the learners rather than the other way around.  Cercone (2008) points out that any type of learning or training should take into account learner characteristics. Drachsler & Kirschner (2012) clarify that some learner characteristics may affect the learning outcome. 

How the learners learn and what the learners learn very much depend on the learner’s traits/characteristics which being categorised as follows:

  • Personal traits usually linked to factual data such as social standing, economic background, cultural norms, age and life cycle,
  • Academic traits usually connected to the level of education attainment; like 

Academic achievement, school attended, and learning aspiration,

  • Social/emotional traits linked to social inclusion, dynamic of group, self-confidence and emotional stability, as well as social mobility, and 
  • Cognitive traits comprised of memory span, mental modes and procedures, and cognitive abilities which shape the learner perception, problem solutions ability, and thinking skills.


In addition, there are many learner typologies such as inward-looking, outward-looking, quick and fast learners, dogmatic, pragmatic and rigid type of learners (Idrus & Atan, 2005).  Skehan (1989) cited in Mahdi and Jafari (2012) concluded that there are two categories of learner traits; namely: inward-looking and outward-looking learners. 

Different learner traits are suitable for different learning outcomes, thus, a good match between the learner’s traits and types of learnings will produce optimum learning outcomes. For employees’ continuous learning to happen, learner’s characteristics played a major role. 

Quality of learning outcomes depend largely on learner’s characteristics and is the main tenets in the realm of employees ‘continuous learning and training (Hamada, Rashad & Darwesh, 2011).  In addition, the styles of learning and self-efficacy must be taken into consideration.  Kuo, Chu & Huang (2015) asserted that the variety of learning styles makes learning more flexible and self-confidence is a major reason. 

2.2.2    Learning style 

Felder & Silverman (1988) defined style of learning as the traits, degree of strengths, and outcomes through the manner in which a student encode and interpret the learning information.  Different learners possess different learning styles and this happen in a myriad of ways; including the interaction types, the methods the learner study, their perceptual abilities and their knowledge paradigm as well as the construction of it (Helen, Atan & Idrus, 2006). Learner’s preference of learning styles can further enrich the learning context.  

Through the extant literature, there are many learning styles’ models.  For example, Kolb, Felder and Silverman model, and Honey and Mumford’s model (Hamada, et al., 2011).  Kolb (1984) learning style model had been conceptualised as two perspectives and four dimensions. The first perspective is apprehension which consists of Concrete Experience (CE) and Abstract Conceptualization (AC).  The second perspective is transformation which consists of Reflective Observation (RO) and Active Experimentation (AE). Based on the two perspectives, the learning style of the learner is matrixed into four dimensions which are Accommodator, Assimilator, Converger and Diverger (Kolb, 1985) as depicted in Figure 2.2.  

To under this style

 

Figure 2.1 Kolb’s learning style quadrant


The innate potential of continuous training (and learning) will not be fully tap unless it is fit with the students’ (or trainees) learning styles. According to Gulbahar & Alper (2011), learning style should be taken into consideration to strengthen the motivation of learning and intended outcome.  Therefore, there is a significant Firm between employees ‘continuous learning and style of learning because it impacted employees’ retention and success in the learning environment.  In short, learning style is significantly an important trait in learner’s learning.   It enhances the efficacy of learning. 

2.2.3    Self-efficacy 

Self-efficacy signify the judgement of an individual on his/her the ability to carry out a particular task.  Bandura (1997) describes self-efficacy as individual’s confidence level in one's own ability to successfully carrying the job tasks and achieve the objectives. The benefits of continuous learning will not be fully derived unless it is fully engaged with the students’ learning styles and self-efficacy.  According to Gulbahar & Alper (2011), learning styles and self-efficacy should be calibrated in any learning activities to further strengthen the learning motivation and outcome. Thus, there is a significant Firm between learning approaches, learning styles and self-efficacy in influencing learners’ retention and learning success. In brief, self-efficacy is one of the significant learner characteristics in enhancing the efficacy of learning.  LSs and self-efficacy are paramount so that a learner learns conveniently in tandem with their capability and styles of learning.In turn that could benefit the industry that employs these workers. 

It is evident for those in professional career, employees’ learning is imperative. Employee learning is new term which never been used in any research. Employee learning relates to continuous learning at workplace. Those employees who make initiatives and continuously  diagnose their job/career needs, formulated the own learning strategies, identified the learning scope and look for the resources for learning, setting own career path and implement learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes would normally surfaced as functional employees that perform in companies. 

Employee learning can be grouped it into two major categories, Direct andIndirect learning.

Direct learning refers to the learning process with experienced senior/person to guide and support. This is attainable from activities that include training, guiding, coaching, mentoring and on job training.

On the other hand, Indirect Learning is the learning process without senior/experiences person guide and support. Indirect learning comes from activities such as reading, group discussion, mistake, argument, hand-on, sharing, case study and problem solving

(Todd, 2002) incorporated relevant concepts which include growth needs, personal mastery, learning goals and objectives of an organization and improvement orientation and delivers a unique empathetic of these ideas in human resource development. Employees’ learning and development orientation which contains reasoning, affective, and behavioural concepts define a propensity toward immersion in continuous learning. This orientation is suggested to be a motivational state to encourage and cultivate continuous learning in any given organization. Therefore it is paramount to have such plan or system to encourage continuous learning that looks the content, structure, and procedures of this orientation. It expresses the ways in which work and work perspective variables influence learning and development behaviour in organizationsMaurer, et al, (2003) has conducted a research about work-related learning and development.  800 employees from U.S. contributed to this 13-months longitudinal study on learning and development activities. A revised framework was recommended in which the hypothesized ranking was as follows which include the employee’s age, personal and employee’s opinion towards continuous training and development.  The findings represent an individual who is focused on the career growth of an employee, participating in continuous improvement tasks, pride themselves as having the foundation which is required for continuous improvement, heightened awareness into their job, and have strong belief in career growth.

Toby, et al, (2004) have expressed that authoritative learning hypothesis and practice have been clarified by specialists and researchers before, and inferred that there is much to be evoked on the connection between hierarchical learning society and worker taking in and comes about because of Employee execution. This examination contemplate watched the relationship of learning society in an Firm, work fulfilment, and hierarchical outcome factors with a model of data innovation (IT) employees in the United States. The outcomes uncovered that learning authoritative culture is very identified with IT and utilization of innovation as an empowering agent to taking in, workers' employment fulfilment and motivation to exchange learning. Income reason has been observed to be non-huge and not impacted by both hierarchical learning society and employment fulfilment. 

In another examination, Paul, et al, (2001) suggested three stages that must be executed if a training program were to end up noticeably fruitful. The initial step is to distinguish the requirements and what preparing is important. The second technique is an investigation of the organization in centred to evoke issues or difficulties that would keep the company to help nonstop learning of new aptitudes and advancement. The third is an estimation of the preparation to ensure that vital assets are being connected to execute and to acclimatize the training program. These last two stages go under the heading of transfer of learning.  The exploration exhibits the discoveries of a use of this approach. The examination shows the completion of the data that outcomes from this technique and plans its viable significance for administrators who associated with decisionmaking or in the outline of learning programs. 

Nancy, et al, (2001) opined on the significance of continuous learning and change for workers. This study uncovered that age may portray contrasts in treatment of specialists, and whether this could influence terms and conditions, or privileges of work in a vital way. From a behavioural perspective, treatment differences around there could be a burden to more established workers From a legitimate perspective, differences in treatment by age could be utilized as sign of recognition; in any case, more seasoned employees proclaiming lawful cases which depend on novel and inadequate learning opportunities may confront a tough battle.

2.2.1    Definition of Employee

Fudge et al., (2002) define an employee as those working for a company, organisation or community. They are the workers who sell their labour and energy to employers and therefore, place themselves under their authority and control.

Benjamin (2002) defines the employee as the legal definition of the term “employee” determines the personal scope of labour protection. Employee is defined according to the purposes of the statute.

According to the Fair Labour Standards Act, employee is defined as any individual or person who is being employed by an employer. The Act also states that “employ embraces to suffer or avail to work

In Rutherford Food Corp. versus Mc Comb, the Supreme Court inferred the definition of employee to be quite comprehensive under the Act, stating that “this Act has its own definitions, complete enough to involve its application to many persons and working connections which, prior to this Act, were not considered to fall within an employer-employee category.”

2.2.2    Definition of learning

Laal (2011) characterizes learning as a long lasting process. It is the continuous working of aptitudes and learning amid one's life that happens through experience confronted in the lifetime. In another definition, Salmon (2011) characterizes learning as "a generally lasting change in conduct that happens because of related knowledge."

2.2.3    Definition of Multinational Corporation 

Forrow (1972) define as an enterprise operating in several countries but managed from one country. A multinational company may be defined as a corporation holding substantial foreign investment but with a predominant home base.

Iyayi, (1984) states that multinational organizations are going about as multi-administration with few layers of administration basic leadership which in view of neighbourhood to provincial to worldwide.  Hodgetts and Luthans, (1997) have expressed that multinational organizations will be Firms which used to have operations in more than one nation at any given moment, worldwide deals, and nationality mix of supervisors and firm proprietors. Coventry, (1981) and Johansson,(2000) gave comparative definition to s as Hodgetts, as firms that for the most part have a few number of outside creation locales and in this way various universal markets. As per Drucker (1974), the multinational organization created from the improvement of a veritable world market which requests outperforming national, social and applied limits, as the blast of data.


2.3       Social Learning Theory (SLT)

In 1941, Miller and Dollard composed a book entitled Social Learning and Imitation. This was a move taken towards the future direction as they talked about the part of imitation too. Be that as it may, they saw imitation along the customary behaviouristic standards. Bandura was dumbfounded by the presumptions that learning requires more capable mode than experimentation.  In 1960s, he directed his research on Social learning Theory by displaying, vicarious learning and concocted his own particular invention.  He expressed that the people can learn by watching and demonstrating others, particularly those that they can relate with. 

The great "Bobo Doll" was an examination that showed observational learning and its effect on the savage conduct among youngsters. Bandura initially called this hypothesis as the Observational Learning Theory or Social Learning Theory. In 1986, Bandura distributed a book entitled Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. He extended Social Learning Theory into a fuller hypothesis of human conduct and learning. Following is the triadic duty demonstrate (Bandura, A., 1986):

Figure 2.2  SLT Bandura responsibility model

Source: adopted from Bandura (1986)

Learning theories are the methods that try to explain how people think and what factors determine their behaviours. Social Learning Theory (SLT) is a category of learning theories which is grounded in the belief that human behaviour is determined by a three-way relationship between cognitive factors, environmental influences, and behaviour (ReCAPP, 2015). (Bandura 1977) stated that, "Social learning theory approaches explain the human behaviour in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioural, and environmental determinants."

Michael, (2005) has stated that leaders should be a main factor of ethical guidance for employees. This research study proposed social learning theory as a theoretical source for understanding ethical leadership and proposed an essential element of definition for ethical leadership construct. Testing a new instrument is being developed in order to measure ethical leadership, analyse the planned influences of ethical leadership with other concepts in a homological network which denotes the principles that resemble laws and validate its analytical validity for significant employee results. Ethical leadership is related to planning behaviour, morality, and trust in the leader and socialized charismatic leadership.

Social learning hypothesis concentrates on the realizing which takes after inside a social structure. It mirrors that individuals gain from each other, including such thoughts as observational learning, mimicked, and demonstrating. Among others Albert Bandura is guaranteed to be the main devotee of this hypothesis (Bandura, 1971).

2.3.1    General Principles of Social Learning Theory 

People can learn by observing the deeds or activities of others and the results which had been derived from those behaviours.   Behaviourists recommend that learning must be portrayed by a persevering change in conduct. Social learning scholars declared that since individuals can retain through perception alone, their learning may not basically be uncovered in their execution. Learning might possibly bring about a conduct change. Observation assumes a critical part in learning. In the course of the most recent 3 decades social learning hypothesis has massively expanding scholarly in its illumination of human learning. Mindfulness and chances of future helps or requitals used to make a noteworthy effect on the practices that individuals disclose. Social learning hypothesis can be measured as scaffold or a modification between behaviorist learning ideas and psychological learning. Social learning hypothesis has plenteous recommendations for classroom utilize. These incorporate (1) Students constantly learn awesome things essentially by watching other individuals; (2.) Defining the significances of conduct can step by step rise the suitable conduct sand decay inadmissible ones. This can incorporate contending with students about the prizes and worries of different practices; (3) Various model of social learning hypothesis offers a substitute to fit as a fiddle showing strategies and practices. Observational realizing which otherwise called social learning hypothesis is happens when a spectator's conduct changes subsequent to watching the conduct of a model. An onlooker's conduct can be influenced by either positive or negative concerns which is called as interceded bolster or vicarious discipline of a model's conduct.

Joan, (1992) has expressed that Social learning hypothesis started as an endeavour by many creators to blend psychoanalytic jolt reaction learning idea into an entire portrayal of human conduct, drawing on the many clinical experimentation of the earlier and an objectivity of the final model. Some has unrestrained the psychoanalytic and the initiative structures of the approach, highlighting instead reasoning and information handling abilities that intercede social behaviour. Both concepts is considered as a general structure for understanding the human behaviour and their progressive features persist to be worked out in a detail way.  

All things considered, Bandura has presented a solid hypothetical beginning.   The hypothesis is by all accounts fit for bookkeeping great for staying dynamic information and additionally overseeing new examination. This article conveys a valuation of social taking in principle from a recorded view. This investigation of social learning hypothesis incorporates consideration of the work two unique people who used to be distinctive in their methodologies yet joined by a typical hypothetical name. The learning hypothesis for each individual stays extraordinary. 

Smith, et al, (2009) recommended that social learning hypothesis relies upon the possibility that everybody gain from their correspondences and trades of thoughts with others in a social structure. Independently, by watching the practices of others, individuals used to enhance comparative practices. New thoughts of social learning are being composed as new patterns in remove training courses emerge. The development and increment in ubiquity of these projects upgrades the physical separation amongst teachers and understudies. In light of this, rely upon face to face classroom and eye to eye correspondences to convey all of social learning fundamentals is a relic of past times. This examination evoked how social learning hypothesis is being perceived in advanced education. With this new arrangement for separate training come new difficulties for educators to decide how social learning happens in virtual universes.

David, (1969) stated that among the several development which has involved in socialization, identify factor learning as having the most noticeable role regardless of whether clarifying theories favour psychological or sociological variables. It is obvious from observation that the complex ranges of behaviour which has been exposed by members of society are to a large amount developed with few or no direct tuition over reflection of response patterns represented by several socialization agents. There is no consistent producing stimulus apart from the signs provided by the response of others. The facility of social models is also an essential means of communicating and adapting behaviour in situations where faults intend to produce high or serious significances. Definitely, if social learning continued completely on the basis of satisfying and punishing concerns, most people would never endure the socialization process.

In another study, Razieh, (2012) strongly argued that Social learning hypothesis is a critical constituent of legitimate natural asset administration and the rise of attractive behavioural change. This hypothesis relies upon the possibility that everybody gain from their correspondences with others in a social setting. Separately, by seeing the practices of others, individuals enhance comparative practices.

In the wake of watching the conduct of others, individuals coordinate and duplicate that conduct, especially if their observational experience make positive vibe which incorporates rewards identified with the apparent conduct. As indicated by Bandura, impersonation incorporates the genuine propagation of handy engine exercises (Bandura, 1977). 

SLT has progressed toward becoming perhaps the most persuasive hypothesis of learning and advancement. It is being settled in a significant number of the straightforward ideas of conventional learning hypothesis. This hypothesis has consistently been known as an Firm between behaviorist learning speculations and intellectual learning speculations as it incorporates consideration, memory and Motivation.

And many argued that people can absorb new information and behaviours by watching other people. The principles of social learning are supposed to control in the same way throughout life. Observational learning may take place at any age. As it is revelation to new influential, powerful models that control resources may happen in life in any stage and new learning through the modelling process is always likely to happen at any time (Newman, 2007).

Social learning theorists also recognize that standard and operant conditioning are a significant influence on human behaviour. They consider and trust people acquire by observing others and so that other people are mostly essential as an influence on behaviour.  With the importance on observational learning derives a belief that it is intolerable to clarify human behaviour without considering the part of internal, mental processes in human behaviour, something that behaviourists reject. Social learning philosophers used to share with behaviourists an assurance to the scientific method.  They support objective, measureable approaches to research and apply the experimental method if possible.

Arshad, Khawaja, Saad, (2012) have demanded about the training significance and cost of training are conspicuous. The question driving the HR department is that how company can make these training programs in a productive way. They talk the part of learning hypotheses in overseeing and advancement of dynamic training programs as authoritative execution totally relies on the workers' aptitudes, information and experience. To put it plainly, people need to perform better by applying their insight and abilities. Firm gives preparing to change of its worker execution with a specific end goal to finish required objectives and destinations. This examination features the hugeness and introductions of learning speculations and how these models could determine to be of best in trainings as preparing is the main compelling thing to advance learning. 

Subjective, Behaviourist, and Social Learning Theories are most regularly connected to tolerant training as a normal for the training proficient nursing. It is proclaimed that sentiments and feelings require clear concentrate in connection to learning all in all and especially to human services (Halpern, 2001). Passionate responses are found out every now and again because of learning and comprehension. So as to handle this worry, humanistic and psychodynamic perspectives are dealt with as social learning speculations since they advance a patient-focused strategy or procedure to care and add much to the information and comprehension of the Motivation of the human and feelings during the time spent learning.

2.3.2    Justification of Social Learning Theory in Employee Learning

The growing businesses should train their new workers and upgrade their current workers. According Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, people learn best by viewing others. Manufacturing is a worker intensive sector due to its production operation that requires several operators and engineers. The new engineers or operators need to learn from on job trainings or practices from more experienced seniors or training officers through observations for modelling their behaviour.  The uplifting feedback, for example, applauds or money related reward energizes such conduct while the negative support, for example, discipline or fiscal fines dishearten it. 

The social learning hypothesis expands the learning procedure past the educator–learner relationship to the bigger social world. The hypothesis clarifies the socialization procedure and the breakdown of conduct in the public arena. Obligation is put on the instructor or pioneer to go about as a commendable good example and to pick socially sound encounters for people to watch and rehash. In any case, basic introduction to good examples accurately playing out a conduct that is compensated does not guarantee learning. Consideration regarding the student's self-framework and the elements of self-control may enable deal with the differing impacts of the social figuring out how to involvement (Kane and Urrabazo, 2006). In medicinal services, social learning hypothesis has been connected to nursing instruction to address psychosocial issues, and to boost the utilization of care groups. For instance, examine demonstrates that those administrators who know about their parts and duties in advancing a positive workplace improve learning, ability, and fulfilment; disappointment, obviously, has an unfavourable impact and is a noteworthy reason for staff turnover. 

Medical attendants have connected social learning standards effectively when working with high school moms in tending to liquor addiction among more established grown-ups (Stiles, 2005). A noteworthy trouble is that this hypothesis is perplexing and not effortlessly operationalized, measured, and evaluated. 

2.3.3    Potential of Social Learning Theories in Employee Learning 

Regularly, a large portion of the activities propelled regarding the usage of collaboration depended on a subjective learning approach as formal inward and outside instruction and instructional classes, and in addition the utilization of addresses and writing. Interestingly, the social learning activities, for example, making more opportunity for correspondence and support in the groups, or other more casual methods for showing employees how to cooperate in a group, were not some portion of the approach the Department of Elderly Care attempted to use to make change (Moesby and Jensen, n.d.). The essential concentrate was on scholastic and dynamic learning, as opposed to concentrating on particular improvement activities by and by, is a long way from unprecedented in Organizations when they should execute changes. 

The expanded correspondence of Motivational desires was in this manner communicated by both staff and a few of the chiefs when they discussed work assignments that the administrators beforehand had unravelled, however which along these lines had been appointed. This shows how the course inspired and provoked chiefs to lead and take an interest in the group of training (Baah and Tawiah, 2011). This appointment of errands and duties can be viewed as a declaration of an endeavor to demonstrate the group certainty, and furthermore as a circuitous definition of elevated standards for the group. This was predictable with the course's attention on transformational administration to empower and demonstrate acknowledgment of the Employee. The result of the administrators' acclimations to their initiative styles when they associated with the front staff was that the groups turned out to be more self-overseeing and assumed on greater liability. 

Social learning hypothesis can be viewed as a scaffold or a progress between behaviourist learning speculations and intellectual learning hypotheses. The SLT hypothesis can be separated into various procedures of observational learning. This is shown in the following figure 2.4:

Source: adopted from SLT Bandura (1986)


2.3.3.1 Attention

For continuous learning to happen, the workers need to focus. In view of the social learning hypothesis, producing HR can cultivate new abilities and information according to require by the organization. Preparing qualities upgrades the measure of consideration individuals pay to preparing in order to guarantee that the working guideline gives fancied esteem, pertinence and peculiarity. Apparatuses that are utilized by everybody in their own lives, for example, WhatsApp, Facebook and discussions can be utilized to get more consideration from the workers. The web-based social networking is utilized to make a more adaptable learning condition. By making a steady situation where vocation improvement is supported, employees take an interest all the more completely in preparing programs since they perceive the effect and long haul advantage of putting deliberate exertion into adapting new aptitudes and learning. 

2.3.3.2 Retention 

The capacity to retain data is an essential piece of the learning procedure. Social learning can viably help the employees to effortlessly recall what they've realized when contrasted with perusing and concentrate alone. To enable the workers to hold data, boss, tutors and mentors can help them by creating successful ways, strategies and instruments. This incorporates tracker, process stream and working guidelines. As per psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, employees have a tendency to overlook what they learnt in the event that they didn't rehearse after their preparation or learning session. To conquer this shortcoming, organizations ought to give chances to rehearse what they have realized promptly.

2.3.3.3 Reproduction 

Once the workers have focused on the model and held the data, the time has come to really play out the conduct that is watched. The employees ought to have the capacity to exhibit what they learnt amid their preparation in the working hours. In the event that they can't appear, at that point the learning can be rendered as futile. Typical customary directions simply show individuals what to do; they are not led with appropriate development. Be that as it may, social learning hypothesis implies a more viable approach to get the coveted conduct by demonstrating individuals what to do, and giving them a chance to imitate or reproduce the means with direction and support. This measure is the key stride of SLT those aides in making the conduct of learning and turning into a piece of the Employee aptitudes.

2.3.3.4 Motivation 

According to the social learning theory, employees change their behaviour in accordance to the way they want to portray themselves in front of their colleagues (from job perspective). Internal promotion strategies such as brochure, notices, flyers and other campaigns are utilized to galvanize the intended behaviours while discouraging the negative ones. Reinforcing these practices enable the work environment to be safe, productive and profitable. Another strategy that can be used is establishing incentives program includes bonuses, prizes or recognition. By utilizing the appropriate techniques, a company can once again following the rules and policies without compromising the mission of the company.



This three-way reciprocal relationship is presented in the figure below:

Figure 2.3 The SLT three-way reciprocal relationship

Source: adopted from SLT Bandura (1986)

2.3.3.5 Personal factors (cognitive factors)  

The personal factors that can influence the process of learning are the beliefs, knowledge, expectation, attitudes, and aptitude etc.  This cognitive dimension could be affected by experiences; be it present or past and could as well impacted on performance of the future (Bruning & Ronning, 1999).

2.3.3.6 Environmental Factors

The environmental factors are generated from the surroundings, external responds or from the feedbacks that has an impact on the learning behaviour. For a student, people who are close to them like guardians, teachers and friends played the instrumental role in affecting their learning behaviour (Bruning &Ronning,1999).

2.3.3.7 Behavioural factors   

In a given environment, the factors of behaviour can be stemmed naturally from the given situation.  For instance, a student could retaliate with anger when he/she fails, or he/she can heighten the efforts; this situation very much depends on many other factors (Bruning & Ronning, 1999).  

Example to explain above SLT tripartite reciprocal relationship is illustrated in the following table. The table offers the interaction between the three factors that can affect learning: 

Table 2.1 Example of three factors impact on a learning behaviour

The situation
(i) A student has failed an exam
(ii) A student has failed an exam.
Environmental Factors
The student has received some negative feedback   from the teacher.
The student received constructive feedback on how   to improve.
Personal Factors
They develop a negative attitude and believe they   can’t do the work.
They believe that they may be able to do the work   if they try.
Behavioural Factors
The student begins to avoid the task.
The student has increased effort and motivation   towards the task.

Source: adopted from Flinder University

As SLT is the process of learning through observations, the learner is encouraged to observe and imitate the behaviours of others. The learner should choose to see positive behaviours that are modelled and practiced. If the learner focuses on negative behaviours then it will lead to negative direction.  At the same time, the learners should enhance their learning capability and level of confidence to carry out new behaviour and skills. The encouragements give them more confidence to practise and hence, they can attain the desired skills. Through all these processes, they will gain positive attitudes about implementing new skills. In addition, environmental supports can assist them in using their newly acquired skills (ReCAPP, 2015). 

2.4       Factors influencing employee’s continuous learning behaviour

The highly competitive and fast evolving business environments; necessitates the organizations to keep changing and evolving as well as for the purpose of survivability. Due to this business volatilities, quality human capital must be constantly improved, retrain and keep it check to be on par with competitions.  This is imperative for business organizations.Human resources that continually being renewed and rejuvenated are paramount to organizational success.Organizational agility that obviously coupled tightly with the capability of its human capital, will augurs well to all firms; regardless of their size and business sector.  Mullins (2010) highlighted that the employees that are equip with right expertise through continuous training and development will serve their organizations effectively.    Continuous training and learning of the employees will be able to help organizations to buffer its turbulent external environments effectively and efficiently.  Continuous learning underpins this brutal fact of organizational survivability, their mission and success.

2.4.1    Employee Learning

Volatile changes can only be responded well by a group of knowledgeable employees who are agile, skilful, career-focused and dynamically flexible.


Hayton (1990) discusses the need for organization’s broader strategic plan to synchronise with the employees’ skill inventory.   He recommended the employees’ skill audit must be conduct in a simple manner understood by the employees as this is crucial to obtain the buy-in from the employees themselves as well as the union organizations that undertake the collective bargaining for the members.  

Study undertaken by Leicester (1988) concluded a significant positive relationship between employee continuous learning and corporate-level strategy that are underpinned by the quality of human resource management practices (HRM).  As the quality of HRM’s practices improved, the positive association between employee continuous development and organizational success also further enhanced. Leicester recommended that there are possibly have three factors to link seamlessly employee continuous learning and corporate strategy. The first factor is to embed the organizational objectives into the system of performance appraisal.The second factor is to encourage employees’ continuous development through certain incentivise mechanism.  Finally, the third factor is to strike equilibrium between training to achieve organizational objectives and employee objectives.  In addition, Leicester opined that organizational climate that prized continuous development will give more incentive for employee to continue to engage in continuous development.    

Managers play a pivotal role in establishing a work climate that favour continuous learning and developing oneself (Noe & Wilk, 1993).  Superior fundamentally through their legitimate power could encourage employee continuous development by conducting a series of training and development activities; such as providing constructive feedback and mentoring, and empowering continuous development through delegating challenging tasks to member (Minter & Thomas, 2000; Ellinger & Bostrom, 1999). 

Notable learning and development scholar like Kolb (1984) and others have succinctly argued that the active real-life learning-by-doing experience is imperative to commence learning process.  Further, any mistakes, obstacles and teething problems related to task processes also bring forth significant leeway to even learn more and improve the existing processes and mechanisms (Ellstrom, 2001).  From the extant literature, it can be deduced that, learning happen when the employees have job enlargement and at the same time, be given autonomy to solve the work-related problems.  This can be achieved by providing ideas for changing the work environment. Employee learning process is continuous and doesn’t happen only in classrooms or training sessions.

Superior offering training, mentoring and supervising employees through the on-the-job method is a excellent development method that can work well to train new employees.  This statement is well supported by the studies of managerial roles and tasks (Watkins et al., 1999).  Employee learning has a strong link with the management where the employees can be presented with various opportunities to promote their learning.

The increased competition among profit-oriented organizations has forced them to focus their attention on performance-oriented organizations and their development activities (Swanson and Holton, 2009).  Many firms have find ways to enhance their performance through various methods of organizational support; at both the worker level as well as organizational levels in development opportunities, autonomy, and strategic leadership in the workplace (Song & Kolb, 2009; Yoon et al., 2010).  An organization that strongly supports learning culture organization is one who infused the climate with positive culture of experimentations and certain level of risk taking (Rijal, 2010, DeChurch & Mesmer-Magnus, 2010; Edmondson et al., 2007). This is accomplished to demonstrate the pivotal role of continuous learning in the organization.  

Employee learning can take place anywhere, it is not meant to occur only in classrooms and training rooms. This actually matches with SLT that emphasizes on learning through observations and modelling.However, as iterated earlier, most research focused more on organizations and not in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, limited research has focussed on Malaysia manufacturing industry. This is the gap that can be filled in this research work.

2.4.2    Motivation as Personal Factor

Employees who are extraneously motivated may need decent evaluations, cash, or acknowledgment that can be accomplished from specific exercises or achievements. Basically, they are motivated to perform a job as a necessary chore, not as final goal.

Employees who are inherently propelled may participate in an action since it gives them joy, encourages them build up an aptitude they believe is imperative, or is by all accounts the morally and ethically right thing to do.  A few students with abnormal amounts of inborn Motivation turn out to be so engaged and consumed in an action that they forget about time and totally disregard different undertakings. This wonder is known as flow (Csiksz, 1990, 1996; Schweinle, Turner, and Meyer, 2006). 

In a few occasions, extrinsic motivation fortifies for increasing academic accomplishment or profitable conduct might be the main thing that can get understudies out and about towards effective classroom learning and beneficial conduct. However, inborn Motivation is at last what will manage understudies as time goes on. It will urge them to comprehend what they realize and how they can apply it in their day by day life. It will expand the chances of their recalling the scholarly subjects long after they have abandoned their formal training.

Motivation is characterized as the procedure that starts, controls, and keeps up objective orientation practices. For the most part, it is the thing that makes us act toward certain direction. Intentions are the "whys" of conduct, the necessities or needs that drive conduct and clarify what we do. We don't really watch a thought process; rather, we deduce that one exists in view of the conduct we watch." (Nevid, 2013) 

For students who go to schools, the most persuasive motivation is acquired from the educators. An instructor's expertise and capacity to create Organizations with the students for keeping up their area of interest is of most extreme significance (Ericksen, 1978; Hawk et al., 2002; Hill and Hawk, 2000; Pianta, 2000). With the assistance of the instructor, an understudy can be profoundly energetic to study and demonstrate a want to learn.

In the case of a student, collaborative and corporative method can enhance students’ motivation (Guthrie, 2000; Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000; Pintrich, 2003; Stipek, 1996). In fact, Bossert (1988) found that motivation is one of key factors that could impact the learning achievement. Another type of external motivation method is using grading system in studies that will fortify student’s learning desire (Ames, 1992). This motivation effect will become stronger if the task or learning becomes more challenging. This will develop a stronger desire of challenging emotion to overcome or complete the tasks given (Stipek, 1996). 

Motivation is the energy to sustain a student’s behaviour in encouraging him towards achieving the desired goal or direction. Students who are motivated engage actively in school activities which include learning. Therefore, their personal emotions and behaviours can show their level of motivation (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004 ; Reeve, 2006). Motivation can direct a person’s behaviour towards a specific goal or direction. When an individual sets a goal, he/she needs energy to push them towards that goal. This energy is known as the motivation energy (Maehr &Meyer, 1997). 

It is a person's decision to move towards a constructive objective or a pessimistic one. Motivation builds the measure of effort and vitality that a man uses in exercises specifically identified with their requirements and objectives (Csiksz& Nakamura, 1989; Maehr, 1984; Pintrich et al., 1993). 

Motivation will expand the initiation and steadiness of particular exercises in the leaner. They will generally keep taking a shot at the errands until the point that they finish them. Be that as it may, the way toward moving towards the course could be hindered by different deterrents (Larson, 2000; Maehr, 1984; Wigfield, 1994). In such a case, motivation builds students chance on assignment which is an imperative factor influencing their learning and accomplishment (Larson, 2000; Wigfield, 1994).

Motivation likewise influences a student's learning procedure. Motivation lights influences that urges the students to focus on their ranges of premiums and how they can successfully manage the issues experienced in transit (Eccles and Wigfield, 1985; Pintrich and Schunk, 2002; Pugh and Bergin, 2006). For example, spurred students frequently try to really comprehend learning material, to learn it genuinely and consider how they may utilize it in their own particular lives.

Motivation decides the results that are to be reinforced. The students are inspired to make scholarly progress. Understudies are typically glad for getting great scores and surprise in the event that they got low evaluations. The more students need to be acknowledged and regarded by peers, the more they will esteem enrollment in the "in" gathering and be upset by the mocking of schoolmates. To a young kid who is uninterested in sports, making or not making the school football group is a no major ordeal for him, however to a teenager whose life rotates around football, making or not making the group might be a result of great significance.

Motivation frequently upgrades execution that is reflected in objective coordinated conduct. The endeavours, vitality and the effect of results with motivation will prompt an enhanced execution. Understudies who are inspired to learn and exceed expectations in classroom exercises have a tendency to be high achievers (Gottfried, 1990; Schiefele, Krapp, and Winteler, 1992; Walberg and Uguroglu, 1980). On the other hand, students who have little enthusiasm for scholastic accomplishment are at high danger of dropping out before they move on from their secondary schools (Hardré and Reeve, 2003; Hymel et al., 1996; Vallerand, Fortier& Guay, 1997).  motivation regularly upgrades execution that is reflected in objective coordinated conduct. The endeavors, vitality and the effect of outcomes with  motivation will prompt an enhanced execution. Understudies who are spurred to learn and exceed expectations in classroom exercises have a tendency to be high achievers (Gottfried, 1990; Schiefele, Krapp, and Winteler, 1992; Walberg and Uguroglu, 1980). Then again, understudies who have little enthusiasm for scholastic accomplishment are at high danger of dropping out before they move on from their secondary schools (Hardré and Reeve, 2003; Hymel et al., 1996; Vallerand, Fortier& Guay, 1997). 

Extrinsic motivation is not really negative. Be that as it may, the students are regularly propelled by both inborn and extraneous factors at the same time (Cameron and Pierce, 1994; Covington, 2000; Lepper et.,al., 2005). For instance, albeit, Shally makes the most of her composition course. She realizes that a decent evaluation will enable her to get a grant at University. Moreover, Shally might be certain about her authority on the school subjects in the event that she gets decent evaluations and other outer prizes for high accomplishments (Hynd and Nist, 2000). From that point forward, the extrinsic motivation may slowly move internal with time. 

To summation, many looks into have demonstrated the huge connection of motivation with learning. Be that as it may, a large portion of the exploration concentrated on the understudy or formal instructive line. A portion of the examines additionally concentrate on the general part of motivation i.e., spurring a man towards a learning course. Lamentably, there is an absence of research that investigates the relationship of  motivation and workers of the assembling business, particularly in Malaysia s. 

Close consideration must be paid to  motivation of people by methods for activity, rewards; initiative inside which the work is being sorted out (Miljkovic, 2007).The objective is to create motivational procedures and workplace that would help people to demonstrate their outcomes as per desires. Employees with unmistakably characterized objectives are more fiery and profitable. Alteration of conduct includes the utilization of four means for conduct change known as intercession systems. These methodologies are: certain motivation, negative impetus, discipline and absence of react. The procedure of motivation is more intricate than a great many people think. Individuals have diverse requirements, set distinctive objectives keeping in mind the end goal to fulfil needs and embrace different activities for accomplishment of the objectives. It is inappropriate to accept that there is one approach of motivation which could be utilized as a part of any circumstance.

2.4.3    Personal Factor- Aptitude

Aptitude is a competency that focuses on specific work at a specific level. It is additionally frequently to liken aptitude as "ability". Aptitudes might be physical or mental. Aptitude can be characterized as the created information, aptitude; demeanour or understanding that is either learned or obtained. The inborn idea of Aptitude is as opposed to accomplishment, which speaks to information or capacity that is increased through learning. 

De Jabrun,(1997) found in his investigation that the submersion understudies got a month and a half of concentrated preparing were chosen for the program on the premise of motivation, premium and aptitude for level 2 learning. These elements may have affected their fast change in accordance with the learning of unique substance matter through the medium of level 2. This examination demonstrated that motivation and Aptitude significantly affected the understudy's learning. Moreover, Sparkset.al., (1998) contended that execution of taking in an outside dialect course can be gathered from the local dialect capability, and at last essential dialect learning ability, with the utilization of a battery of state administered tests, for example, the Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT). The most unmistakable qualification among members of their examination was between those delegated high capability students and those named low capability students. The understudies with high Aptitude for dialect learning, displayed better than expected remote dialect (FL) test scores or evaluations, while those with low capability performed fundamentally bring down in the FL segment of the investigation. The reason for this examination was to light up how the local dialect aptitude postures as a solid indicator of outside dialect execution contrary to the claim that full of feeling factors assume a causal part in deciding FL execution.

The expanding globalization requires the people to dependably learn and build up their skills, they have to ponder circumstances keeping in mind the end goal to gain from them (Moreland, 2004). This demonstrates showing particular aptitudes is not the arrangement of this long term issue. The advanced education organizations ought to be worried about their understudies' aptitude to figure out how to create self-change mastery graduates that would have the capacity to ceaselessly build up their abilities and aptitudes.

Dörnyei and Skehan (2003) put their confidence on the exploration for investigating the association amongst aptitude and motivation as they are the most helpful resources of looking into learning styles and students' systems. As per Ranta (2008) "aptitude reflects qualities and shortcomings in a scope of intellectual capacities that underlie the dialect advancement process and which collaborate with different factors, for example, motivation and opportunity". She recommends that "pleasing the inclination profiles of their students is one way that instructors can give direction to their understudies be the best dialect students they can be. A noteworthy and predictable research finding is that the distinctions among students (counting learning styles, aptitude and motivation) are a noteworthy determinant of educating/learning results. 

The factor aptitude, from the above writing, for the most part centred on understudy learning like learning in remote dialect, learning in school et cetera. Some exploration likewise found a decent connection amongst aptitude and particular information like a PC expertise. It can't be denied that a aptitude impacts a man's learning conduct. Be that as it may, the present writing can't characterize the relationship of inclination with Employee learning in the assembling division of Malaysia. This to some extent is an motivation in seeking after this proposed look into.

2.4.4    Environmental Factors- Learning Culture

A learning society is an arrangement of authoritative esteems, traditions, procedures, and practices that support people and the Organizations all in all to expand information, competency, and execution. A learning society is a situation that backings the era of information through an assortment of channels, for example, gaining from past undertakings or getting information outer to the association (Calantone et al., 2002; Chanal, 2004; Hult et al., 2004; Salavou, 2004). The ability to learn and produce information is something that should be inalienable in the association's way of life (Subramanian and Youndt, 2005). 

The new era of employees entering the workforce has expanded in this universe of steady change and advancement. Employees need to learn constantly and expect that their bosses will esteem and support their potential. The worldwide, portable, transient nature of this new workforce makes it simple for employees to escape in Organizations that offer more development and improvement openings. To wind up noticeably a business that pulls in and holds ability, Organizations need to make a viable learning society. Here, it is evident that association additionally needs to use the information that they increased through the learning procedure. Organizations that accept and have a solid learning society can utilize the information to produce and grow new thoughts (Bates and Khasawneh, 2005; Brennan and Dooley, 2005; Merx-Chermin and Hijhof, 2005). 

As far as learning condition, Clarke (2005) led an examination to inspect the learning in working environments. He watched that the working environment learning is related unequivocally with the use of procedural information. It likewise incorporates the measures of fitness in critical thinking, overseeing change, self-coordinated learning, and getting to data. His investigation recommended that there are specific sorts of discovering that encourages openings, strengthening and compelling correspondence. These are additionally the basic factors that would enhance the work environment learning results as they are related with learning and basic leadership. 

Additionally, Eraut's (2001) recommended that culture of learning assumes an express part in empowering and supporting the procedure of ceaseless learning. López et. al., (2004) additionally made an endeavor to recognize the qualities of a learning-steady culture which they call as the 'cooperative culture'. They inferred that those Organizations that elevate it can enhance their worker's learning and are fruitful in upgrading their execution. Thompson and Kahnweiler (2002) watched the abnormal amounts of worker interest that encourages more prominent learning, and in this manner brings about larger amounts of execution. 

Schein (2004) advances a 10-point theoretical model of a learning society, in which he recognizes the essential suspicions that advance learning. At the level of unsaid suspicions, there are solid signs that societies apply a capable impact on the amount and kind of discovering that happens. Specifically, suppositions about what constitutes a significant information, how to manage new information, the suitable ranges of information in an association, and the frame and capacity of social cooperation’s, all appear to profoundly affect learning. 

Marsick and Watkins (2003) indicated nine measurements of culture inside the learning Organizations. These measurements are utilized to build the 'Measurements of the Learning Organization Questionnaire' (DLOQ). In addition to other things, they featured the significance of 22 initiating components that advances the worker's inclusion and criticism, for building learning openings into work outlining and collaboration. The instruments can likewise be utilized as a part of executing broadly available information administration frameworks to catch and offer learning at gathering and hierarchical levels. 

Johnston and Hawke (2002) watched that the affinity of businesses to seek after the production of learning societies is nearly connected with the degree to which they see an association amongst learning and execution. In the event that the interest for learning among the workers is low, at that point the dialogs of learning societies may fail to receive any notice. (Keep 2000), for instance, contends that the overwhelming focused procedures at present utilized are observed to be gainful by different Organizations. 

The Organizations in the UK have a tendency to advance the necessity for learning, as they have generally low-aptitude standards of work Organizations. Keep clarifies that why there are so few of authentic 'taking in Organizations' in Britain notwithstanding the exact confirmation proposing that adapting really positively affects hierarchical execution (Bontis et al., 2002). 

The earth has for quite some time been perceived as a wellspring of impact on the person's conduct. Up to this point, scientists had made couple of methodical endeavors to investigate the impacts of an association's way of life on the conduct of workers. It is regularly proposed that culture works as a unitary "fundamental impact" on all individuals. In India, work culture is dictated by many elements immense contrasts exist between open area and private part organizations with each having its own particular flavour. Most HR professionals today confront issues, for example, low level of inspiration bringing about low spirit, which bears an effect on execution. In this way, the assembling division has been considered to see the effect that work culture has on administrative inspiration and execution. Work culture is basic for augmenting the estimation of human capital, and culture administration ought to end up noticeably a basic administration ability (Sinha, et al, 2010). A vital test for supervisors is to decide the best culture for their association. Henceforth, this exploration concentrates on the effect that work culture has on both the part inspiration and relevant execution of employees in the private assembling division at the centre administration level. Relevant execution alludes to practices that help the earth in which the specialized centre works. Basic cases of relevant execution practices incorporate helping colleagues, volunteering for undertakings, and safeguarding the association.

2.4.5    Environmental Factor- Management support

Organizations ought to make a positive learning cycle for urging their employees to learn (Savolainen 2000). The positive learning cycle incorporates of decreasing the resistance of blockage picking up, elucidating recognitions, and expanding correspondence, duty, and inclusion.  Administration origination and duty assumes an essential part in advancing learning in an association through disguising, supporting, submitting and empowering reasonable exercises. 

Numerous written works concentrate on breaking down the preparation requirements for discrete purposes or in littler settings (Bartram and Gibson 1999; Boydell and Leary 1996; Gray et al., 1997). In another examination, McClelland (1993) recommends that "persuading senior administration for preparing needs investigation ought to be started with the goal that the preparation needs can be distinguished for determining and gathering the fundamental help". McClelland (1993) recommends that help from senior administration might be acquired by sketching out the purpose behind preparing needs investigation. Keeping up ISO 9000 standard is an exemplary case. 

The significance of senior administration inclusion and support in the learning procedure is featured by different investigates (Boydell and Leary, 1996; Anderson, 1994; Reid and Barrington, 1999).  A few inquiries about distinguished the key part of those whose requirements are being satisfied (Boydell and Leary, 1996; Garavan et al., 1995; Anderson, 1994; Hayton et al., 1990). (Boydell and Leary 1996), (Garavan et al., 1995) and (Anderson 1994) talk about an adjustment in the conventional mentor part in preparing needs examination. 

Human Resource Development (HRD) is more focussed on the learning and advancement of a person inside the Organizations so they may better adapt up to the hierarchical changes (Walton, 1999). The general bearing of HRD apparently is around supplanting more control arranged societies with the way of life that are strong of learning and innovativeness (Grieves and Redman, 1999). In an audit of current individuals administration exercises of world class Organizations, (Oakland and Oakland 2001) found that in top organizations, supervisors assumed a dynamic part in preparing and supporting the group of employees. Their group conveyed the coveted needs/abilities required by the association, divisions and people. 

Hardly any investigations have portrayed the parallel structures that permit time for reflection and critical thinking for the employees and how they deal with their function as per the routine planned by the Organizations (French and Bell, 1999; Cummings and Worley, 1997). The analysts take note of that the administration tends to control the majority of the factors around worker's association in parallel structures, for instance the measure of expert, i.e., who is included and what is the stream of data and preparing openings. 

The vast majority of the administration concurs that preparation and worker's improvement are imperative components influencing the association's prosperity. In any case, when the instance of monetary emergency is viewed as, human advancement subsidize is the primary that is lessened. Considering this perspective, administration is not the key need around there. In the assembling business, profitability and conveyance are the key markers to a production line. Very little research has been directed in this industry. In this way, it is imperative to additionally decide the connection between administration backings and Employee learning in Malaysian assembling industry.

2.4.6    Behavioural Factors- Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a property that characterizes the connection between an association and its workers. A "drew in Employee" is the person who is completely consumed by and eager about their work thus embraces a constructive activity to facilitate the association's notoriety and interests. 

Worker engagement has turned into a well-known term among the human asset administration, experts and correspondences specialists (Halbesleben and Wheeler, 2008; Macey and Schneider, 2008; Shuck and Wollard, 2010). One of the overwhelming parts of worker engagement is being certain, satisfaction, full of feeling motivational condition of business related prosperity (Schaufeliet al., 2002). Worker engagement incorporates three areas :(1) accomplishing the abnormal amounts of vitality and mental versatility; (2) devotion i.e. a solid inclusion in one's work and encountering a feeling of criticalness, excitement and test; and (3) retention i.e., a completely concentrate on one's work (Bakker and Demerouti, 2008; Schaufeli and Bakker, 2004). 

Moreover, drew in Employees perform superior to non-connected with workers as they regularly encounter positive feelings and better wellbeing. They have a capacity to activate their employment and individual assets. What's more, they are resolved to update and learn new abilities and exchange their engagement to other individuals too (Bakker and Demerouti, 2008). 

In a later report, Bakker (2009) asserted that one reason why connected with Employees perform better was on account of they exchanged their engagement to others. This is bolstered by a few examinations (Bakkeret al., 2006; Totterdell, 2000). They had a similar feeling about worker engagement among the colleagues as an aggregate state of mind which can either be acquired by comparative responses on an occasion or by affecting each other's feelings through communications. All through the procedure, singular levels of worker engagement may impact the group execution and furthermore improve their learning procedure (Mullen and Copper, 1994). 

As indicated by (Bakker and Demerouti 2008), worker engagement has been distinguished as a solid driver for enhancing execution in an association. Numerous experimental research ponders have affirmed that Employee engagement positively affects execution and learning. (Bakker and Bal, 2010; Bakkeret al., 2006; Salanovaet al., 2005). Employees will likewise be locked in when they are furnished with chances to develop and learn inside the association. Such open doors can be the different individual and vocation advancement programs (Glen, 2006). 

Student engagement is remarkable in light of the fact that the expansion in intrigue or engagement can prompt increased levels of comprehension and encourage the learning building (Blumenfeldet al., 2006). They embedded that the intrigue may prompt a more profound engagement with the material that may bring about expanded aptitudes and information. Accordingly, comprehension and learning building will probably happen when the understudy is locked in and keen on the investigation material. 

It can't be precluded that a great deal from claiming research has demonstrated worker engagement as an essential resource that advances the development of an association. Social learning hypothesis is known as observational learning in which individuals learn through watching others' conduct, dispositions, and results of those practices. Human conduct is constantly clarified as far as persistent proportional collaboration between subjective, behavioural, and ecological impacts. It is trusted that immediate fortification couldn't represent a wide range of learning. The social learning hypothesis included a social component, contending that individuals can learn new data and practices by watching other individuals. It is noticed that outer ecological support was by all account not the only factor to impact learning and conduct yet in addition characteristic fortification, for example, pride, fulfilment, and a feeling of achievement. At the end of the day, this hypothesis accepts figuring out how to be a social movement that depends on one's needs as an individual to fit in with others. In hierarchical setting, this happens normally as labourers figure out how to fit into the apparent authoritative culture. Fitting here implies that one can be acknowledged effectively into the association however does not really mean the individual disguise and trust the way things are done in the association. Social learning hypothesis accordingly has a significant pertinence to hierarchical conduct (Miller and Dollard, 1950) however its fundamental restriction is that it disregards the part of decision for the person.

2.4.7    Behavioural Factors- Self-efficacy 

Self-efficacy alludes to a singular's confidence in his or her ability to execute practices that are important in delivering a particular type of execution achievements (Bandura, 1977; Bandura, 1986). It is reflected in the trust for an individual’s capacity to apply control over his own inspiration, conduct, and social environment. These intellectual self-assessments impact human experiences. This includes the objectives for which individuals endeavour, the measures of vitality used towards objective accomplishment, and probability of achieving specific levels of behavioural executions. 

Self-efficacy can also have an impact on employees’ stress and apprehension during the training sessions. However, the stress and apprehension of the employees can be reduced if they achieve a higher level of self-efficacy as it helps to increase the effectiveness of the training (Salanova et al., 2000). 

According to Chen et al. (2007), self-efficacy is one of the critical factors that affect an employee’s effectiveness during his training. People with high self-efficacy exhibit better outcomes (Tai, 2006). An individual’s computer self-efficacy may influence his perception of ability to successfully use a computer (Compeau and  Higgins, 1995). Moreover, such awareness may influence future computer behavioural decisions, resulting in crucial influences on personal feelings and actions (Lim et al., 2007).

Various research have also observed that a person with high computer self-efficacy may attain better learning effectiveness (Hasan and Ali, 2004; Limet al., 2007). The personal confidence in using a computer has a positive impact on the transfer of knowledge and skills (Park and Wentling, 2007). Campeau and Higgins,(1995) observed that computer self-efficacy influences an individual’s expectations with regard to both, the effectiveness of use and the emotional reactions thereto. Furthermore, such self-efficacy can influence a person’s practical use. Thus, employees with high computer self-efficacy have more fun and less anxiety when using a computer, thereby, significantly influencing their self-expectations and job performance (Agarwalet al., 2000; Ng, 2006; Pituch and Lee, 2006; Shih, 2006).

As another example, teachers with a high sense of efficacy about their teaching capabilities may have an easier time to motivate their students and enhance their cognitive development. These teachers may also be able to recover from setbacks, and are found to be more willing to experiment with new ideas or techniques. Low efficacious teachers may rely more on a controlling teaching style and may be more critical of students (Woolfolk & Burke, 2003).

Zimmerman and Kitsantas,(1997) also found that self-efficacy is highly correlated with the students’ rated intrinsic interest in a motoric learning task as well as in a writing revision task. Furthermore, the measures of self-efficacy have a significant correlation with the students’ choice of majors in college, success in course work, and perseverance (Zimmerman and Kitsantas, 1999; Hackett and Betz, 1989; Lent, Brown, and Larkin, 1984).

Schunk and the fellow researchers found that the perceived self-efficacy for learning correlates positively with students’ rate of solution of arithmetic problems (Schunk and Hanson, 1985; Schunk, Hanson, and Cox, 1987). Salomon,(1984) found that self-efficacy is positively related to self-rated mental efforts and achievements during students’ learning from text material that was perceived as difficult. The direct effect indicates that the perceived self-efficacy influences students’ methods of learning as well as their motivational processes. The results discovered by these researchers validate the mediational role that self-efficacy plays in motivating persistence and academic achievement. In a meta-analytic review of nearly 70 studies of persistence and rate measures of motivation, (Multon, Brown, and Lent 1991) found a significant positive effect size of students’ self-efficacy beliefs.

Literature has also shown that self-efficacy beliefs also provide students with a sense of agency to motivate their learning through use of various self-regulatory processes. Such processes includes of goal setting, self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and strategy utilization. For example, few researches provide evidence (Zimmerman, Bandura, & Martinez-Pons, 1992) that the more capable students judge themselves, the more challenging their goals become. When self-efficacy and personal goals are identified at the beginning of a school term, they can be used to predict the final course grades in the high school social studies (they increased the rate of prediction by 31% over a measure of prior grades in social studies). Similarly, when self-efficacy and personal goal setting were compared with the verbal subscale of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, there was an increase of 35% in predicting college students’ final grades in a writing course (Zimmerman and Bandura, 1994).

From the previous studies related with education and personal learning, it can be inferred that self-efficacy highly relates with learning. Training will be effective with one who has high self-efficacy. However, there was a lack of research that focused on discovering the relationship between self-efficacy and employee learning in the manufacturing industry of Malaysia. This research is an attempt to determine the relationship of self-efficacy with employee learning in Malaysia  manufacturing industry. 

Self-efficacy is one of the most focal concepts in contemporary psychology research. It is defined as people’s judgment of their capabilities to accomplish a certain level of performance (Judge et al. 2007). Thus, self-efficacy does not reflect the skills one has but the judgment of what one can do with whatever skills one possesses. The authors stress that self-efficacy is task-specific. 

Self-efficacy represents a proximal determinant of human behaviour. This means that task-specific self-efficacy judgments can change over time as individuals derive new information and experiences. It has important effects on a person’s choice of activities, the degree of persistence that individuals deploy when they encounter difficulties in the pursuit of accomplishing a task, and their thought patterns and emotional reactions. More precisely, social cognitive theory assumes the following: People who believe that specific tasks or situations exceed their capabilities tend to avoid them, but if they perceive high self-efficacy, they believe that they can succeed and, consequently, tend to take on a task. When facing difficulties, people with strong efficacy beliefs tend to increase their level of effort to master the challenge. On the contrary, people who are in doubt about their capabilities tend to decrease their efforts or give up early and fail at the task (Dörner, 2012). Additionally, people who perceive low self-efficacy tend to believe that tasks are more difficult than they actually are and focus their thoughts on their lacking capabilities. People with strong efficacy beliefs, on the contrary, direct their attention to the task and are incited by challenges to make greater effort.

From the past study, Yaping, et. al, (2009) has conducted a research to observe the relationship between employee creativity and job performance. Elements in the environment which can inadvertently affect the results of a study like employee learning orientation and observed their possessions on employee creativity over employee creative self-efficacy. The research showed employee learning is being positively connected with employee creativity, and such relationships are being facilitated by employee creative self-efficiency. The relationship employee learning has significant relationship with employee self-efficacy. 

2.5       Hypothesis Development

The hypotheses developed in this section are based on the findings of the literature review. The following hypotheses are concerned with the relationship between personal factors (motivation and aptitude), environment factors (learning culture and management support) and behavioural factors (employee engagement and self-efficacy) to employees’ learning. This study attempts to investigate the following hypotheses:



Hypothesis 1

The past research from Csikszentmihalyi (1990), Csikszentmihalyi, (1996), Schweinle, Turner, and Meyer (2006) showed significant relation between learning and motivation. In the case of students, it shows strong relationship between student’s learning and motivation factor (Ericksen, 1978; Hawk et al., 2002; Hill and Hawk, 2000; Ministry of Education, 2000; Pianta, 2000; Robertson, 1996; Guthrie, 2000; Hidi and Harackiewicz, 2000; Pintrich, 2003; Stipek, 1996; Turner, 1995). Motivation will increase the learning initiation and persistence of the learner (Larson, 2000; Maehr, 1984; Wigfield, 1994). The literature review shows that motivation is a factor that increases students’ time on task and is rendered as very important for affecting their learning and achievement (Brophy, 1988; Larson, 2000; Wigfield, 1994). Students who are most motivated tend to score better in learning than those who are not (Gottfried, 1990; Schiefele, Krapp, and Winteler, 1992; Walberg and Uguroglu, 1980). Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated to test the relationship between motivation and employees learning. 

H1:      There is a significant relationship between motivation and employees learning.


Hypothesis 2:

In De Jabrun,(1997) study, he observed that the aptitude has a prominent impact on the student learning behaviour. Aptitude enhances a student’s acquisition of knowledge and also promotes a deeper learning mechanism (Johnson and Mighten, 2005). Moreland, (2004), examined the positive relationship between aptitude and learning by generating self-improved expertise graduates that are able to continuously develop their skills and aptitudes. In another study, Dörnyei and Skehan commented that aptitude and motivation are having significant impact on leaning. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated to test the relationship between aptitude and employees learning.

H2:      There is a significant relationship between Aptitude and Employees Learning.


Hypothesis 3:

Learning culture supports the acquisition of knowledge from previously pursued projects or from external sources to the organisation (Glynn, 1996; Bharadwaj and Menon, 2000; Calantone et al., 2002; Chanal, 2004; Hult et al., 2004; Salavou, 2004). The willingness to learn and generate knowledge is something that needs to be inherent in the organisation’s culture (Subramanian and Youndt, 2005). In order to become the kind of employer that attracts and retains talent, organizations need to create a learning culture. Clarke (2005) examined that workplace learning is strongly associated with the learning culture established in the respective organization. Similarly, Eraut’s (2001) account of learning culture mentions the explicit role of culture in encouraging and supporting learning. Thompson and Kahnweiler (2002) observed that good learning culture has a higher level of employee participation and facilitates greater learning. Therefore, higher levels of performance can be obtained. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated to test the relationship between learning culture and employees learning.

H3:      There is significant relationship between Learning Culture and Employees Learning.


Hypothesis 4:

Savolainen (2000) found that the organization which encourages employees learning creates a positive learning cycle which requires the support of management. McClelland (1993) found that the relationship between senior management and employee learning is very significant because without management’s approval or support the learning process may not happen or may face many obstacles. The importance of senior management’s involvement and endorsement is highlighted by many studies (Boydell and Leary, 1996; Anderson, 1994; Reid and Barrington, 1999; Wills, 1998).Oakland and Oakland (2001) found that in top companies such as world class organizations, the managers are supportive of employee’s training. Their team will deliver the needs/skills required by the organisation. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated to test the relationship between management support and employees learning.

H4:      There is a significant relationship between Management Support and Employees Learning.


Hypothesis 5:

Engaged employees perform better than non-engaged employees because they often experience positive emotions which encourages them to upgrade and learn new skills (Bakker and Demerouti, 2008). Bakker,(2009) claimed that engaged employees perform better as they are willing to transfer their new knowledge and skills to others. Several studies (Bakkeret al., 2006; Totterdell, 2000) shared a common opinion that the employees which are engaged perform better by enhancing their learning process. Many empirical studies have confirmed that employee engagement has a positive impact on performance and learning (Bakker and Bal, 2010; Bakkeret al., 2006; Salanovaet al., 2005). Employees will also be engaged when they are provided with many opportunities to grow and learn within the organization (Glen, 2006). Blumenfeld et al. (2006) stated that the interest may lead to a deeper engagement with the material that might result in increased skills and knowledge. This statement was formed from an educational psychology perspective. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated to test the relationship between employee engagement and employees learning.

H5:      There is a significant relationship between employee engagement and employees learning.


Hypothesis 6:

When the employees are able to achieve a greater level of self-efficacy, their stress and apprehension are reduced. This in turned would help to increase training effectiveness (Salanova et al., 2000). A study by Liaw et al., (2007) indicated that the quality of an e-learning system has positive influences on instructors’ perceived enjoyment and usefulness as well as their self-efficacy. Various researchers have observed that a person with high computer self-efficacy may attain better learning effectiveness (Hasan and Ali,2004; Limet al., 2007). Teachers with a high sense of efficacy about their teaching capabilities may have an easier time motivating their students and enhancing their cognitive development (Hoy, 2003). Zimmerman and Kitsantas (1997) found that self-efficacy is highly correlated with students’ rated intrinsic interest in a motoric learning task. Salomon (1984) found that self-efficacy is positively related to students’ learning from text material that was perceived as difficult. Thus, the following hypothesis has been formulated to test the relationship between self-efficacy and employees learning

H6:      There is significant relationship between self-efficacy and employees learning.


2.6       Theoretical Framework

Theoretical frameworks provide a particular perspective, or lens, through which to examine a topic. Theoretical frameworks usually come from other disciplines - such as economics, the social sciences, and anthropology - and are used by historians to bring new dimensions of their topic to light. There is no right or wrong theoretical framework to use when examining your topic since every topic can be looked at from a number of different perspectives. Theoretical frameworks, however, are even more specific than these broad subject approaches. Theoretical frameworks are specific theories about aspects of human existence such as the functioning of politics, the economy, and human relations. These theories can then be applied to the study of actual events.

While it is not necessary to use a theoretical framework to examine any research topic, it can help to focus this proposed research looking at possible factors that may have an impact on  manufacturing employees’ continuous learning and assist  the analysis of the data to be collected, offering unexpected insights into those possible factors that may support or deter continuous learning among staff members of the  industry. The independent and the dependent variables are identified based on the literature reviewed for this research. The dependent variable (DV) is employees’ learning and the independent variables (IV) are personal factors (motivation and aptitude), environment factors (learning and culture and management support) and behavioural factors (employee engagement and self-efficacy) which are presented in the following research framework below. The main aim of the present study is to apply Social Learning Theory (SLT) in employee learning within manufacturing industry in Penang.

Figure 2.4 Employee learning theoretical framework

Personal Factors


Motivation

Aptitude

Environmental Factors
Management Support

Learning Culture

Behavioral Factors
Self-Efficacy

Employee Engagement


Employee Learning
H1
H2
H3
H4
H5
H6



















2.7       Summary 

The literature review revealed that various studies have examined the factors that influence learning.  There have been many researches that have focused on understanding, examining and exploring all the facets of learning in schools, colleges and organizations. However, there are very few studies that have paid attention on employees’ learning in manufacturing industry in Penang, Malaysia. This represents a gap in the body of knowledge in the of manufacturing in Malaysia. The manufacturing industry contributes significantly to the country’s economic growth and therefore, it is imperative to understand all the factors influencing its success. Employee learning is one of those factors and this study focuses on revealing all of its aspect.

2.8       Definitions of Terms

Learning defies precise definition because it is put to multiple uses. Learning is used to refer to (1) the acquisition and mastery of what is already known about something, (2) the extension and clarification of meaning of one’s experience, or (3) an organized, intentional process of testing ideas relevant to problems. In other words, it is used to describe a product, a process, or a function.

Lifelong learning is the provision or use of both formal and informal learning opportunities throughout people's lives in order to foster the continuous development and improvement of the knowledge and skills needed for employment and personal fulfilment.

Mobile learning can be defined as: "the processes (both personal and public) of coming to know through exploration and conversation across multiple contexts amongst people and interactive technologies". It also involved with the exploitation of ubiquitous handheld hardware, wireless networking and mobile telephony to facilitate, support, enhance and extend the reach of teaching and learning. (Sharples, M. et al, 2007)

School learning refers to the mainstream education with eleven years total in primary and secondary education and an additional four years at tertiary level. The school teaching syllabus is planned and organized by the Ministry of Education in the respective nation.  

Self-directed learning is a learning process for those have the high initiative with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying the resources sources for learning, choosing and implementing the own learning strategies and evaluating own learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975).

Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modelling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviourist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation

Online learning is a way of studying for a recognised qualification without needing to attend classes on campus. It is aimed at those who wish to study for certificate, diploma, degree, master or postgraduate qualification alongside work or other commitments. (The University of Edinburgh, 2016)

Distance learning, Greenberg (1998) defines it as “a planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies to reach learners at a distance and is designed to encourage learner interaction and certification of learning”. 








CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY



3.1 Introduction


Chapter three is dedicated to provide the research methodology and the research design for this proposed research. The research is based on employees’ learning in an organization. This research is intendeds to find the relationship between behavioral factors, environment factors and personal factors and employee learning. This research uses a positivism approach as its research paradigm. This chapter presents the methodological framework for this study. It elaborates on the research methodology, research instruments, respondents, research site, measurable devices used to test the proposed research speculation, and all relevant information pertaining to the research. 


3.2 Theoretical perspectives on methodology 

Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyse information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue. This should be a familiar process. You engage in solving problems. You start with a question, collect some information and then form an answer (Creswell, 2014). Moreover, Nunan (1992, p.3) emphasizes that “… research is a process of formulation questions, problems, or hypotheses; collecting data or evidence to these questions/problems/hypotheses; and analyses or interpreting these data”. It is significant to emphasize that all research is always formed by a particular set of beliefs, or a set of perspectives on the nature of reality, knowledge, and certain methodologies. In fact, the decision about methodology is the constant question as to whether the data gathered provides the evidence that answers the question being posed. In general, there are four crucial words or keys relating to decisions about methodology that need some explaining. These are: Tradition, paradigm, assumption, and world view (Dzakiria, 2008). Tradition as described by Hamilton (1994, p.61) refers to “… a set of general assumptions about entities and process in a domain of study, and about the appropriate methods to be used for investigating the problems…. in that domain”. This definition emphasizes the fact that social science methods do not come as packaged solutions, but convey with them an associated set of ideas, values and practice that are of a more general kind. Therefore, the application of this idea requires some understanding of their origin, history and Firms. The term paradigm was first introduced by an American philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn in his influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He Kuhn (1962) defines it as: "accepted examples of actual scientific practice, examples which include law, theory, application, and instrumentation together--[that] provide models from which spring particular coherent traditions of scientific research....Men whose research is based on shared paradigms are committed to the same rules and standards for scientific practice" (p. 10).

Paradigms guide how we make decisions and carry out research. Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, (2000) point out that paradigm requires a basic understanding to interpret the social reality. Guba and Lincoln (1989, p.80) define paradigm as “…a basic set of beliefs, a set of assumptions we are willing to make, which serve as touchstones in guiding our activities”. According to Burrell and Morgan (1979), a paradigm is used to “view the world in a particular way” (p.24). In a nutshell, paradigm is referred to as a broad framework of the researchers’ perspective, comprehension, beliefs and values within which theories and practices are inter-related. A paradigm leads the researcher to reflect on his belief in his research designs on how data are to be gathered and analyzed and how research results are presented. The words “assumption” and “world view” take us beyond what is commonly understood as methodology and indicate a philosophical orientation behind the research that reflects the researcher a “being” (Dzakiria, 2008). According to Guba (1990), paradigm can be characterized through their: ontology, epistemology, and methodology. These characteristics create a holistic view of how we view knowledge; how we see ourselves in relation to this knowledge and the methodological strategies we use to un/discover it. This study relied on a specific research that comprised an ontological, epistemological and methodological structure. Ontology integrates the perception about reality as a natural scenario. Epistemology is the relationship among the students and what can be learned. It integrates the way in which what must be known is known. Methodology is how one performs the examination; it applies educational technology to get to know what must be known. In this context, these were the lenses that were used to analyse the factors affecting employees’ continuous learning (and training). In order to get a clear picture of this, we need to illuminate what the terms mean.

Ontology explains the nature of reality. It concerns the philosophy of existence and the assumptions and beliefs that we hold about the nature of being and existing. Willis (2007) points out that ontology concerns “what are the characteristics of things that exist?” or “what are the universal characteristics of things that exist?” These are the ontological questions. In other words, it refers to the nature of social entities and social reality (Willis, 2007). In this regard, “if ontology is about what we may know, then epistemology is about how we come to know what we know” (Grix, 2002, p.177). 

Epistemology is described as the philosophy of knowledge or how we come to know. It means the nature of knowing and construction of knowledge (Trochim, 2000). It is related to “how do we know what we know?” or “what is the relationship between the knower and what is known?” These are the epistemological questions. It is our perceived relationship with the knowledge we are un/dis/covering. Are we part of that knowledge or are we external to it? Methodology (How do we go about finding out?) is how one performs the investigation; it implies the strategies and artefact to get to know that which must be known.  Dzakiria (2008) points out that it is the ways used to obtain knowledge in the social world. 

The research design started with the epistemology of constructivism, the theoretical perspective of symbolic interactionism reinforced by the analysis of the data. The methodology of quantitative is proposed for this research. In terms of epistemology, there are different kinds of epistemologies existing that will suit different researchers for several purposes of studies. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that investigates the origin and the nature of knowledge and the relationship between the knower (researcher) and the known (object of study) (Dzakiria, 2008). It offers philosophical grounding in determining what kind of knowledge is conceivable and how researchers can ensure they are both plenty and legitimate (Maynard, 1994). It is a way of enquiring into the nature of reality.

According to Creswell (2007), epistemology means the researcher: 1) interacts with participants, 2) engages in field study, 3) obtains first-hand information from feedback study. There are three basic philosophical grounding are known as objectivism, subjectivism and constructivism (Crotty, 1998). In this present study, the epistemology is constructivism. According to Crotty (1998, p.42), the meaning of constructivism is “All knowledge and meaningful reality is constructed in and out of interaction between human beings and their world, and then developed and transmitted within an essentially social context”. Thus, constructivists believe that meaning is not discovered but constructed through interaction.  It is obvious that different individuals may construct meaning in different ways even in relation to the same phenomenon. They also suggest that meaning (reality) can neither be described simply as ‘objective’ nor as ‘subjective’. Meaning making occurs in a hermeneutic between the knower (researcher) and the known (object of study). 

Constructivism claims that meanings are constructed by individuals when they engage with the world they are interpreting. Furthermore, Crotty (1998) encourages researchers not to remain with the conventional meaning of the objects, but to approach the object in a spirit of openness to its potential for a new or richer meaning, open to possibility of re-interpretation.

In the present study, hermeneutics and symbolic interactionism are chosen as the theoretical framework. Hermeneutics is the art of interpretation. It is the study of interpreting and understanding the humans and their world. It targets the role of researcher in reporting and interpreting participants’ experiences. Patton (2002) points out that hermeneutics covers a guiding framework to help researchers in interpreting and providing context to reported experiences by participants. It becomes popular amongst qualitative researchers when analysing important texts, interview transcript and recorded conversation (Van Manen, 1990). Furthermore, it considers as an interpretive process that bridged understanding with a phenomenon through language. It is seen as a study of humans as texts that one comes to understand through interpretation and meaning (Kvale, 1996). Thus, this method permits time and freedom to discover what is not understand and demonstrating situation in which understanding has happen and therefore illuminating meaning. In terms of constricting knowledge, the students and the work collaboratively to derive understanding of condition involved.  Eichelberger (1989, p. 9) states that  “Hermeneutists are much clearer about the facts that they are constructing the ‘reality’ on the basis of their interpretations of data with the help of the participants who provided the data in the study” 

In constructionist learning, Flick (2006, p.87) states that “Reading and understanding texts becomes an active process of producing reality, which involves not only the author of the text, but also the person for whom they are written and who reads them”. In other words, in the production of texts (a document or an event, an interaction) the individual who reads and interprets the text is as much involved in the construction of reality as the individual who produced the text. Hermeneutics in the present study mainly concerns with the analysis the texts of the field note of the researcher, the learning sheets presented by the participants and written responses of the participants’ interview in the action research. 

Figure 3.1 shows the connection between constructivism and interpretation (Flick, 2006, p. 85). 









Figure 3.1 Connection between constructivism and interpretation 

Source: Adopted from Flick, 2006

3.3       Research design

Johnson & Christensen (2010) explains that instructive investigation is related to examining and fathoming communal situations that are informational in nature. Primarily it helps to identify the social, cultural, psychological methods that could be termed as learning or training. In carrying out this manner, it oversees enlightening request that can be inquired in a worthy way, and the strategies that enable such tasteful examination and the utility of results radiating from the investigation (Dash, 1993). 

This study makes use of the positivism method of research paradigm. As such, the results of the study are presented in statistical manner. By examining the various investigations, the method of primary data collection is chosen. Gilbert's (2005) record of an information society is especially applicable to this survey of work environment learning since it concentrates on changes in what learning is and does, and what individuals need to realize.

Research methodology is the strategy from which the investigator gathers the essential information. It is generally partitioned into subjective information accumulation and quantitative information gathering (Silverman 1993). 

Quantitative investigation is generally associated with the positivist/post positivist standard. It normally incorporates assembling and changing over data into numerical structure so that quantifiable estimations can be made and conclusions can be drawn effectively. 

In order to elicit the relationship among the employee learning and personal factors, behavioural factors and environmental factors, this study formulated hypothesis. The hypothesis will have to be tested and could be accepted or rejected in order to find the relationship among the variables. Hence quantitative data collection is used to make the data evaluation in statistical basis. 

This study employs quantitative technique for its methodology. The quantitative examination makes utilization of the measurable techniques and numbers. It is highly dependent on numerical computations of all the relationship between the IV and DV selected for the study guided by the selected theory for the study. 

The study makes utilization of the descriptive exploration plan. The descriptive examination endeavours to clarify completely a circumstance, issue, and marvel, gives information about the living states of a general population, or depicts mentalities towards a connection.

3.4       Study Population and Sample Size 

The population of the study are the employees of manufacturing firms in Penang. Based on Uma Sekaran (2003), the sampling size can be identified from table 3.1. For this research the sample size will be selected base on a 95% confidence level with margin of error 5.0%. 

From the Annual Survey of Manufacturing Industries conducted in 2013 as table 3.1 showed Penang manufacturing have 243,238 employees. Table 3.2 the survey showed 9% of manufacturing employees is belong to segment “Manager, professional and executives” level. Base on this survey data, we can calculate total Penang manufacturing employees who are at executive level and above in companies in Penang is 21,891 (243,238 x 9%) employees.

Table 3.1 Key indicators of manufacturing sector by state, 2012 

Table 3.2 Salaries & wages of paid full-time employees by category of workers, 2012 

Based on 25,000 populations, the sample size to be selected is 378 staffs. By estimate only 80% questionnaires will be responded, the sample size for this research will be 378 plus extra 20%.The total sampling size for this research will be 454 employees. 









Table 3.3 Sampling Table

Source: adopted from Uma Sekaran (2003)

3.5       Sampling technique 

Kirsch (1992) clarifies that sampling is the sort by which conclusion is made to the whole populace by taking a look at a section. Examining sorts are named either probability, or all aspects of the people have a known non-zero probability of being selected. Sampling is the sum to which a model may change from the tenants. In non-probability testing, the degree to which the example differs from the populace remains obscure. 

This study uses convenient simple random sampling technique to select the research respondents. Convenient random sampling is non-probability sampling test. All aspects of the people are selected base on their convenient accessibility and proximity to the researcher. Therefore, this is considered easiest and matches to this research need and less time consuming. (Tuurosong and Faisal, 2014)

3.6       Unit of analysis

The sampling unit of this proposed research will be the executive level and above positions of manufacturing firm in Penang. The survey target is the Penang manufacturing employees not the companies.

3.7        Data collection method

Gliner and Morgan (2000) say that data collection is a crucial part of any kind of study. Bad data and flawed methodological techniques would have a negative impact on the research findings which may also be flawed and invalid. 

 Data that has is accumulated from direct experience is known as essential data (Loudon et., al 2006). Primary data refers to the sought information for any given research. Primary data is normally authentic, and more   critical than secondary data. Criticalness of Primary data can't be overlooked. An investigation can be coordinated without secondary data however an examination centred on simply secondary data is least strong. 

The primary data will be collected by using the close-ended questionnaires. The questionnaires will include the demographic questions and others questions which is sectioned under personal factors, behavioural factors and environmental factors. The primary data will be collected directly from the workplaces of the employees. 

The questionnaires will send to selected manufacturing HR department for their review and get their approval for this research purpose. Estimate 1-2 weeks to get their respond. Upon HR approval, will get HR support to distribute to executive level and above employees for survey. The questions will pre-set in the website. Employees just need to click the link and answer in the questionnaires and submit from the website.

3.8       Measurement of variables

This study uses questionnaires as its main instrument. Questionnaires are the best tool in survey type of data collections. The present study consists of the questionnaires with sections that have demographic queries first and the other main queries in the next section. The demographic questions include the name (optional), age, qualification, educational details etc. The next section will include the questions that have Likert scale types. The queries are based on the dependant and independent variables. The questions include employee learning, motivation, aptitude, learning culture, management support, employee engagement and self-efficacy. Likert scale questions will be used for scaling responses in any survey type of research. 


3.8.1    Dependant variable (DV)

The following are the description of the DV for the study:

Employee learning: Refers to the employees’ willingness to keep learning. 

Employee Continuous Learning

Employee continuous learning is the dependant variable. It measure by 4 items adapted from Ron, Harm, Mien and Paul, 2011. These 4 items had been tested reliable and valid for measuring employee learning with the Cronbach alpha from 0.80 to 0.85. (Ron et al., 2011)

Table 3.4 Original and adapted versions of Employee Continuous Learning

Original version
Adapted version
1. When I receive an assignment   it is clear to me what I can learn from it
1. when I receive an project/task it is clear to me what I can learn   from it
2. My teacher encourages me to   reflect on how I can improve my assignments
2. My management encourages me to reflect on how I can improve my job   performance
3. My assignments allow me to   show what I am capable of
3. My knowledge/skill allow me to show what I am capable of
4. I am encouraged by my   teacher to improve my learning process
4. I am encouraged by my organization to improve my learning process



3.8.2    Independent variables (IV)

The following are the description of the IV for the study:

Motivation refers to the psychological forces to keep an employee actively keep learning 

Aptitude relates to the ability for an employee on learning 

Learning culture refers to the company’s environment to encourage employee to continue learning.

Management support relates to the momentum to enable employee continue to learn

Employee engagement refers to the s the individual’s commitment for learning 

Self-efficacy refers to the employee confidence level on his ability of learning  

Motivation

Motivation is the independent variable. It measure by 4 items adapted from Racheal, 2013. The original 4 items of motivation had been tested with Cronbach alphas ranging from 0.84 to 0.95which are reliable for testing this IV (Rachel, 2013). Minor modification had been made to suit this research purpose as below.





Table 3.5 Original and adapted versions of Motivation

Original version
Adapted version
1. I prefer course material that arouses my curiosity, even if it is   difficult to learn.
1. I prefer training that arouses my curiosity, even if it is   difficult to learn.
2. I prefer course material   that really challenge me so I can learn new things
2. I prefer new knowledge that   really challenge me so I can learn new things
3. I enjoy thermodynamics class very much
3. I enjoy learning and training very much
4. I put a lot of effort into   my thermodynamics class
4. I put a lot of effort into   my new learning paths.


Aptitude

The 4 item of aptitude are fully adopted from “Getting Ready for Distance Education, Distance Education Aptitude and Readiness Scale (DEARS)” from Dr. Bob, 2007. 

Table 3.6 Adapted versions of Aptitude

Original version
1. I take responsibility for my own learning
2. I am a person who is curious about many things  
3. I am good at logistics. I can determine what is   needed and devise a plan for getting it.
4. I enjoy helping other who have learning needs

 

Learning Culture

Learning culture is the independent variable. The 4 questionnaires adapted from Kimberly, Douglas and Diana (2011). The 4 questionnaires of learning culture had tested with Cronbach alphas ranging from 0.77 to 0.85 which are reliable for testing this IV (Kimberly, Douglas & Diana, 2013). Minor modification had been made from the original version to meet the research need as per below table.


Table 3.7 Original and adapted versions of Learning Culture

Original version
Adapted version
1. In my organization, people openly discuss mistake in order to learn   from them.
1. In my manufacturing, people openly discuss mistake in order to   learn from them.
2. In my organization, people   are rewarded for exploring new ways of working
2. In my manufacturing, people are rewarded for exploring new ways of   working
3. In my organization, leaders generally support requests for learning   opportunities and training
3. In my manufacturing, leaders generally support requests for   learning opportunities and training
4. My organization recognized   people for taking initiative
4. My manufacturing recognized people for taking initiative


Management Support

Management support is one of the independent variable. Total 4 selected questionnaires adapted from Zahidul, Jason, Hanif & Zainal (2008) previous research paper. The 4 questionnaires of management support had tested with Cronbach alphas 0.80 which are reliable for testing this IV (Zahidul et al., 2013). Minor modification had been made from the original version to meet this research need as per below table.




Table 3.8 Original and adapted versions of Management Support

Original version
Adapted version
1. Sufficient incentives provided by top management, TM for the   implementation of the New Product Development (NPD) project.
1. Sufficient incentives provided by management for the implementation   new learning program.
2. The NPD project is viewed as   a strategic activities by TM
2. The training and knowledge   upgrading is viewed as a strategic activities by management
3. There was sufficient commitment to implementation of the NPD   project
3. There was sufficient commitment to implementation of employee   learning
4. TM identified the   implementation of NPD project as a critical priority
4. Management identified the   employee knowledge enhancement as a critical priority


Employee Engagement

Management support is one of the independent variable. Total 4 selected questionnaires adapted from Zahidul, Jason, Hanif & Zainal (2008) previous research paper. The 4 questionnaires of management support had tested with Cronbach alphas 0.80 which are reliable for testing this IV (Zahidul et al., 2013). Minor modification had been made from the original version to meet this research need as per below table.






Table 3.9 Original and adapted versions of Employee Engagement

Original version
Adapted version
1.I feel strong and vigorous when I’m studying or going to class
1.I feel strong and vigorous when I’m attending training class
2. I am enthusiastic about my study
2. I am enthusiastic about my   new skill/knowledge
3. At my work, I feel bursting with energy
3. At my work, I feel bursting with energy
4. When I get up in the   morning, I feel like going to work
4. When I get up in the   morning, I feel like going to work


Self- Efficacy

Self-efficacy is the independent variable. It measure by 4 items adapted from Racheal, 2013. The original 4questionnaires of self-efficacy had been tested with Cronbach alphas ranging from 0.93 which are reliable for testing this IV (Rachel, 2013). Minor modification had been made to suit this research purpose as below.

Table 3.10 Original and adapted versions of Self-Efficacy

Original version
Adapted version
1. I believe that I will received an excellent grade in thermodynamic   class
1. I believe that I will received an excellent understanding in   training class
2. I’m confident I can do an   excellent job on the assignment and test in thermodynamic class
2. I’m confident I can do an   excellent job on the project given to me
3. I expect to do well in thermodynamic class
3. I expect to do well in my new process/project
4. I am capable of learning   the  material presented in   thermodynamic class
4. I am capable of learning   the  new knowledge required by my job



Table 3.11 Likert Scale Table adopted from Linkert (1932)

Likert scale scoring use for research as below;

Score
Rating
1
Strongly Agree
2
Agree
3
Neutral
4
Disagree
5
Strongly Disagree

 

3. 9      Data analysis and interpretation

Grinnel and Unrau (2008) calls attention to the efforts and time required for data (analysis) examination. Data analyses are time consuming (Dominick and Wimmer, 2010). Every -investigation or study must be carefully analyses and demonstrated by particular principles. Right when the examination is done, the researcher must wander back and expect what has been composed.

The statistical analysis will be pursued  using SPSS. The measures of validity and reliability are carried out by Cronbach’s Alpha method. Below is the description:



Table 3.12 Cronbach’s Alpha and the description

Alpha value
Description
0.00-0.2
The lowest level of consistency and will be neglected
0.21-0.40
A lower level of co-efficient
0.41-0.60
Co-efficient at moderate level
0.61-0.80
A higher level of co-efficient
0.81-1.00
The highest level of co-efficient

Figure: Alpha value description

The statistical tools will help the research to obtain its research objectives successfully. The research questions will be evaluated in numerical terms by using the statistical tools. The arithmetical tools that are taken for the evaluation of the primary data to be collected are as follows: Graphical method, Sample percentage method and Chi-square test 

Graphical method

After the calculations of works have been summed up in a flawless way the data are made, break down and presented using the graphical systems. Data must be collected and managed well so that every estimation is at best valid and reliable (Ott and Longnecker, 2008). The demographic data will be evaluated by the use of graphical method. 




Simple percentage analysis

The examination of straight forward extent is utilized as part of looking at between more than two arrangements of data. In this technique, the rates are utilized to symbolize Firm rates such as the followings 

 

Chi-square test

Chi-square test is utilized as a part of sampling the deviations that gives between two, or all the more genuine specimens. The accompanying is the formula for ascertaining the estimation of chi-square: 

According to Gupta (2000), SPSS is the short form for Statistical Package for Social Sciences. It is an eminent quantifiable task used as a piece of various investigative requests. In 1968, the SPSS first shape was made and SPSS was set up by Norman Nie a science student of Standford University. SPSS is one of the boundless used tasks for making genuine examination in investigation and sociology schedules. 

3.10     Validation methods

Validation process is vital for any research. It is therefore imperative for any research to pursue all the necessary actions to validate and test for reliability.

3.10.1  Validity

Legitimacy is the way of an examination that makes it solid and exploratory. Validity is the usage of exploratory strategies in investigation to make it intelligent and commendable. Using key data as a piece of examination can upgrade the legitimacy of investigation. Direct information procured from an example that is illustrative of the objective masses will yield data that will be generous for the entire target group. The researcher in this study keeps up validity by guaranteeing that the inquiries in survey are pertinent to the goals of the study and writing audit (Cormack 2000). 

3.10.2  Reliability

According to Sharon (2010) reliability is the surety that the investigation is adequate and legitimate, and can be trusted. Such conclusion can be drawn from a case size, testing systems and variability. Reliability improves when using essential data. 

 Hunter and Dantzker (2011) say that research ethics and morals incorporate the use of essential good norms to good research practices. Careful examination of issues related to ethics is relevant to many types of research. These include research on human, animal research, distinctive parts of insightful shame, including investigative terrible conduct, (for instance, blackmail, formation of data and plagiarism), regulation of examination and so on. Researchers face moral circumstances in every progression of the examination process from selecting respondents to reporting of the research findings (Houser, 2008). It is therefore important that this research follows all the ethics of a good research and abide to the rulings. 


3.11     Summary

This chapter offers elaboration on the methodology adopted for the study with justification for the study. It is intended to show the implementation of the action research plan in practice by illuminating all the processes involved in this research. This research employs a quantitative research methodology as its research paradigm with a positivist approach. All ethical considerations required in doing this study will also be abided. In brief, this proposed study offers meaningful opportunities to understand factors that may or may not impact on employees’ continuous learning and training within the industry. The targeted sample size is 370 employees from the manufacturing firm in Penang. The research design adapted in this study is descriptive in nature. Random sampling is used to select the research respondents. 

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