Lifelong Learning

Manuel London

in The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology, Volume 2

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928286
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Lifelong Learning


This chapter examines lifelong learning from the standpoint of organizational needs and expectations, the importance of learning and development for career growth, individual differences in propensity for continuous learning, and support and reinforcement for development. The chapter starts by examining alternative definitions of lifelong learning for skill development, discovery, and innovation. Trends driving continuous learning include pressures to maintain competitiveness and readiness to meet future needs. Learning is then viewed in relation to life stage and ongoing generativity. Foundational learning theories focus on individual differences affecting learning motivation, life stage models of development, and explanations for how people learn. Support for learning includes the corporate environment and culture, the emergence of learning organizations, empowerment for self-development, and formal and informal methods of development. Technological advances in development include online multisource feedback surveys, just-in-time coaching, and web-based training. The chapter concludes with an agenda for future research and practice, including new modes of education throughout the life cycle, assessments of learning outcomes, ways to meet individual and organizational needs for adaptive, generative, and transformative learning, and forces for future research and practice.

Keywords: learning; development; career growth; support for learning; learning outcomes assessment

Article.  19544 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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