Traditional theoretical learning (9-9-1) represents most training and development activities. Individuals participate in formal training activities to enhance their performance. Unfortunately most organizations do not grasp the importance of transfer and integration on the job, nor do they provide support (e.g., policies and procedures) for it to occur. Thus, learning transfer does not materialize.
Self-directed learning (1-9-9), one of the most important types of learning, occurs when individuals are responsible for knowledge acquisition and practice, and the transfer and integration thereof. The risk is that employees are alone in determining appropriate sources for acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful. Thus, learning is still left to chance. Marsick and Watkins ( 1990) refer to this type of learning as informal learning.
Developmental learning (9-9-9) represents the epitome of learning, with equal emphasis on information exchange, knowledge acquisition and practice, and transfer and integration at a high level. Developmental learning embraces and exhibits the importance of learning preparation, accountability, and recognition. Individual and organizational learning are maximized by combining the strengths of traditional theoretical and self-directed learning, allowing managers to forge learning partnerships with employees.
The learning process should be the heart of any organization. In this chapter we discussed the roles of managers and human resource professionals. We also identified the phases and elements necessary to enhance the learning process. Finally, we reviewed the application of these phases by constructing an interactive, three- dimensional model representing eight different types of organizational learning. The pinnacle of our model is developmental learning, whereby information, learning acquisition and practice, and transfer and integration work in harmony to improve individual knowledge and skill. Developmental learning perpetuates learner growth and development both personally and professionally. As a result, individual and organizational renewal capability increases, as does performance capacity.