Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Promoting informal workplace learning to improve workplace learning and performance within a competitive business environment presents a challenge for customer service training managers within a large corporation. The purpose of the study was to determine which attributes of informal workplace learning experiences contributed to meaningful professional development and improved performance. Constructivism and experiential learning provided the theoretical foundations for this study. Conceptually, learning is mediated by the meaning learners attribute to it. The primary research question concerned how customer service training associates perceived informal workplace learning experiences as having meaningful impact on their overall professional development and work performance. An embedded single case study design was used for the study. Data were collected through the use of semi structured interviews of 6 customer service training associates who were selected through maximum variation sampling. Thematic analysis was applied to transcribed interview data. The following were foundational to improvements in learning and performance: (a) participating in work-based projects, (b) receiving feedback through coaching and peer collaboration, (c) associating learning with achieving desired project and professional development objectives, and (d) structuring work activities and support so as to facilitate learning. The study demonstrated that informal workplace learning is grounded in the purposeful integration of certain essential elements. Study results advance social change by contributing to improved learning and performance thus benefitting individual trainers and the customer service organization.