Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Conceptualization of Unlearning in Organizational Employees
by Hafner, Julee H., Ph.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2014, 235; 3639829
Abstract (Summary)

Previously, a worker one set of skills for an occupational lifetime. In today's environment, the need for constant skill changes have created difficulties for individuals who must unlearn, store and use knowledge in new processes to update the old. Today's workers must keep pace with changes to maintain competency. The amount of wasted time, additional energy and resources required continues to increase when actions are not updated through unlearning. Confusion regarding unlearning remains a persistent problem because a clear definition does not exist. This study: 1) investigated and collected descriptive unlearning characteristics; 2) proposed a theory to define unlearning. Study results: Ninety-three interviews with 31 participants were conducted. The participants' responses were categorized into unlearning experiences and perceptions. One Hundred-Seven participant quotations referred to Experimentation in unlearning of their Windows-based system or application. Experimentation was divided into Subcategories: 1) Unstructured Experimentation, 2) Structured Experimentation, and, 3) Resource-Based Experimentation. Employee perceptions were identified as category with subcategories of Incompetence and Competence. The third category, factors, suggests participant unlearn with, availability of support, time constraints and opportunities for experimentation. This definition was proposed: Unlearning is the process of using experimentation and available resources to promote the disuse of previous actions. Additionally, to propose a new theory of the unlearning process, the force-field theory was used as a basis for this new unlearning theory. From the study results, organizations can develop effective employees to maintain a competitive advantage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Benesh, Julie
Commitee: Davis, Nancy, Ellis, Timothy
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Employee unlearning, Knowledge management, Training
Publication Number: 3639829
ISBN: 9781321246971
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