Enhancing the transfer of learning from leadership development

Enhancing the transfer of learning from leadership development

Recent Ashridge research into what influences learning transfer suggests that individual attitudes to learning and transferring learning are having an important impact on leaders’ ability to apply learning at work.

The research explored the influence of the areas of individual characteristics, programme design, and the work environment on transfer of learning, and found that individual characteristics factors, such as how prepared an individual is to attend a programme, or how motivated they are to transfer learning, was the only area to have a significant, unique correlation with transfer.

These attitudes and motivations however, are greatly influenced by factors from within the area of the work environment. The selection procedures organisations employ, the way in which they communicate the benefits of programmes, and how much they embrace change, for example, will all influence an individual’s attitudes towards learning and transferring learning.

As such, we are developing a tool to make individuals and organisations aware of factors which may be helping or hindering them in applying learning. The Learning Attitude and Context Scale is a new psychometric that will provide a profile to both the individual and the organisation, of their potential barriers and facilitators of learning transfer, along with recommendations for how they might increase the amount of learning they able to apply back at work.

We are in the process of refining the tool and reducing the number of questions, and are seeking responses from:

  • L&D or HR Professionals who would like to issue the tool to their employees to understand the impact of individual attitudes and the organisational context on learning transfer
  • Individuals who have recently or expect to soon complete a learning intervention and would like to understand what they can do to enhance their learning transfer


For further details of this research, please contact Lee Waller