Biennial EARLI Conference 2015 edition:16 location:Limassol, Cyprus date:25-29 August 2015
During the last decennium, a substantial amount of research on the factors that influence informal workplace learning has appeared. However up to now, no effort has been done to review these findings in a systematic manner. By means of a review of current literature, the aim of this research is to address this lack and to identify barriers and facilitators of informal learning. A total of 34 quantitative and qualitative research studies met the criteria of inclusion. Using the content analysis method, the meta-synthesis identified thirteen themes that could be brought under three broad categories: personal characteristics, work environment factors, and job characteristics. Findings of the review indicate that especially a longer tenure, lack of time, and professional isolation are detrimental to informal learning. In contrast, challenging work and job variety are key enhancers to informal learning. Finally, an organisational culture and managers that are committed to and support learning at work can be seen as facilitators of informal learning.