DOI 10.14707/ajbr.210106

The Integration of Self-directed Learning and Employee Competency in the 21st Century

DOI 10.14707/ajbr.210106

Sanhakot Vithayaporn*
Faculty of Business and Technology, Stamford International University, Thailand
Siew Siew Yong
Faculty of Business, Curtin University, Malaysia
Elena Gregoria Chai
Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
*Corresponding author: sanhakot@hotmail.com

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the promotion of self-directed learning (SDL), a concept that can potentially increase employee competency in organisations. We present SDL as a pivotal 21st century skills that transforms traditional practices into competencies crucial for the success of an employee at the workplace. The paper utilised case studies, document analysis, and a systematic literature review to synthesise existing resources. A systematic review of 50 peer-reviewed articles published in English-language Scopus indexed journals indicate the significance of promoting SDL in the 21st century workplace for employee competency development. The findings further highlight the practices that need to be integrated for SDL promotion in the workplace to enhance employee competency. Specifically, communication of a shared vision and knowledge among employees is essential to promote SDL. The literature suggests that SDL must be supported by employers and implemented in human resource development (HRD). The practical implications of this for Asian businesses is to introduce and inculcate SDL in organisational culture through a reward system and a conducive working environment. Overall, in recent years, researchers have recognised the critical role of SDL in the workplace in enhancing employee competencies by transferring the learning responsibility to employees.

Keywords:  Self-directed learning, Employee competency, 21st century skills, Asia context, Labour workforce, Human resource development

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