Increasing the effectiveness of learning within the workplace continues to be a focus for organizations. Given that people will work for many more years than the traditional 30 years of generations past, combined with the ever changing economic environment, individuals and companies must continually improve skills. Previous research has focused on the areas of motivation, self-regulated learning, and instructional design. Within the financial services industry, many analytical skills are required. Because analysis is vital to financial success, organizations spend significant sums of money providing in-depth training. The institution involved with this study uses a vendor that provides online financial analysis training programs. The foundational program takes 50 hours to complete and is generally considered difficult. This study sought to assess whether a correlation exists between individual motivation and the learning strategies used. Utilizing abbreviated versions of two existing instruments (the Work Preference Inventory and the Strategic Learning Questionnaire) participants were asked to report on their levels of motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic) and the types of learning strategies used. The survey began with questions that addressed (a) intrinsic challenge, (b) intrinsic enjoyment, (c) extrinsic outward (perceptions of others), and (d) extrinsic compensation motivations. The questions in the second part of the survey addressed learning strategies of (a) task understanding, (b) goal setting, (c) activating prior knowledge, (d) searching/selecting, (e) assembling, (f) translating, (g) structuring, (h) rehearsing, (i) help-seeking, (j) monitoring, (k) evaluating, and (l) regulating. 44 employees completed the survey. Motivation levels were strong overall although intrinsic motivation was slightly stronger than extrinsic. Participants reported use of the key learning strategies. While both motivation and use of learning strategies were positively reported, there were only four correlations. Positive correlations were found between intrinsic challenge motivation and both goal setting and activating prior knowledge. Positive correlations were also found between extrinsic outward motivation and goal setting and regulating. As this study showed, motivation plays a role in certain of the strategies used when acquiring skills directly related to job success. Further research is needed to help organizations identify the motivational and learning strategy levers and to use the knowledge gained to design training and learning support environments.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technology; Employee motivation -- Testing; Employees -- Training of; Organizational learning; Organizational effectiveness

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Goodale, Monica;