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Worker Control and Workplace Learning: Expansion of the Job Demand-Control Model



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       Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University. E-mail: Data from the 2003–2004 National Survey of Work and Lifelong Learning were provided by the Institute for Social Research, York University. The survey was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and was completed for the research network for The Changing Nature of WORK AND LIFELONG LEARNING (WALL) in the New Economy under the direction of Dr. David Livingstone, Principal Investigator and Doug Hart, Project Manager from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. These organizations and individuals are not responsible for the analyses and interpretations presented here. I thank Morley Gunderson, David Livingstone, Michele Campolieti, and three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. I thank Milosh Raykov for technical assistance with the data set. I also thank the PhD seminar class at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto for helpful feedback on the ideas and analyses presented in this paper.


This paper uses a sub-sample (N = 5,800) of a unique data set on work and lifelong learning to develop the learning dimension of the Job Demand-Control model (Administrative Science Quarterly [1979] 24:285). The model is expanded by including three distinct learning behaviors to allow for a complete assessment of workplace learning. Worker control is also expanded to include often confounded dimensions of Social and Technical Control. The results confirm that different types of learning are related to different determinants and that Social and Technical Control are key factors in learning participation.