HOW DID YOU DO THAT? EXPLORING THE MOTIVATION TO LEARN FROM OTHERS’ EXCEPTIONAL SUCCESS

Ryan W. Quinn, Christopher G. Myers, Shirli Kopelman, Stefanie Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we explore how perceptions of other people’s exceptional success influence individuals’ motivation to learn—a relationship that has been surprisingly unexplored within the broad literature on learning in organizations. Our research reveals, across two distinct samples and methodologies, that an individual’s motivation to learn is higher when they perceive performance by another person to be more exceptionally successful, as compared to perceiving the other’s performance as a more “normal” success. We also observe, in line with prior research, marginal support for the notion that motivation to learn is higher when individuals perceive others’ performance as more of a failure; thereby suggesting a curvilinear relationship between perceived performance and motivation to learn. Our second study demonstrates that the relationship between others’ performance and the motivation to learn is mediated by interest and moderated by surprise. We discuss the implications of these results for provoking new theorizing, measurement, and practical implementation of learning in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-39
Number of pages25
JournalAcademy of Management Discoveries
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial relations

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