Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2017

Abstract

We argue that other peoples' failures provide a neglected source of managerial learning that is associated with enhanced learning transfer. Due to their negative valence, stories about other peoples' failures as compared to stories about other peoples' successes should elicit a more pronounced motivational response, such that people elaborate the content of failure stories more actively. As a consequence, the knowledge gained from failure stories will more likely be applied on a transfer task. We expect this motivational response to failure stories and its benefits for learning to be most pronounced for people who view failures as valuable learning opportunities. We report an experimental study, in which participants were exposed to a managerial training with stories about either managerial successes or managerial failures that delivered the same learning content. Results showed that stories about managerial failures led to more elaboration and learning transfer, in particular for participants who see the learning potential of failures. We discuss how failure stories can be used to stimulate managerial learning in educational and organizational settings.

Keywords

Failure, success, storytelling, motivation, managerial learning

Discipline

Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Academy of Management Learning and Education

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

39

Last Page

53

ISSN

1537-260X

Identifier

10.5465/amle.2014.0169

Publisher

Academy of Management

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.5465/amle.2014.0169

Share

COinS