A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Agency : taking stock of workplace learning research (2022)

Goller, M., & Paloniemi, S. (2022). Agency : taking stock of workplace learning research. In C. Harteis, D. Gijbels, & E. Kyndt (Eds.), Research Approaches on Workplace Learning : Insights from a Growing Field (pp. 3-28). Springer International Publishing. Professional and Practice-based Learning, 31. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-89582-2_1

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsGoller, Michael; Paloniemi, Susanna

Parent publicationResearch Approaches on Workplace Learning : Insights from a Growing Field

Parent publication editorsHarteis, Christian; Gijbels, David; Kyndt, Eva



Journal or seriesProfessional and Practice-based Learning



Publication year2022

Number in series31

Pages range3-28

Number of pages in the book456

PublisherSpringer International Publishing

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open accessChannel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83853


This chapter presents a discussion of the concept of agency. Agency is understood as a multifaceted construct describing the idea that human beings make choices, act on these choices, and thereby exercise influence on their own lives as well as their environment. We argue that the concept is discussed from three different perspectives in the literature—transformational, dispositional, and relational—that are each related to learning and development in work contexts. These perspectives do not reflect incompatible positions but rather different aspects of the same phenomena. The chapter also offers an avenue of insight into empirical studies that employ agency as a central concept as well as discussions about concepts that closely overlap with ideas of human beings as agents of power and influence.

Keywordshuman agencylearningprofessional developmentproactivityself-directionworking lifeworkplaces

Free keywordsagency; workplace learning; professional development; proactivity; self-direction

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-30-04 at 17:35