From the workplace to the classroom: examining the impact of self-leadership learning strategies on higher educational attainment and success

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Self-leadership is a concept from the organisational and management literature broadly combining processes of self-goal setting, self-regulation and self-motivation. Research has typically focused on the impact of self-leadership on work performance outcomes, with little attention to potential benefits for learning and development. In this paper, we employ a longitudinal design to examine the association of a number of processes of self-leadership with higher educational attainment in a sample of business students (N = 150). Self-reported use of strategies related to behavioural, cognitive and motivational aspects of self-leadership were measured in the first semester of the academic year, and correlated with end-of year grade point average. We found that in particular, self-goal setting, pro-active goal-related behaviour, behaviour regulation and direction, motivational awareness, and optimism were all significant predictors of educational attainment. We discuss implications for educational research and for teachers and tutors in practice.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number4
Early online date30 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2016

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Innovations in Education and Teaching International on 30/11/16, available online:


  • self-leadership, education attainment, performance, learning and development, goal setting, self-regulation, optimism

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