Informal learning research in hospitality and tourism: A systematic literature review
Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
School of Business and Law
Informal learning (IL) in hospitality and tourism (H&T) is a significant contributor to improving individual and organisational performance. However, prior research in this field is fragmented and there is a need to assemble and evaluate these studies. This paper presents the first known systematic review and critique of the literature in this field. A filtered search resulted in 70 empirical studies published in ABDC ranked journals. Analysis of the studies revealed the following: (1) concentration of research in developed-country contexts, (2) limited exploration of theories that encapsulate both personal and work environment factors that might influence participation in informal learning, (3) lack of research designs that incorporate rigour such as multi-source data, mixed-methods, causality testing, or multilevel analysis, and (4) limited exploration of the antecedents and outcomes of employees’ engagement in IL activities. Drawing on these findings, the paper provides several suggestions for future research.