Learning Needs Assessment at Work (LNA): Past, Present and Future

Rodrigo R. Ferreira, Douglas Schneider, Gardênia da Silva Abbad, Lana Montezano, Aline de Sousa


The aim of this study was to describe and discuss the scientific production on Learning Needs Assessment at work (LNA) in the last five decades (1970 – 2019) through a bibliometric study. Bibliometric and longitudinal reviews on LNA are virtually nonexistent. Therefore, little is known about how LNA knowledge was in the past, is in the present and can be in the future. A survey of scientific articles was conducted in eight globally indexed databases between 2007 and 2019. Only blind review peer journals were utilized. After the application of sample selection criteria, 282 articles were considered valid for analysis. The three quantitative analysis dimensions were demographical, methodological and theoretical, and they were measured by twenty categorical and descriptive variables. In sum, results show that there is a substantial increment in the number of papers on LNA published in the last decade around the world, especially in Africa. Methodologically, it can be said that the studies have made important advances, mainly when it comes to learning needs processes and measures improvements, but there is still an extensive research agenda. On the other hand, it seems that the LNA still have made little conceptual progress since the 1960s. The predominant use of the term “training needs” to refer to skills gaps at work needs to be discussed and reviewed. In the near future, studies need to further investigate innovative theories and methods on LNA, as the application of multilevel modeling, alignment of needs and context/organizational strategy, the use of learning taxonomies, among others.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpmr.v6i1.15965


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Copyright (c) 2020 Rodrigo R. Ferreira, Douglas Schneider, Gardênia da Silva Abbad, Lana Montezano, Aline de Sousa

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Journal of Public Management Research   ISSN 2377-3294

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