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Learning new practices in small business: engagement and localised support

Lisa C. Ehrich (Senior Lecturer, School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia)
Stephen Billett (Associate Professor of Adult and Vocational Education, School of Vocational, Technology and Arts Education, Faculty of Education, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Discusses the findings of a study that investigated how the learning of innovative practices might best proceed in small businesses. The recent implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) in Australia presented an opportunity for understanding how small business operatives learned to implement a new practice. The procedures comprised semi‐structured interviews with 30 small businesses about how they had learned about and implemented the GST. A case study was written about each small business' experience that were verified for their accuracy by each small business. These case studies became the data source. It was found that the small business operatives that appeared to have learned most about the GST were those who were highly engaged in the task of learning about the GST – active learners and also accessed high levels of support from localised sources. A typology comprising dimensions of support needed and engagement by small business operatives was synthesised from the findings and is discussed.



Ehrich, L.C. and Billett, S. (2004), "Learning new practices in small business: engagement and localised support", Education + Training, Vol. 46 No. 8/9, pp. 501-509.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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