As they seek to develop a culture of “lifelong learning”, many UK companies are providing “in‐house” education and training for their employees. Some programmes make use of the techniques of “work‐based” learning to achieve greater synergy between work roles and an academic curriculum. This paper examines the possibility that the main motivational factors for manager participants to undertake and complete one such programme are not necessarily conducive to the most effective forms of learning. It reviews some of the literature focusing upon the motivation and learning styles of mature students, and uses this as a basis for examination of data from questionnaires and semi‐structured interviews with participants administered as part of a longitudinal research programme. Questions are raised about the suitability of the workplace as a site for successful academic learning and the value of such programmes to assist companies to become “learning organisations”.
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