Learning lessons from non‐work related learning

Richard J. Holden (School of Human Resource Management, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK)
John Hamblett (School of Human Resource Management, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 1 October 1998


Recent official papers and reports credit employee development (initiatives which offer employees of an organisation opportunities to undertake non‐work related learning of their choice) as a vehicle for stimulating and promoting ideas of continuous education and lifelong learning. Commentaries such as these contribute to what is defined as an “orthodox” account of ED. In sum the orthodoxy promotes ED on the basis that by promoting learning and flexibility such initiatives contribute to organisational effectiveness and competitiveness. However, the orthodox account is inscribed with two fundamental flaws. The first is theoretical in kind, and concerns the under‐development of its central concepts. The second is of a more practical kind, and refers to the management of ED. The argument is illustrated with reference to both existing data and our own empirical work. The conclusion attempts to develop a more rational justification for ED, suggesting that support for such initiatives represents an ethical imperative. States that in a democratic society the workplace should be regulated in a democratic fashion. ED deserves to be sponsored in so far as it contributes towards this process of “democratisation”



Holden, R.J. and Hamblett, J. (1998), "Learning lessons from non‐work related learning", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 10 No. 5, pp. 241-250. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665629810229992

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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