Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 7 October 2014



Cervai, S. and Kekäle, T. (2014), "Editorial", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 26 No. 8. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-09-2014-0067



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 26, Issue 8

There is a new Academic Year about to begin, and a Volume of Journal of Workplace Learning about to be closed, when this is written. As usual, we celebrate by working. This issue again contains the four articles we, together with our untouchable double-blind review network, have considered to be interesting and scientific from among the steady flow of workplace learning research. It would seem that a lot of workplace learning takes place in medical and healthcare settings. This issue again includes a couple of studies made in medical organizations, but we also take a look at innovation processes.

First off, we have selected “Learning to learn through university accredited work-based learning: A threshold conception” by Charlotte Ramage. Her article, based on several important earlier inputs into the field of workplace learning (#B1, 2014, #B3), aims to enhance understanding of the experience of qualified nurses managing the process of learning through work when enrolled on a work-based learning module. Proposing answers to #B2, Ramage states that successful work-based learning is influenced by the learning culture of the workplace, and that mentors’ interest in the learners’ learning processes plays a crucial role in learning. Many other interesting insights are also reported from this study.

The second article, by Ellen F. Goldman et al., discusses training evaluation. Similar to leadership development programs in business, medical education fellowship programs also suffer from surface-level assessment. The deeper assessment of the potential program impact on peers and the organization as a whole is lacking. This is the research gap Goldman et al. aim to fill. Indeed, in this medical setting, they were able to identify ways that helped the whole work team or organization benefit from the fellowship program participation of an individual, “secondary learning”. According to the article, “the primary modes of transfer included observing the graduates and copying their practices, working collaboratively with graduates on projects, and receiving specific close guidance from graduates. Transfer occurred intentionally and informally, taking place in short focused moments, via intense shared experiences, and through repetition of routine activities”. Good advice for practitioners.

Denise M. Cumberland and Rod P. Githens report on using needs assessment as a learning tool in the product development process of a Fortune 200 quick service restaurant. Apart from supporting the idea of using needs assessment for learning, and confirming the suitability of the #B4 stakeholder classification system for such a study, Cumberland and Githens also found that the specific activities involved in the new product development process in the case study organization were not codified, and that the restaurant chain’s cross-functional team was not adhering to the process due to a lack of training.

Finally, we publish separately Ingunn Johanne Ness and Gunn Elisabeth Søreide’s article, that we did not have a slot for in our RWL Conference special issues, “The Room of Opportunity: Understanding phases of creative knowledge processes in Innovation” (There will be more RWL 2014 articles in the 2015 volume of the journal). Starting from the idea that Creative knowledge processes develop over time in six different phases of initial innovation work, they conclude that the creative processes peak in the three middle phases and these phases can be seen as a separate “Room of Opportunity”.

We hope you too enjoy this issue!

Sara Cervai and Tauno Kekäle, Editors


Billet, S. (2001), “Learning through work: workplace affordances and individual engagement”, Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 209-214.

Billet, S. and Choy, S. (2013), “Learning through work: emerging perspectives and new challenges”, Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 264-276.

Ellström, E., Ekholm, B. and Ellström, P.E. (2008), “Two types of learning environment: enabling and constraining a study of care work”, Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 84-97.

Mitchell, R., Agle, B. and Wood, D. (1997), “Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: defining the principle of who and what really counts”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 853-886.

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