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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Workplace Learning, Volume 23, Issue 2
As we write this, the economy is definitely in the middle of some quite dire straits. There are those who state that, production-wise, the economy is up; on the other hand, most countries are hard pressed to find the money to pay the debts which were caused by previously lower production levels. The system is partly self-boosting; the bad economic times and reluctance to cut down on public costs causes more debts and therefore even more reason to cut public costs. The best solution to this problem would be a long period of economic growth – and on a micro level companies believe that innovation is a driver for this growth.
Traditional learning theories believe in repetition but, with the exception of Apple and a few others, many companies seem to have a difficult time trying to repeat their innovation successes. Thus, a learning-based approach to innovation has the potential to reap big rewards. In this issue, we have selected a loose learning-in-innovation theme, starting with Annika Lantz’s article “Teamwork on the line can pay-off down the line”, followed by Tuula Heiskanen’s high-tech company study, “Spaces of innovation”. The third related article is on the failures of process innovation, by Dawei Lu.
The last article in this second 2011 issue is by Sara Zaniboni and whilst it is not consistent with the theme of innovation, it is held as highly innovative in itself by our reviewers. This article is about measuring training valence, instrumentality, and expectancy and will appear on the shortlist for the Best Paper of the Year award for our 23rd volume.
We hope that the economic situation will settle during this year because economic downtimes and bad debt situations are also a threat against high-quality, independent research. An innovation theme reminds the readers that it is not enough to just manage the product technology; good results increasingly require management of very complex human-system issues, such as learning and being able to repeat, or even improve upon, past successes.
We wish you an interesting reading time!
Sara Cervai, Tauno Kekäle